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Camper Health & Wilderness First Aid

A healthy camper upon arrival is expected. Girls must arrive at camp physically and mentally healthy with the ability to participate in all camp activities and without communicable illness or disease. We are sleeping and eating in close proximity to each other at all times and must start with (and maintain) a healthy environment for the group. If a camper arrives sick, it can transfer to another camper, and could create a very unfortunate situation in which both campers become ill and may need to return home early from camp. Upon registering a camper, parents agree to contact Alpengirl if any medical or health condition changes before the start of the camp session which might affect her ability to join us or fully participate at camp. 

There are all sorts of unfortunate and unexpected medical and health situations that might arise and lead to a camper not being able to start or complete camp with us. Because of this and because program payments are NOT refundable after April 1, we highly recommend that all families review their own personal insurance to check and understand coverages and consider purchasing a travel protection plan that includes trip cancellation coverage. The A+ Program Protection - U.S. Residents plan (ALPE11) or the Abroad Travel Insurance - Non-U.S. Residents plan includes coverage for program cancellation, program interruption, medical expenses, emergency evacuation and more. 

Sick or Injured at Camp

If you were to develop an illness or get injured at camp, your Alpenguides would need to be made aware of it right away in order to take actions to help you and the group. We can’t read your mind, we need your help in determining the solution for your discomfort and the overall health and safety of the group. We expect you to be pro-active with stating your needs at camp. This includes telling us when you are feeling sick, tired, angry, sad, hungry, constipated, or are having menstrual cramps.

If you tell your Alpenguide that you have a headache, she will probably ask you how much water you’ve had, how much food and sleep you’ve had and if anything in particular is bothering you at camp and she’ll probably ask you to drink water and she may be able to give you ibuprofen. Then, she’ll see if you need rest, food or shade or if you’re OK to continue with the group and she’ll check back in with you a little while later to see how you’re feeling. If you still have a headache when she checks back in with you, she will ask more questions and become more concerned.

If your injury or illness prevents you from participating in activities as planned, it is a big concern to us. Some parts of the scheduled camp itinerary can be opted out of in order for you to get back to feeling better. For example, if you aren’t feeling well, the camp staff could ask you to rest in the shade while camp dinner is being prepared by the girls in cook group. But, other activities are not so easy to opt out of without causing a big itinerary disturbance. For example, if you can’t walk while carrying weight, backpacking isn’t an option for you and you’ll need to see a doctor right away in a nearby town or back at home.

If your illness, chief complaint, pain, or discomfort increases over time or regularly prevents you from participating, we will have a plan in place with your parents to take you to a hospital or return you home for more care than we are able to offer during camp. We will try to accommodate you in every way we can however, if your injury or illness is extended or reoccurring and exhausts the staff’s responsibility to care for the rest of the group, we will have no choice but to return you home for the care you need.

Outdoor Medicine & Wilderness First Aid Certifications

Your Alpenguides carry a fully stocked first aid kit and are certified to provide you with wilderness first aid care but are not qualified to make medical diagnoses and must follow wilderness medical protocol as written by licensed medical doctors and approved for Alpengirls use. Alpenguides will assess your illness or injury and will determine if you need to see a doctor in order to continue participating in camp. If it is determined that you need to see a doctor for care because the illness or injury is beyond the camp staff’s level of training or ability to provide necessary care, Alpenguides will consult with your parents and either take you to a nearby clinic for examination by a doctor or return you home for parental and medical care. If you see a medical doctor while at camp, the doctor, your parents and Alpengirl must be in agreement that you are able to continue at camp without causing harm to yourself, the camp itinerary, and other campers.

What is Wilderness First Aid?

Wilderness first aid certification courses are specifically designed for people who care for patients that are remote - over an hours time away from an ambulance or hospital. Alpengirl is considered remote much of the time.

Each Alpengirl camp session has at least two Alpenguides that are both CPR and wilderness medicine certified. Alpengirl’s guides are required to have a minimum certification of Wilderness First Aid (WFA) or Wilderness First Responder (WFR) and some guides may even have Wilderness EMT certifications.