Cleanliness at Camp – ACA Tips

I was lucky enough to spend two great summers at a sleep away camp, Camp Bernadette, i n New Hampshire. The summers were a blast, filled with nightly pranks, fun sports, funny camp songs and more. I left on the long bus ride back to NY with fond memories and millions of lessons learned – sharing a cabin, bathroom and mess hall with hundreds of others, taught me not only patience but offered a great reminder of the importance of cleanliness.

Recently the American Camp Association has released excellent “lessons learned” by campers this summer as our society continues to face a flu outbreak. Enjoy the fantastic tips:

  • You can never have enough soap – Campers are practicing advanced and proper hand washing at camp this summer. They are learning to wash their hands in between activities, and not just before they eat. They are learning important lessons in personal sanitation. The camp experience is providing lots of practice and developing a habit of healthy hand washing.
  • You can’t lick your elbow, but you can sneeze in it – Camp is teaching millions of children how to practice “safe sneezing.” By learning to sneeze into their sleeves, they are learning to keep germs away from their hands and out of the air. Many influenza-like illnesses are spread by contact with infected droplets. Keeping a sneeze to oneself teaches campers to avoid sharing unwanted germs with cabin-mates, classmates, and families.
  • Looking for germs in all the right places – Campers are learning to think outside of the box when it comes to sanitizing and staying as germ free as possible. Some of the creative lessons learned at camp include using personal salad tongs and serving utensils and using alcohol wipes to sanitize high-contact activity areas. By identifying these “touch zones,” campers are learning valuable lessons in how influenza-like illnesses spread and how they can be avoided.
  • Everyone else is doing it, why can’t I – Campers aren’t the only ones getting an education in precautionary practices – their parents are, too. When families see the difference these health and wellness habits make, they begin to implement them as well.




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