Winter camp RN


  • Specializes in PACU, presurgical testing. Has 4 years experience.

Next month I'll be embarking on my first stint as a camp nurse for a winter weekend teen camp. I know the camp well but have never volunteered there.

I work PACU, which has its camp-relevant aspects but is nothing like being a peds nurse or school nurse. I bought a first aid book and am ordering Erceg's book, but I am wondering if I should try to find a quick Red Cross first aid class. I'm also used to being about 6 feet from a crash cart and an instant page from anesthesia staff.

So, what else can people suggest? This place has a tubing hill and I foresee twisted ankles and frostbite...

Alex Egan, LPN, EMT-B

6 Articles; 857 Posts

Specializes in Home Health (PDN), Camp Nursing. Has 9 years experience.

Hi, welcome to the camp nursing forum

Absolutely read the Basics of Camp Nursing, it's great. Another book is Camp Nursing Concentric Circles of Care, the author escapes me at the moment.

I know the first instinct is to jump into first aid and disaster thinking. The truth is that if your camp is well run with a culture of safety such events should be rare to non existent. Absolutely know your way around a splint, and familiarize yourself with the Ottawa ankle rules. Make sure you have a jump bag with basic first aid stuff and that the emergency plan, that should already be in place, is understood by you and everyone. Be familiar with emergency equipment and drugs you will be expected to give, you know watch the training video on the AED and EPI pen if you have them.

The big things that I would hope are already taken care of, or at least well thought out, are the basic nursing stuff. Do you have functional charts with parental permissions, and authorization to treat? Do you have a set of signed physician orders if you plan on providing care beyond the first aid level? Is there a system for receiving medications from home, processing them, and administering them that is as easy and fool proof as possible? Who is reviewing charts and calling parents to clarify questions before the campers arrive, those parents try and sneak some strange things on camp without telling you.

Other smaller things like your time off any staff you will be working with or supervising, and getting a health office set up and running are also on the radar. I assume that these are already taken care of by your camp director, but its always good to check.

feel free to shoot me an email if you want to talk I'm at

Good Luck



7,735 Posts

Specializes in retired LTC.

Enjoy reading your responses in this room, like the respondent who answers all the MDS questions. And the school nurses are DA BOMB!

Great informative readings for those of us who are pretty much isolated in our own little nook/cranny of practice.


59 Posts

Specializes in Public Health, School, Camp. Has 4 years experience.

I'd also recommend a wilderness first aid course rather than just a basic first aid course depending on your camps location and what level of training the counseling staff have.