I'll answer here so others can get the info.
The first time I went I had NO peds experience, only adult ICU, had just been a nurse less than one yr I think. I think I was able to function pretty well, no problems that I couldn't handle. (well, I did have to learn how to remove fiberglass from the back of the the camper's legs after their canoe trip! But that was no problem, the campers told me what to do, Duck tape!)
I was very comfortable with the meds I gave, it was the same I was giving to my adult pts, Lasix, Lanoxin, beta-blockers, etc. your standard cardiac meds, just different doses.
I think I stayed one week that first summer. That was back in 1993. They used to have 2 two week sessions. The younger campers first, then the older campers the next 2 weeks. This summer they are going to have all the campers there at the same time (yikes!) but they will be geographically seperated. You do not have to stay the whole time, they will work with you and usually take what ever you can offer. More recently, I have only been able to go for 1-2 days at a time. I live about 40 mins from the campsite, so that is not a problem for me.
I did eventually get some PICU experience, and felt that the only way that helped me was that I understood the campers congenital heart defects better. In adults, it's pretty standard, MI, CHF, CAB. But the congenital defects are completely different, you REALLY need to understand your A&P of cardiac system to understand their problems. I think that is really the only "bonus" I had from my PICU experience. I didn't have to go and look up each kids problem, I already had a general understanding of the condition.
The first time I went to camp the kids mostly had ASD, VSD, PDA repairs,or valve replacements.Tetrology was probably the most serious congenital problem we saw. (oh, you will really get good with learning your murmurs, systolic, diastolic, etc....after assessing all the kids.)
However, the campers in the more recent years have more serious congenital heart defects, but most of them have had their corrective surgeries and are doing well. We see transposition, heart transplant, primary pulm. HTN, hypoplstic left ventricle...stuff they just weren't able to repair 10-15 yrs ago.
Originally, all of the counselors were former campers. I think they are campers until 15 or 16 yrs old, then they can come back to camp as a CIT (counselor in training), then they return as counselors. I think within the last couple of years they have hired a few counselors who do not have congenital heart defects, but I think they majority of the counselors are former campers.
I do not know of any of the camp nurses that have congenital heart defects. It is a great camp to go to, I enjoy it so much. I will probably just go out this summer for a few hrs at a time, to give the nurses who are staying there a break. I would love to stay longer, but my schedule just won't allow me to do more.
I recently talked to the staff coordinator, and he told me they had several more nurses than usual interested in attending camp this summer. Are you interested in attending this summer, because if you are, you need to contact him soon, because it will be here sooner than you know!
I would definitely recommend you do it, and I don't think your lack of peds experience will be a big factor. But you definitely have to love kids to do this job! You will get so attached to them, many of them go every summer, so you really get to know them over the years.
Let me know if you need any more info. I hope to meet you there one day!