Written by Kara Lampe, PA-C
Hello from Camp Kalsman! I can’t believe how fast this summer is flying by! It feels like just yesterday I was boarding a plane in Denver (with my two pups) heading NW to my new summer “home”. An adventure full of many firsts awaited me… my first time in WA, my first “real” job after graduating from Physician Assistant school, my first time at Kalsman, the first summer in the new Mirpa’ah, the list goes on and on. It would be a lie if I told you that my stomach wasn’t churning, but I knew I was in for an incredible summer. As I said, it was to be my first summer at Kalsman, but I am far from new to the Jewish Summer Camp world. I grew up in Houston, TX and spent many summers at URJ Greene Family Camp. David Berkman and I go way back. (I won’t give any dates, but let’s just say he was my counselor when I was six!) Just as any camper should, I have trust in my counselor, so when Berkman asked me to join his staff team for the summer I knew it was an opportunity I should not pass up! When I arrived at camp I was greeted by numerous smiling faces, given the grand tour of the gorgeous camp grounds as well as the new state of the art Health Center and eagerly prepared for the arrival of the campers.
Here at Camp Kalsman health and safety are the highest priority. We do everything in our power to keep everyone at camp safe and healthy all summer long! We are so very fortunate to have a hearty group of campers that make this goal extremely easy to achieve.
Here is a list of the TOP 5 Frequent Complaints Heard in the Mirpa’ah in 2013
5. “I got a splinter as I won the gaga tournament against my entire unit” or “I got this splinter as I reached the top of the tower for the first time. I am so proud of myself!”
No one wants a tree growing in their finger! That’s what tweezers are for!
4. “On the campout last night we made s’mores, sang songs, told stories, and oh, I have an itchy bug bite. Do you have any cream I can put on it?” or “I was hiking and would love to show you the incredible pictures I took from the top of the mountain! Oh, by the way, I was stung by a wasp and my counselor wanted me to ask you if I needed to do anything for it?”
Nothing a little Benedryl cream can’t cure!
3. “My eyes are kinda itchy and I am a little sneezy. I don’t want to miss out on any activities. Is there anything I can take to help curb these annoying allergies caused by the beautiful nature that surrounds me?”
Zyrtec, Claritin and Kleenex are our friends here at camp!
2. “I had such a fabulous day! I shot a bulls eye at archery, swam at the pool, rode a mountain bike across camp, canoed for the first time and got to tye-dye my own shirt! Now I am feeling a little tired and my tummy hurts.”
You can never drink enough water here at camp! A little Gatorade and you will be back to new in no time!
1. “I love to lead my bunk cheer and I sang so loud last night at Shabbat Shira. My throat kinda hurts this morning and my voice sounds silly.”
Chloraseptic spray or a throat lozenge can help, but really what your voice needs is a little rest. I know it is hard not to stay up late talking to all your new friends, but tonight try to get some rest and you should be good as new in the morning!
Now a little advice for all the campers who are still looking forward to joining us at camp this summer! Here is a list of the Top 5 Ways You Can Stay Healthy at Camp.
5. Eat Well- Fuel your body with what it needs to make it through the busy days – at camp we promote well balanced meals which include lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk, and healthy proteins like lean meats and beans.
4. Sleep!- Getting enough sleep is one of the most important things you can do for yourself at camp! Not only will it put you in the right mindset to eat healthier and stay active, it will help your mood and keep you alert and able to participate.
3. Stay Hydrated- Staying hydrated is one of the most important things that you can do for your health while at summer camp. If you spend large amounts of your time doing outdoor activities, you will find that you can get dehydrated easily. Carry a water bottle with you and drink from it regularly to avoid dehydration.
2. Wear Sunscreen & Insect Repellent- At camp you will be spending a good amount of time outdoors. Wear sunscreen of at least 30 SPF and get a good bug spray (paying special attention to the crazy camp mosquitos that LOVE sweet kids). Your skin will thank us later!
1. Wash your hands! You’ve probably been told this hundreds of times by your parents, but hand washing is an effective way of reducing the risk of illness. At camp, many people are going to be touching the same things so it is best if you wash your hands regularly or use an antibacterial gel. There are hand sanitizer dispensers all over camp and not only does it kill 99.9% of germs it also leaves the hands feeling soft and refreshed!
Camp is a life-changing experience for the campers who attend, but I have to say it is just as powerful and rejuvenating for all the staff who care for them. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful kids with us. Their creativity, compassion, love of Judaism and fun spirits inspire us all! We look forward to sharing more wonderful camp experiences with the Kalsman campers and hope to continue to keep everyone safe and healthy for the rest of the summer!