Our section of the forest is an area with a high risk of ticks and tick-borne infections. Mitigating the risk of ticks, Lyme Disease and other tick-borne co-infections is something we handle with the utmost seriousness. Please read this whole letter carefully so you can effectively partner with us to keep your camper safe at camp this summer

What You Can Do To Prepare

  • Pre-treat all clothing, including socks,shoes and sandals, with a tick-repellent insect spray made for clothing. You have to let it dry overnight, so do this prior to packing.
  • The most effective thing your camper can do to prevent ticks is wear closed-toed shoes and socks.. Even if your camper is wearing shorts, please encourage them to primarily wear closed-toed shoes and socks every day, rather than sandals.
  • Pack your camper with DEET bug spray - not natural bug spray, which is ineffective against ticks When it comes to ticks, please go with the most effective product. Tell them to spray themselves every morning.
  • Make sure your camper understands not to brush against tall grasses or bushes, and to follow our protocol if they go on our lake trail (socks tucked into pants, closed-toed shoes, bug spray, extra tick check).
  • Show your child a picture or video of what a tick looks like. Teach your camper how to do a tick check, and the importance of doing it every day. Campers will be required to do a tick check at shower time every day.

Our Procedure When We Find an Attached Tick on a Camper

  • All ticks are removed only by our medical staff.
  • Please have a conversation with your pediatrician before camp to discuss how you would like to proceed if your child has an attached tick. There are many schools of thought on how to treat attached ticks that may carry Lyme Disease. You can read the CDC policy here, and the American Academy of Pediatrics policy here
  • If an attached tick is found on your child, the Health Center will contact you to discuss options regarding how to proceed. Some parents choose “watchful waiting” to see if Lyme Disease symptoms develop, and some parents choose to administer a Lyme prophylactic. The prophylactic is a single dose of 200 mg of doxycycline for adults or 4.4 mg/kg for children of any age weighing less than 45 kg. 
  • III. Preventive Measures Camp Takes
  • We use a pest control partner to treat our campus and prevent ticks in the central areas of camp.
  • Our main Lake Trail is a three-foot-wide crushed-stone path that has been cleared and is regularly maintained.
  • To enter the forest, campers must wear long pants tucked into socks, closed-toed shoes, a long-sleeved shirt tucked into their pants, and a hat. They are instructed to remain within the log “bumpers” along the sides of the trail.
  • Counselors ensure that campers do daily tick checks during shower time. Every other day, a counselor will check your child’s non-private areas; on the alternate days, campers check each other.

What You Need To Know About Lyme and Co-Infections

Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection that is transmitted by the bite of an infected black-legged tick, commonly known as a deer tick. The bite usually goes unnoticed because it doesn’t hurt. The best way to avoid Lyme Disease is to avoid contact with ticks. This means avoiding wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter, and if you are in the forest, walking in the center of trails. Lyme-infected ticks are most common in the northeastern U.S, the upper midwestern U.S., and along the Pacific coast. If someone has spent time outside in an area where ticks are common, they should do a thorough check of their body. A mirror and/or a buddy are helpful for viewing all of the body, including in and around the ears, belly button, scalp, armpits, and groin.

Please keep a vigilant eye on your children once they return home from camp. Symptoms can appear within 3 to 30 days of a tick bite. Within a month of a bite, bullseye-shaped or other rashes appear in about 25% of Lyme cases. Other symptoms include fever, chills, aches and pains, headaches, fatigue, muscle aches, joint pain, a racing heart, irritability, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, and swollen tonsils and adenoids. Left untreated or inadequately treated, Lyme can progress over months or years to joint pain, arthritis, and cardiac, neurological, cognitive and psychiatric disorders.

There is a form in your CampInTouch that you can use to inform us if your child has permission to enter the woods this summer. Regardless of whether you authorize us to take your child into the woods, rest assured that If we find an embedded tick on your child, we will notify you as soon as possible and follow your wishes regarding follow-up treatment.