Camper Safety & Health

Camper Safety & Health



Providing a fun, safe environment is our primary goal. Our staff is trained to safely conduct activities and respond to emergencies. Camp Onas is an outdoor, rural environment and we do run around all day long. Bumps, scrapes, and bug bites happen. We do our best to minimize accidents and injuries by maintaining camp and by teaching and following established safety guidelines. Campers are taught about some of our natural hazards, including poison ivy, ticks, and insects, and are instructed what to do if contact is made.  Campers are encouraged to put on sunblock a minimum of twice a day. Please instruct your child in how to use sun block and insect repellent for deer ticks; and be sure to pack these items (please no aerosol cans). Also, please pack a light-weight, long pants/long shirt combo for games in the woods.


We maintain an infirmary staffed by a nurse and a certified first aid person. A physician is on-call 24 hours a day, but for most middle-of-the-night situations we would go to the Doylestown Hospital’s Emergency Department, 25 minutes away or the Urgent Care Center 30 mins away. Indoor sleeping facilities are available at Camp for sick or injured campers.

With active, outdoor activities and communal living, campers sometimes become injured or sick. If there is a serious or prolonged injury or illness, we will do our best to contact a parent or guardian at the emergency numbers provided on the health form in a timely fashion. We will act in the best interest of your child until you can arrive or provide instruction over the phone, including doctor’s appointments or a trip to Doylestown Hospital.  If your child is seriously injured or sick we will expect you or your emergency contact to meet us at the hospital or camp and assume responsibility for your child.

Camp Onas will provide first aid and symptom relief as best we can. Please understand that we are not a doctor’s office, and recuperating in our infirmary is not the same as recuperating at home.

If your child is sick for an extended period of time, does not seem to be actively getting better, or their symptoms are not improving, we expect that the parent or a designee will pick up the sick child as soon as possible and no longer than 12 hours after the request was made.  The decision to send a child home will be at the discretion of the Nurse and/or Camp Director(s).  Once campers are better they are welcome to return to camp with the permission of the Nurse and/or Camp Director(s).

Here are some examples of conditions for which we would expect a child to leave camp:

  • Fever over 101.5°
  • Unable to participate in activities for a full day due to sickness or injury
  • In need of specialized care or to visit a specialist
  • Any contagious or infectious condition
  • Illness or sickness that is making the camper’s experience miserable or causing him/her distress

24 Hour Pre-Camp Health Check

To help us keep our camp community healthy, you are expected to check your child for head lice and his/her belongings for bed bugs.  We also need to know if your child has been sick within the last 24 hours or has been in contact with any communicable diseases.

Please check your child’s head for lice and if you find lice, please hold them back until treatment is completed.  All campers will be checked for head lice on the first full day of each session. If lice are found, you may either pick up your child before bedtime that day or request that we treat it (Camp Onas generally uses an outside professional service that costs around $300, though for light infestations Camp Onas staff may do the treatment for a cost of $100). If your child needs to be treated for head lice he or she will generally miss most of the first days’ activities. Coming to camp with head lice makes the first day of camp more difficult for campers, places a burden on our staff, and it is much more difficult for campers than being treated at home. Please check and treat your child for head lice before arrival, and notify the health care staff at


All medications must be given to the Nurse at Check-In. No medication is to be left with a camper. If your child has an inhaler or epi-pen that they are accustomed to carrying with them, please contact the Nurse prior to coming to camp. All prescriptions must come in the original container with the child’s name, drug name, and instructions. If you no longer have the original box or bottle, your pharmacy will reprint the slip for you.

It is our policy not to deviate from the listed instructions of the prescriber, this includes dosage, timing, etc.  While we agree that kids are sometimes able to monitor their own healthcare needs, we will not follow instructions such as: “She knows when she needs her medicine and how much to take.” if it conflicts with the instructions from the prescriber.

Our infirmary supplies over-the-counter medicine for headaches, stomach aches, allergies, etc. If your child takes a daily anti-histamine please bring a supply for your child’s session to Check-In, in the original packaging.   Please double-check that all allergies are listed on the health form.

We do our best to accommodate our campers’ medication needs, but our infirmary has set medication administration times.  They are before each meal and at bedtime.  Even if they take the medication after the meal, your child needs to come to the infirmary before the meal to get the medication. Please review this with your child. There is no 3PM med time at Camp Onas.  Make sure you go over your child’s medication schedule with them prior to coming to camp, it will make their experience that much easier.  Please contact the nurse prior to the summer to go over special medication considerations before coming to camp and only send medically necessary medications with them.

Illness and Injury

The Nurse, Director(s), or Health Care Manager (HCM) will notify parents if a camper is seriously injured, treated for lice, (via email or voicemail), is in the infirmary overnight, or must see a doctor for treatment.  For emergency care, Doylestown Hospital is 15 miles away with a complete range of medical services.

Your camper’s participation agreement includes a release to allow us to communicate health care information to you via email and voicemail.  This policy is in place to allow more efficient communication between busy parents, nurses, and directors.  Email and voicemail will only be used to communicate basic and routine information.  You also have the option to receive information via text message, if you opt to on the Health Form.

Medical Bills

Medical bills for doctor visits, emergency hospital care, lice treatments, and prescriptions for routine treatments are the responsibility of the camper family.

We have a relationship with a local PCP who sees our campers quickly and without requiring them to be existing patients, as a courtesy to us.  Because our campers are from many different areas, and participate in a variety of insurance plans, one of the conditions of this arrangement is that they will not bill campers’ insurers directly.  Instead, they bill Camp Onas, and we pass the bill on to campers’ families for reimbursement.  It is our expectation that we will receive payment for any medical expenses at check-out.  It is the responsibility of the camper family to seek reimbursement from their private insurer.

In some cases, we are able to offer secondary camper insurance to help with large bills, please let us know if that is needed. Parents are responsible for arranging any specialized medical care beyond those offered by our camp doctor or emergency services.

Health History Form

You are required to return the Health History Form to Camp Onas by June 1st so it can be reviewed by our healthcare staff.  There is a $35 late fee for health forms received after that date.  We will not assume care of your child on check-in day without adequate time before-hand to review his or her health history.

Camp Onas requires all new-to-Onas campers to be immunized. Current campers are exempt from this rule but may need to be picked up at the first sign of an infectious outbreak or if there is an immunocompromised camper or staff member.

Please be sure to complete the Camper Health Check within 24 hours of your camper’s scheduled arrival, and bring the form with you to Check-In.  This form will be mailed to you, and is also available on our website.