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Health & Safety

Health & Safety

Your camper’s health and safety is our top priority. As part of that goal we bring the best possible health care to campers and staff at Camp Walden.

Our on-site health centre, known as MASH, is operated by our camp doctor and a team of professional nurses. The MASH Staff are fully informed about health issues prior to the summer and they communicate with parents during the camp session should there be a need. Camp Walden has 911 services available and two local hospitals within a 30-minute drive.

Camper Tracking

Since 1987, Walden has used its Camper Tracking process to ensure that every camper is adjusting to camp and participating in activities to their fullest potential. This process allows campers to have the support they need for a successful Walden experience.

Watch this video to learn about and meet some of Walden’s Camper Trackers

Weekly meetings are held between our Trackers, the unit head, and a counsellor from every cabin. The purpose of these meetings is to evaluate campers’ behaviour and relationships, as well as monitoring homesickness and their comfort level. The Camper Trackers work closely with the camp’s Health Centre to ensure that a full picture of your camper’s well being is being recorded and responded to when necessary.

Sun Safety

No one wants a sunburn to spoil even a day of camp. Children may not be aware that cloudy days can still cause sun damage to skin. Prepare your child for a safe summer by encouraging them to follow these simple rules:

  • Wear protective clothing, in particular light coloured, loose fitting clothing, preferably with sleeves
  • Always wear sunscreen SPF 30 or higher—waterproof sunscreens are expected to last the entire day.
    Always wear sunscreen SPF 30 or higher—waterproof sunscreens are expected to last the entire day.
  • On extremely sunny days stay in the shade as much as possible
  • Pack and wear a hat
  • Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water
  • Avoid sunbathing

Oral Care at Camp

There is no dentist or orthodontist on staff at camp or in nearby towns. We do recognize that campers’ teeth or braces require attention from time to time, and we are prepared to address these situations as they arise.

Camp Walden has a long-standing relationship with Dr. Rafik Salama’s office in Bancroft. Dr. Salama is a general practice dentist, and is well equipped to deal with various dental or basic orthodontic issues.

Should your child require any attention to their teeth (or mouth), you will receive a phone call from MASH about the most appropriate course of action. Dr. Salama will invoice families directly after the appointment.

Dr. Rafik Salama
Dr. Rafik Salama at Northern Pines Dental

Campers taking daily medication

Sending medication to camp

Medications must be accompanied by the form found here. Please ensure that you have communicated in writing any specific directions.

Day 1 Toronto families: Please bring camper medications with baggage on BAGGAGE DAY: Wednesday June 26th.

Everyone else: Camper medication will ride with campers on the bus on their first day of camp. A Walden staff member will be present to collect these medications.

A Walden staff member will be present to collect your medications. You must accompany the meds with the form found here. Please ensure that you have communicated in writing any specific directions, and give this information to a staff member at the buses along with the medication.

We strongly suggest that campers who take lunchtime medication use this early drop-off system as we arrive right at lunchtime on the first day of camp.

All medications of any type must be clearly labelled with

  • Your child’s name
  • The physician’s name
  • The name of the medication
  • The required dosage

Packaging medications for transport

Your child’s oral medications that are in pill form must be packaged in “Blister packs” (or “bubble packs”) by your local pharmacy in advance of their arrival to camp. Most pharmacies will provide this service upon request.

If you, for whatever reason, cannot blister pack, please email to discuss.

Why do this?

This ensures that the medications are delivered as efficiently as possible and allows us to track and double check that your child has received his/her medication.

Our food and your child’s health

We aim to offer a model for a healthy, balanced diet with alternatives and choices available. The kitchen staff work hard to ensure that our meals and snacks are nutritionally balanced, as well as delicious and satisfying. We understand that some campers have special dietary restrictions or requirements due to medical issues. Please contact us at the Walden office so that we can work together towards meeting your camper’s needs.

We are a nut-aware camp

Walden has always attempted to order foods that are “peanut aware.” After research and consultation–speaking with campers, families, staff, other camp directors and our Camp Association–we believe our community benefits from being able to include campers with nut allergies in an anxiety-reduced environment rather than attempting to eliminate peanuts entirely from camp.

An open letter from a concerned parent

“Dear Fellow Parents, My child is one of many young children who live with a life threatening allergy to peanut and tree nut proteins. An exposure …

In an effort to heighten this awareness:

  • Our dining hall is a nut-aware space. Foods served by our dining hall will not contain any nut products in the ingredients, although some items do use phrases like “may contain nuts” or “cooked in a facility that also manufactures nuts”.
  • We ensure that items most commonly exposed to “cross contamination” in the manufacturing process (i.e. chocolate bars, ice cream, granola bars, etc.) are labelled “nut free”.
  • Peanut butter will not be available at camp.
  • No outside foods are permitted in the dining hall.
  • All food sent to camp as part of the allowed bag of food must not have any nut products in the ingredients.

Products that are labelled as “safe to share” should be preferred over those that use language like “may contain traces of nuts.” We recognize that finding foods that are completely “nut free” can be difficult; however your added sensitivity when doing camp shopping is greatly appreciated.

Our kitchen team continue to research new opportunities for nutritious foods to complement our Walden menu.

We are a “non-dieting” camp

We want to ensure that our campers, staff and families recognize that Camp Walden is a “non-dieting camp” — where we all are committed to eating well. We know that kids and staff can feel pressured to monitor or restrict their eating. Our concern is that dieting, in some cases, can impact a camper’s experience, and even result more serious health issues.

If you know that your camper has had some issues around eating we encourage you to share this with us confidentially. We do not want to label any individual but rather help to ensure that camp will be a safe and healthy time for everyone involved. Although we do have a very dedicated health staff at camp the type of intervention required for a serious eating disorder is often beyond their scope. We try to encourage overall healthy living and not expose campers to negative eating habits.

We discuss these issues with our staff and hope that you can also talk to your campers about the importance of healthy eating habits.

Health Care Billing

All campers receive the same high quality of health care at camp. The way in which billing is made may vary from camper to camper depending on their province, state, or country of residence.

Ontario residents

Ontario residents are treated in the same way that they are regularly treated under the regulations of OHIP.

Quebec residents

The Quebec Medicare plan does not have a formal reciprocal arrangement with other provinces about the collection of fees as all the other provinces do. Ontario hospitals and doctors have asked camps to pay in cash on behalf of Quebec residents. In this event, we will ask that families seek reimbursement from the Quebec government.

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