Camp Nursing and bringing your own kids

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    I am very interested in doing camp nursing this summer, somewhere in the Blue Ridge Mountains! What should I expect in asking to bring my children with me. Should I even try and do my first summer nursing at a camp with my children present? Also does anyone know any camps that will let an almost 6 year old come? Thanks

    Kim
  2. 9 Comments so far...

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    I can't imagine that a camp would NOT let you bring your own kids! That's basically how they get nurses to come work for them! The big thing is, finding a camp that meets the needs of your kids (age and gender appropriate activities). Example; I work at a Girl Scout camp, and one of the nurses had brought her son for a few years. It got to a point where it became awkward, because he was too old (and not behaved either). He obviously did not bunk with the girls, but even general activities got weird.

    Since your kids are young, and it is a sleep away camp, I'd ask a lot of questions about who your kids would be with during the day. You'll likely get a good vibe from whomever will be hiring you, of whether or not you'll feel comfortable with what your kids would be doing while you're working. I started working at camp when my daughter was 4. She slept with me, ate with me (but could eat with the kids, we were all in a huge dining hall), and was free to do whichever activities she or I wanted her to do. There were many times where a counselor would return her to me, because she missed me. They were very accommodating. The camp does not have very busy nurse's office, there is a lot of down time, so I wasn't terribly overwhelmed if she felt like staying with me for a while.
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    Well I know a lot of camps will barter tuition for work. My camp doesn't seem to do it to often, but it is done. Six is a tough age though that is not quite old enough for my camp I think our youngest age group is seven. My camp hires nannies for children not old enough to attend camp. So that my be an option as well.
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    I have been a camp nurse for 4 summers. My now 10 almost 11 year old, started when he was 6. he was younger, our camp started at 7. He "visited" me some nights in the nursing station. A few afternoons he would come and hang out when he was home sick. His cabin would all come, about 5 little boys after lunch to say they missed him. he would say bye Mom and leave. Now 4 years later, I have to stalk him at med times, we do morning meds in the dining hall just to see him. My 3 children love camp, and now stay for all 3 sessions which is 9 weeks. Some camps will do a work for tuition, but if I were you, I would find one that will pay and let the kids attend for free. they are out there and so worth it. welcome to camp nursing, and have fun
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    Hi, the one thing I'd like to point out is that camps really expect you to "stay away" from your kids while they are at camp. My camp didn't mind if you went over to them in the dining hall or vice versa once in a while for a quick hug and conversation, but they didn't want the other kids to see too much of that, lest they get homesick and/or jealous. At first I was like, "Yahoo! They aren't my responsibility for 6 weeks!" but I got very lonesome for them. It was hard to see them out on the field playing or swimming and not able to go over and talk to them. My husband got scheduled phone calls but I got nothing! When I was interviewed I was told I could see them every night and hang w them at free time but in reality that never happened, so around week 4 I spoke up and was able to get them a half-hour during playtime in my cabin a couple of times. I started to feel like a non-custodial parent.

    Another thing that drove me crazy was my 6-year-old's daughter's hair wasn't combed every day, it was very long and always an awful mess, she went around w ratsnests in her hair, and her braids were always stringy and falling out. I spoke to the girls side director a few times and very little was done, so that was hard for me to see that in passing bite my tongue all the time.
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    We have a local nurse who works in exchange for tuition. Her daughter will stop into the health center to see her mom twice a summer maybe. Otherwise she sends letters and schedules phone calls like all the other kids. I think they don't want the kids singled out, and frankly none of the other homesick kids have the benefit of their mother on camp. Learning to deal with and overcome those feeling is one of the emotional goals of attending camp. We had a nurse who bartered a job for his son, who was only 18. My camp wants counselors 20+. The whole thing fell apart because they were joined at the hip and the father was always fighting battles for his son. Causing all kinds of issues with other staff and management.
    A
    Further thoughts on Sue's hair combing. How would you handle it if your child was sick and couldn't handle you needing to do other duities in the health center or of you child got implantago? Food for thought before you get into the situation.
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    I mean, don't get me wrong, it's lots of fun and totally worth it. My kids had an absolute blast. And not only is the tuition free and in some cases (like mine) you get paid, there's also hidden money you save, ie: you don't have to pay childcare all summer while you work, you don't have to buy groceries, your utility bill back home is much lower, you don't have to fill your gas tank as much (no commute to work), less money is spent on entertainment (think of all the money you'd spend taking your kids everywhere over the summer!) ... so even though I was earning about half of what I'd make at home weekly, it was still a fantastic deal since I was saving so much in that regard. Definitely go for it. And if worst case scenario you or your kids don't like it, well, the weeks go by soon enough and you don't have to go back. (I'd never recommend leaving early, that leaves a lot of people in trouble.)
    valeriecathleen likes this.
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    Absolutely!! I will be attending my first camp this summer and my 3 children will be coming with me. My youngest, will be 7, a young 7, and he has expressed that he would like to stay with me. The camp seems very accomodating and said he could stay with me or in the cabin with the other kids. No pressure. As of now, they want an even trade for work & tuition but I'm trying for some type of compensation. Time will tell...

    Oh and I agree with the others, I think it's important to determine going into the situation if it's a suitable fit and you can handle 'working' with your child around. I have been fortunate to work in my children's school so they are used to seeing me and they know the importance of when I'm working. But as CoudySue & big al lpn said -- finding the right balance of loving your children but not hurting the other childrens feelings may pose a challenge. I'm a hugger -- I give every one a pat on the head or a side hug so they don't feel left out but there does need to be balance. Also, I know I will have a hard time seeing them in a distance and not interacting as much as I'd like. Now, when the school day is over, we all go home together and have dinner and the evening together but camp will be completely different -- mostly for me!

    Good luck -- let us know how you make out!!



    Quote from purplevega
    I am very interested in doing camp nursing this summer, somewhere in the Blue Ridge Mountains! What should I expect in asking to bring my children with me. Should I even try and do my first summer nursing at a camp with my children present? Also does anyone know any camps that will let an almost 6 year old come? Thanks

    Kim
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    Update- worked summer came for 8 weeks. My children came. The youngest was a day camper and slept with me at night. My older one slept in tha cabin. It was an amazing experience and am planning on next summer all ready. Thanks everyone for the help.
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    So Glad that this worked out for you!


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