Understanding How Medications are Given at Camp:
Giving medications at home is entirely different than giving medications at camp. At home, parents need a prescription from the doctor to obtain and administer a pharmaceutical medication to their child but do not need a prescription to purchase and administer a vitamin, an over the counter medication, a homeopathic remedy or a supplement. So for example, a parent at home will need a prescription to give their child something like Ritalin or Prozac, but not need a prescription to obtain and administer something like Vitamin D, Claritin, edlerberry syrup, or Tylenol.
However, camp has different rules than home. New York State Law heavily regulates how overnight camps administer anything to campers. Specifically, New York State law mandates that overnight camps have a signed doctor’s prescription to administer anything (really, anything!) to your child – a pharmaceutical medication, supplement, vitamin, over-the-counter medication, or homeopathic remedy. Please use the Medications Directions Page to learn which medical forms are necessary for your child to attend camp. This form - and all the others - will be released in the next few days.
We have over 450 campers in a given summer at Eden Village, and the safest way to ensure that your child receives the correct item prescribed by your doctor is for you to use our specialized pharmacy that specially packages medications so that each individual pill is labeled with your child’s name, date of birth, and the date and time the medication is to be administered. This virtually eliminates the possibility of human error in giving children their medications.
The forms contained in your online form portal have specific instructions on how to use our new pharmacy, called McCarthy’s. It is extremely important that you follow McCarthy’s instructions exactly and meet all of their deadlines in order to avoid any late fees and to ensure the safest administration possible to your child.
How to Determine if You Need to Use McCarthy’s:
If your child takes a pharmaceutical medication, a vitamin, a supplement, a homeopathic treatment, or an over-the- counter medication on a regular basis, you need to use McCarthy’s. Taking something “on a regular basis” could mean that your child takes something daily, multiple times a day, or frequently – like a few times a week. In addition to using McCarthy’s for these items, you will also need to enter the identical information into your Health History Form online. If the information you enter on the Health History Form does not exactly match the information you submit to McCarthy’s, we will be delayed in obtaining and administering your child’s medications.
If your child doesn’t take anything regularly but on occasion gets something acute, like a headache for which you use Tylenol, for example, you do not need to use McCarthy’s. Situations like that are different and will be explained below.
What if I Don’t Want to Use McCarthy’s:
Anyone who falls under the guidelines of needing to use McCarthy’s but doesn’t, and arrives at camp with pharmaceutical prescriptions, vitamins, supplements, homeopathic treatments, or over-the-counter medications, will be charged a $175 per medication drop off fee. Please understand how difficult and dangerous it is for our nurses to receive unexpected medications on drop-off day. An enormous amount of vetting, cross-referencing and safety-checking is required before we can administer anything, and unexpected medications inhibit our ability to maintain these strict safety standards.
If your child takes a controlled substance:
New York State law does not permit controlled substances to be transported by mail or filled by camp pharmacies in advance of a camp session.
If your child takes a controlled substance (like Ritalin, Vyvanse or Methylphenidate, for example) you must bring this medication with you on opening day.
You must also fill out the appropriate medical forms indicating you will be bringing this medication with you and you give us permission to administer it.
Make sure you bring enough for the entire session.
If your child will run out of their controlled substance at camp, please make sure you submit a refill to McCarthy’s for the prescription. Pharmacies like McCarthy's are not permitted by state law to fill the first summer camp prescription for a controlled substance because it would require something called an insurance override, which essentially means the prescription is being filled twice - which is illegal for controlled substances. However, pharmacies like McCarthy's can refill a prescription for a controlled substance because it is a "on-time" fulfillment of the prescription, which is legal.
Even a parent who brings a controlled substance on opening day must also still use McCarthy’s for all other pharmaceutical medications, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, homeopathic treatments, or supplements.
Special Instructions for Campers who Carry EpiPens or Inhalers:
If your child has permission to self-administer and self-carry an EpiPen and/or inhaler, these items must also be brought on opening day after the correct paperwork has been filled out.
However, you must also still use McCarthy’s for all other pharmaceutical medications, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, homeopathic treatments, or supplements.
What if my Child Needs an Over-the-Counter Medication or Treatment for Something Unexpected?
Things happen, and kids get sick or injured occasionally. If your child is at camp and develops something acute that requires attention (like Tylenol, an antibiotic, Arnica gel, Miralax, for example), our nurses will obtain and administer these items through our camp doctor with your permission. You do not need to participate with McCarthy’s in order for your child to get some thing at camp that they may need to treat something acute that happens at camp.
However, New York State law requires that you give us permission to administer such items, and you must fill out the Permission to Administer Over-the-Counter Medications form in your CampInTouch account indicating which items you approve of and which items you don’t. This form must also be signed by your child’s pediatrician. If this isn’t done correctly, we will not be able to administer anything to your child should they need it.
We hope this letter has explained some of your most common questions about medications at camp. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Camp Registrar Amanda Playford to discuss anything further.
You will find the referenced forms in your on-line CampInTouch portal.
We look forward to a happy, healthy and magical summer together!