Family * Travel * Food

Summer Camp Essentials: Outdoor Health & Safety Checklist

Many kids are getting ready to head to camp this summer and enjoy the great outdoors – but coming down with a sunburn or a painful bug bite can easily put a damper on their day, and even cause long term illness. 

MedStar Health shares the checklist below to help parents pack the essentials for any outdoor adventure: 

Bug Spray 

Your kids will most likely explore spaces occupied by creatures such as ants, spiders, flies, bees, mosquitoes and ticks, which can cause harmful rashes, or serious illness (such as Lyme disease). Make sure they apply bug spray on their exposed skin and clothes before venturing outdoors. Children should also have long pants and long sleeved, lightweight clothing options to wear on hikes to help decrease the risk of insect bites. It is also important to teach your children how to check for ticks each night.

Calamine Lotion

Bug bites are very common during the summer months.  When bites occur despite use of bug spray, calamine lotion can be applied to ease itchiness and irritation.  Be sure your child knows to notify staff if there are any signs of infection, such as oozing, pain, increasing redness of the  area affected, so they can be seen and treated for a possible infection. 


A sunburn can creep up on you, especially during a hike! Medical experts recommend the use of sunscreen lotion with an SPF of 30 or higher for any extended outdoor activity. It’s also important to reapply sunscreen every two hours - more frequently if you’ve been sweating or swimming. 


Sun exposure damages the eyes as well as the skin. The best way to protect your eyes is to wear sunglasses that provide 99-100% UVA and UVB protection. This will greatly reduce sun exposure that can lead to cataracts and other forms of eye damage.

Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen 

Sunburn can be painful and uncomfortable so acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used to help alleviate the pain or discomfort.  Sun poisoning can cause a range of symptoms including headache, fever, nausea and fatigue so young campers should know to reach out to an adult if they have these symptoms along with a significant sunburn, as they might need additional treatment. 

First Aid Kit

Not only will a great first aid kit help you with injuries that commonly occur while out camping, but it can keep you prepared for survival situations that might arise while you are on your trip.

Refillable water bottle

Staying hydrated is extremely important, especially with increased outdoor activities over the summer.  Be sure your child knows to drink at least 3 bottles per day.  Help them get into the fun of having it with them all day by decorating it themselves with stickers and such.


SCE&G’s “The Peanut Gang” Celebrates 25 Years of Service at Camp Happy Days’ Annual Summer Camp

Earlier this month, “The Peanut Gang”, a group of South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) employees and retirees celebrated 25 years at Camp Happy Days’ annual summer camp in Summerton, South Carolina by serving over 275 children their signature peanuts.

From July 2 – July 8, South Carolina children battling cancer and their siblings attended Camp Happy Days’ summer camp at Camp Bob Cooper. The entire week was filled with new and exciting adventures that allowed campers to escape the trials of battling cancer for a week and simply be a kid.

On Wednesday, July 5, campers and counselors got a special visit from SCE&G’s very own "The Peanut Gang." The group served five bushels of boiled peanuts and cold soft drinks to more than 275 children.

“Camp wouldn’t be the same without a visit from The Peanut Gang," explains Cindy Johnson, Director of Camp Happy Days. "They add something a little extra special for the kids during the week, and we couldn't be more grateful for their continued support." The group has also raised over $31,000 for Camp Happy Days this year.

The group of SCE&G employees and retirees first brought their peanuts to Camp Happy Days’ summer camp in 1994. “Seeing how much good camp does for these kids and the smiles on their faces is what keeps us coming back,” explains Bill Ellis, member of The Peanut Gang. “They have an absolute blast, and it makes us all feel good to be able to do something for these kids and Camp Happy Days.”

For more information about Camp Happy Days, please visit or find them on Facebook at
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Here are some tips from Stacy DeBroff: Sleep-away summer camp represents an epic moment for both kids and parents – a time for kids to take a big step toward independence and a time for parents to begin letting go.
Amidst the frenzy of planning for this childhood milestone, Moms need to turn their attention to one important area to ensure that these best-laid plans don’t spiral into disaster: bugs! These little pests represent a natural part of summer camp but left unchecked, bugs – including mosquitoes, bees, ticks, horseflies, chiggers, ants, lice, and bedbugs – can render even the most outdoorsy kid into one who crosses summer camp off his list for good.

Here are Stacy’s mom-friendly tips to avoid the summertime swarm:

•Include STOP BUGGING ME!™ – a proven safe, green product that kills bedbugs on contact – in your child’s camp trunk and show them before they leave home how to spray their camp mattress when they arrive.

•Make sure kids bring an adequate supply of insect repellent to camp and know to use it each morning before activities and re-apply after swimming.

•Send kids to camp with an assortment of lightweight long-sleeve tops and pants so they can better protect against bug bites while hiking and backpacking, yet remain cool during the summer heat.

•Find out if counselors or the camp nurse regularly check kids for ticks and teach older kids how to check their own scalp and body for possible tick infestations.

•To lessen the likelihood of lice, encourage kids to adopt a shorter hairstyle before camp, or pull hair back with a ponytail or braid. Advise kids to never share hats, combs, brushes, swim caps, or helmets while at camp.

•Consider sending kids to camp with their own bike or riding helmet. Likewise, make sure they know to cover heads with a bandana or camp-provided disposable hair cover before using camp helmets.

•Consider sending kids with zippered mattress covers and bedding from home to further combat bedbugs.

•Keep camp trunks off the bed, where bedbugs lurk – instead encourage kids to place them on the floor or on surfaces provided.

Background on Stacy DeBroff
: Stacy DeBroff is founder of Mom Central a best-selling author, and renowned parenting expert. In addition to launching her new celebrity parenting blog, The DeBroff DeBrief, Stacy also contributed as lead parenting expert on two films, the feature-length Her Best Move and the star-studded animated DVD Choose Your Own Adventure: The Abominable Snowman.

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