Healthy Campers are Happy Campers

Memories of camp at Heart O’ the Hills are loaded with visions of ice cream, jumping on the blob, tribe hills, camp birthday cake, powwows and sleeping under the stars at overnight campout. However, summer camp memories can also include itchy bug bites, sore throats (from pizza cheers), aching tooth, war canoe bruises and skinned knees. Camp can be the best time of your life, but for an ill or injured camper, it can mean spending some long nights in Orenda. It is always easier to prevent a problem, so before going to camp it is worth visiting top pediatric dentist in Dunn Loring VA.

Fortunately, the staff at The Heart have vast experience and have seen most things at least once in their tenures. With that knowledge, they have instituted several safeguards to keep campers healthy and parents feeling secure.

The dining experience

Heart O’ the Hills may be famous for the homemade ice cream but they also serve three healthy meals a day. The campers are asked to taste at least three polite bites of each food, sometimes an item unfamiliar or, well, not so enticing. As a witness, I can testify that they even serve Brussels sprouts!! The Heart also accommodates various food allergies or sensitivities, such as gluten free, vegetarian, and nut-free.

But the dining experience isn’t all sprouts and special diets, it’s also FuN! Meals are followed by a sing-a-long with campers singing and acting out special hand motions to songs from the camp song book while Jane joyfully leads the girls, sometimes accompanied by her guitar. The campers also go outside one night a week for “eat out,” a more casual, relaxed environment.

Screen-free zone

Nutrition is only one aspect of creating a healthy environment for campers. Screen time is also a growing concern for our youth. Heart O’ the Hills is a screen-free zone for campers. No television, Netflix, cell phones or laptops allowed!

Face time not FaceTime

Campers create lasting bonds through face time… not FaceTime.

Since there are no screens to entertain campers, they spend most of their time outside! Campers select activities from a long list of options that include horseback riding, canoeing, swimming, sewing, martial arts, cheerleading, and many, many more. There is definitely no shortage of entertainment for campers at The Heart!

Energy renewal

When you play as hard as our campers do, you have to create a rest time so they can renew their energy banks. Just kidding…their energy banks are bottomless! But the counselors and staff definitely need the R&R so we have SIESTA!!! All of camp retreats to their cabins after lunch for a two-hour rest period.

Although Heart O’ the Hills provides many opportunities for healthful living while at camp, occasionally a camper does need more than sunshine, ice cream and the company of friends.

Staff members need love, too

We love our campers but we know that camp wouldn’t be camp without our counselors. The same opportunities for wellness extend to our staff and counselors. In addition to good, healthy food, siesta and plenty of vitamin D from the sun, our staff enjoy mandatory days off. We also provide a “Playroom” for a quick reprieve for staff.

In Orenda, our wellness center, resides a registered nurse throughout the duration of camp.

Orenda is a place for campers to receive first aid, store and take their routine medications from home and to rest or re-hydrate when activities or allergies get the best of them. A camp pediatrician is just a phone call away, if needed.

Wellness is an ongoing task and as new articles and literature suggest improvements for the lives of our campers and staff, we are eager to implement those changes or additions. It’s not uncommon to enter Orenda and smell an essential oil diffuser with scents known to calm an upset stomach or soothe a headache. Or you might observe a camper with a foot injury or ingrown toenail soaking their feet in an Epsom salt/tea tree oil bath. Treatments kept simple and as natural as possible are definitely encouraged. There isn’t much that some rest and good ol’ H2O can’t cure!

As you can see, wellness and healthy lifestyle are a priority at Coast2Coast Hamilton. We want summer to be fun. Getting back to basics of good food, outdoor activities balanced with rest, and memories made with great friends truly are the best medicine!

Healthy campers are happy campers. Happy campers are Heart campers!

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Kaisha Brown

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