Health & Safety
We can hardly wait to meet your son or daughter/students! The Outdoor Classroom health care coordinators, administrators, instructors and trip leaders work hard to provide healthy and safety-conscious programs during your child/students’ time here. We also work hard to make our program accessible to all students. Please read the information below, and then contact us if you have any further questions, would like to discuss your child/student’s pre-existing medical condition, or are concerned about the appropriateness of our program for your child/students. This will help us to prepare the best possible experience for all students.
Health History and Medications:
The Health History and Consent and Assumption of Risk forms are required of each student and will be handed out through their school. The forms are confidential, give us permission to administer first aid and provide us with vital information in case of an emergency. More commonly, they alert our instructors to potential health problems, allergies, or medications that will need to be administered. All medications will be collected at the beginning of the program and returned just prior to departure. Medications will be handled as discretely as possible. We keep careful records of any and all first aid administered. Please be precise with medication dosages and date of last tetanus shot. Also, remember that we need medical insurance information for each child.
Safety is a major player in any adventure programming. Our instructors have a minimum of Wilderness First Aid and CPR training, and all of them have Anaphylaxis and Chewonki first aid training. Most of them are Wilderness First Responders. During Outdoor Classroom programs our instructors carry complete first aid kits. Although many of our activities are designed to be challenging and exciting, they are also designed for safety. While “risk” is inherent in any outdoor/adventure activity, our instructors are very conscious about potentially dangerous situations and are trained in risk management.
If a medical emergency arises during an activity or at the campsite, then help can be reached with little delay. There is a phone available, at most, one half-mile away. Either a Registered Nurse or an EMT is on-duty during the day and on-call at night. Vehicles are available for transportation to the MidCoast Hospital, a 20-minute drive away. If a family emergency should arise during non-office hours, then please dial the Chewonki phone number and the Program Director’s extension as listed below to obtain contact information for that evening’s on-duty-administrator.
More specific information is provided below. We are looking forward to speaking with you soon regarding any questions or concerns you might have.
Parents: Please send medications packed in the smallest possible packages with the original pharmacy label (legally required) clear instructions, dosages and the student’s name written on the outside. Tylenol and Advil are available in our first aid supplies – please do not pack.
Teachers: Please collect medications from students before arriving at Chewonki. Check to make sure that names are written on each med. We recommend that meds be organized per group and packed into small plastic bags. Label the bags with group numbers or groups’ adult chaperones’ names. Each group should have 1 bag.
For many younger students, and even some older, the Chewonki trip may be their first time away from home for multiple nights. Likewise, it may be the first time many parents have been away from their children for this duration! Our instructors are well-versed in the ways of homesickness and will do their very best to listen to and support children in this struggle. We do not recommend phone calls home or parent visits – in our experience these things can sometimes fuel the homesickness. If you anticipate that your child/one of your students will struggle with severe homesickness, then parents should indicate so on the Health History Consent form. It may also be a good idea for parents to speak with a school representative or our Program Director in order to make a strategy for the child’s success. If your child/one of your students has never spent the night away from home before, then we strongly suggest that they “practice” before coming to Chewonki – an overnight at a friend or grandparent’s house can go a long way to preparing them for being successful at a “sleep away” camping program. A completed trip to Chewonki can be a huge confidence boost for many students.
Food Allergies or Intolerances:
Our “Pack Out” facility is equipped to accommodate almost all food allergies or intolerances, and our instructors are well-trained in food packing and handling. There may be some situations, however, when a student will be asked to bring some of his or her own “safe” food. Please be very specific on the Health History Consent form regarding the severity and particulars of the allergy/intolerance and contact us for additional paperwork that will help further outline the condition. Please alert us well in advance of any life-threatening allergies so that we have adequate time to prepare. We are happy to go over a menu with you and make the appropriate adjustments. Our instructors are trained in treating anaphylaxis and carry epinephrine in their first aid kits.
If your child/one of your students feels more comfortable carrying his or her inhaler with them, then, if possible, please send two so that one may be kept in the first aid kit which travels everywhere with the group. At times, students will be up to a 1/2 hour walk away from their campsites – inhalers left in tents or backpacks are no good! Please send an inhaler even if your child has not recently had an attack. Electricity for nebulizer use is available in the main campus area but not at campsites.
Please contact us in advance of the program if your child/on of your students has diabetes to obtain additional paperwork that will help further outline the condition.
Students Requiring One-On-One Assistance:
If a student requires one-on-one assistance (for either physical or cognitive disabilities) at school, then it is highly recommended that the same assistance be provided while the student is at Chewonki, including overnight. If you have any questions regarding this topic, then please contact the Program Director.
Other Medical Conditions:
Please contact us in regards to any other medical condition that you feel we should know about before your child arrives at Chewonki. Again, we work hard to make our program accessible to all students.
(207) 882-7323 ext. 117