How to make overnight camp safe?

Posted on: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 11:35pm
krc's picture
Joined: 01/16/2007 - 09:00

My dd's school has a 3 day camping trip planned for next month. They are not allowing ANY parent chaperones. I have struggled so much with whether or not to let her go but would like very much if we could make this a safe possibility for her.

My dd has never eaten food not provided by me (except for the occasion "safe" fast food chains) and I'm feeling pretty anxious about this event.

She is PA/TNA and test positive to soy, although at this point, we have been able to be less diligent with soy. She is also very asthmatic and triggered mostly by outdoor allergens.

Have others been through this and how was it handled?

We do not have a 504 and the new principal seems to regard me as an overprotective parent. She is who I will be working with throughout this process.

What questions should I be asking the camp and what accommodations should I ask for from the school?

My 10 yo is very responsible for her allergy but has never been put in a situation such as this. This could be a potential disaster if not properly planned and I'm so afraid I am going to forget a key issue!

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

10 yo dd- PA,TNA, tests pos to soy, CATS, many environmentals, Asthmatic
5 yo dd- NKA, avoiding nuts
3 yo dd- outgrown milk/soy, avoiding nuts

Posted on: Tue, 03/27/2007 - 12:31am
qdebbie1's picture
Joined: 02/10/2005 - 09:00

How about the school nurse or a nurse aid?
That would help me feel more comfortable.
I am glad I had something put into my 504 plan that states either the nurse or a parent will be available for all field trips.

Posted on: Tue, 03/27/2007 - 12:41am
Spoedig's picture
Joined: 09/17/2004 - 09:00

Who are the chaperones and how many per child? I suggest that a particular chaperone be assigned to your daughter - and then you speak to them, teach them about your child's allergies, how to use EPI, etc. My 10 year old son (same allergies as yours minus the soy) has not had this situation but his teachers for 3rd and 4th grade both had their own EPI's for food/plant allergies (which is/was a great comfort for my son). Perhaps an adult attending has first-hand knowledge.
Also, find out source(s) of food. I would try and find some food you could send to fill in/replace as needed.

Posted on: Tue, 03/27/2007 - 1:35am
Sandra Y's picture
Joined: 08/22/2000 - 09:00

I agree that one particular person should be specifically responsible for your daughter. That's an excellent suggestion by Spoedig. It is so easy when all the teachers are spread thin looking after too many students and handling too many logistics to forget the PA student. If one person has specific responsibility for your daughter, she is less likely to be overlooked or her health needs forgotten.
My son is going to a 2 night camp later this spring. I'm dreading it. I will probably be going as a chaperone, but it's still going to be a huge PITA, not to mention boring for me.

Posted on: Tue, 03/27/2007 - 1:53am
NicoleinNH's picture
Joined: 06/21/2003 - 09:00

[This message has been edited by NicoleinNH (edited June 09, 2007).]

Posted on: Tue, 03/27/2007 - 2:26am
krc's picture
Joined: 01/16/2007 - 09:00

Thank you for your responses so far--I'm running out the door so I only have a second but I totally agree that she needs to have a chaperone responsible for her at all times. From what I understand so far, there will be two teachers full time, one part time, a parent of one of the students that is supposedly an RN (but not the school nurse) and highschool students. That's it for @60 kids. I do not feel comfortable with a high school student. NO WAY!!
I have talked to the principal in the past and told her the only way I think this could be a possibility for dd is if I could be a chaperone. She is firmly against this. Says it is ridiculous and unnecessary for any parents to attend and that this trip is to help foster independence in our children.
As I said earlier, she seems to be in the mindset that I am an overprotective parent.
I have tried to contact her recently concerning the trip without a response but haven't pressed the issue too hard yet because I want to be ready with a list of appropriate questions.
My dh says it's too risky but I would like to at least try to work with the school and camp and see if we can come up with appropriate accommodations. My dd would have a lot of fun and I would love if she could be included. This would be so much easier if they would just allow me to be a chaperone! It really upsets me that I can't. Oh, and the principal also stated that she can't allow one parent to come because then all the parents would want to. I can guarantee that wouldn't be true...

Posted on: Tue, 03/27/2007 - 4:12am
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Here is the plan we used last year for a school camp:
504 Plan for Mariah X
X Middle School 6th Grade Camp
Camp M, X, Missouri
September 28

Posted on: Tue, 03/27/2007 - 1:35pm
krc's picture
Joined: 01/16/2007 - 09:00

Gail- Thank you so so much! Your plan is very thorough and will be very helpful.
I noticed you mentioned her asthma action plan for contact reactions.
Were you concerned that an allergic reaction would be confused with her asthma or vice versa?
Dd is on a variety of maintenence meds and can often deteriorate quickly when exposed to triggers. I'm concerned that if she is having a lot of fun, she will not stop and tell someone that she is feeling bad. This has happened in the past and by the time we noticed, she could barely move her peakflow.
There is a meeting on Thursday with all the parents detailing the trip a bit more. I will schedule a time to speak to her teachers and principal after that.
I really wish they would budge on allowing me to chaperone. I want to try to make this safe for her but I am so worried.
10 yo dd- PA,TNA, tests pos to soy, CATS, many environmentals, Asthmatic
5 yo dd- NKA, avoiding nuts
3 yo dd- outgrown milk/soy, avoiding nuts

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