Health and Medicine
From thorough medication management to healing bumps and cuts, we’ve got a first-class staff that will ensure your camper is well looked after.
First Aid and On-Site Nurse
As part of our ACA Accreditation, during the summer, we have a Registered Nurse on site 24/7 to administer advanced first aid, distribute medications, and care for campers that find themselves feeling under the weather. Our camp physician sets our treatment procedures, works with our nurses and is on call to assist will emergencies if needed. All of our counseling staff are certified in first aid as well. We have AEDs strategically located around camp, along with trained staff to provide care in case of an emergency.
The hospital nearest to camp (The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler) is about 20 minutes from us and routinely handles emergencies. Our non emergency visits are generally handled at out camp physician's office in Tyler: Tyler Complete Care (https://www.visitcompletecare.com/er-locations/tyler/)
During a summer session, we may have upwards of 400 people at a given time between our campers and staff. During check-in, we complete a medical screening for your camper which asks about symptoms of injury or illness, fever, cough, health history clarifications, signs of lice in the past month, and more. We want to do our best to ensure that our campers are healthy coming into camp, and we thank you for your help!
At camp, medications (both over the counter and prescription) are kept locked in one our health centers during the week. Rescue inhalers and EpiPens are kept with the counselors in a fanny pack.
Parents check in the campers’ medications to our Health Center Coordinators at check in, and unused medications are returned at check out. All medications need to be in prescription bottles/boxes with the label showing the campers name and dosage. By state protocol, we can only distribute the dosage (or less if requested) prescribed on the official currently dated prescription packaging from the pharmacy.
We strongly encourage at the advice of our camp physician and nurses and in consultation with other camps, to leave supplements, oils and vitamins at home for the week. Campers can take the vitamins on Sunday before they arrive and Saturday after returning home. Other camps have found it has made the “rush” for meds incredibly more manageable. If there are extenuating circumstances we’d be happy to work with your situation.
Our Health Center keeps a stock of the following over the counter medications
Acetaminophen chew tabs
Epinephrine (emergency only, if your camper has one, please bring it)
Hydrocortisone Cream 0.5%
We are able to accommodate some food allergies. Please contact our camp administrator if you have specific questions. They can be reached at 903.845.5834.
If your camper does have an illness at camp we call home in certain situations. In the interest of care for your camper we set a baseline for when we call home, so we are not bothering parents with unnecessary worry and our time can be committed to the care for the campers and staff at camp.
Reasons a call will be made:
A medical emergency as determined by the Camp Medical Technician or a Director
When specifically directed to do so via written request from a parent
A camper has a chronic medical issue and is presenting complications
When a campers recovery deviates from the expected course of recovery
The campers temperature is 100.4 or above after air conditioning for one hour
The camper has head lice
The camper has been vomiting more than once after being in air conditioning for one hour or continues to vomit
Before and after a camper has been transported off camp for medical treatment
If the camper has a visible clearly noticeable, bruise, burn or abrasion
At recommendation of the Camp Medical Technician
Prior to enrollment, if your first time camper has any special needs (emotional, physical, social or psychological), we invite you to call the Executive Director of Ministry. Through some conversation, we can evaluate together if our programming is a good fit for your child.
Precautions and Camp Safety
The top priority of our staff is to keep your child safe. We train our summer counselors thoroughly to minimize risk while your child steps out of their comfort zone and has a great time. We also keep an eye out for any other external factors that can mar an experience at camp, and we, with your help, minimize those as best as we can.
The Storm Plan
Our camp directors utilize the technology on Weather.com to track thunderstorms each day, and most especially when we hear thunder.
If we hear thunder and technology is unavailable or information exchange is unclear, we move to our storm plan and go inside.
When thunder is heard and the storm is within 10 miles (White Oak to Hawkins and Mineola to HWY 20) we bring in all specialized programming (ropes, climbing wall, target sports and trailblazers) and clear the pool and lake. We continue to monitor the storm while allowing groups outside the main camp area. If we see lightning at this point we move to storm plan and go inside. If the tracked storm is within 5 miles, all go indoors and we are on storm plan.
Lightning plan is put into place if there are 6 or fewer seconds between flash and clap of thunder. All Pines staff and guests are to seek immediate shelter and remain in shelter until given the all clear, unless other emergency procedures are mandated.
If there is a tornado warning, staff is alerted and instructed to move to designated and predetermined safe areas until the weather has subsided. This procedure was extensively outlined in our staff training.
When 15 minutes have passed after the last visible lightning flash, the all clear is given and campers resume their activities.
All staff at The Pines Catholic Camp completes the Safe Environment training from either the Diocese of Dallas or the Diocese of Tyler. We uphold the standards of screening, supervision, training and professionalism involved in the care of the campers. We complete background checks on all employees. All visitors to camp are escorted by a member of our team at all times, including parents.
Part of our introduction to camp on arrival day is a safety meeting or “Rules and Regulations,” where a member of our leadership staff goes over the necessary safety guidelines for camp, storm shelters, emergency procedures, camp rules and introduction all staff.
Campers go deeper into safety in their “Cabin Contract,” as they make a list of rules for their community for the week on their first night. These include emotional safety topics including bullying, respect, homesickness, see something/say something, and counselor responsibilities. This gives our campers a personal outlet and resource if they are feeling unsafe physically, emotionally, or even socially.
The Pines is licensed as a youth camp by the State of Texas. This includes an annual review and inspection by a safety officer and proper documentation. Our ACA accreditation has annually reviewed and inspected by the American Camping Association. The review is thorough and our stellar, consistent record in professional camping is a success of which we are very proud.
Bugs and Nature
While our cabins and lodging are sealed, campers will be spending a significant amount of time outside. We recommend packing bug spray, but don't be alarmed to see a bite or two on your camper when you pick them up --- it's simply part of spending so much time outdoors!
Unfortunately, the nature of being at camp with so many other young people increases the possibility of getting head lice. We recommend inspecting your campers before they arrive at camp. If we discover that your camper has lice, families have the option of going off-site or home to treat professionally. At times we do have a professional lice expert is available. If they are at camp they may treat the camper onsite for an additional fee. Due to scheduling, this onsite option is not guaranteed.
Bed bugs are pests that every business in the hospitality industry takes precautions to mitigate. Per our prevention plan, we monitor our cabins daily, beds and campers carefully, and train staff to be attentive to their campers. Even with the most vigilant eyes we cannot completely guarantee that we are immune to campers unknowingly bringing them onto camp. If we have any suspected cases, we let families know of the possibility and treat the cabins, bunks and personal items according to our professionally guided protocol.
It is recommended as a precautionary measure that you hot-water wash, with a high heat dry and carefully inspect all of your child’s bedding, luggage and clothing that were brought home from camp. Another excellent prevention method is to place all your child’s bedding & clothing into a black plastic garbage bag, then put it out in the hot sun for a day as heat can kill this pest. Examine your child for any bites that have a white-appearance with a red dot. Also watch for complaints of intense itching. If any of these symptoms occur, there is no need for alarm, but you may want to contact your family physician. For more information about the symptoms, abatement measures, and prevention techniques regarding bed bugs, the American Camp Association has an excellent resource at http://www.acacamps.org/knowledge/health/diseases/bedbugs.