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6 Hacks for Staying Healthy at Summer Camp

Camp is an incredible summer of memories, experiences, and opportunities. We certainly put these things first, which often means we put our bodies and minds second.

Staying healthy at summer camp is a tough gig to do constantly. You’re always on the go, so getting a nutritious meal is not always easy if you’re rushing somewhere else.

Author: Camp Leaders
07 Jul 09:37

Plus, after a long day in the sun, there’s nothing better than an ice cream from Walmart.

As people who have been to camp often, we’re here to help you balance the load. Have a great time, but look after yourself, too.

A healthy you is a happy you for longer, and a happy you leads to happy campers and a better overall summer.

Here are our 6 hacks to help you in staying healthy at summer camp.

1. 'Hydrate to dominate'
A camp leaders water bottle.

‘Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate to dominate’.

As the little summer camp tune goes to make the kids think it’s cool to drink water (it is, by the way), hydrating will keep you dominating the day.

It is crucial, especially during hot summer days in American camp locations. This is not just a ‘good habit’; it’s essential to staying safe. If you don’t, sunstroke is a real problem, which will ruin at least a week of your summer (and there are only about 10 of them in total). If you start to notice sunstroke symptoms, take action immediately.

Try to limit sugary drinks and caffeinated beverages, as they add to dehydration.

This is not a tip but a prescription.

2. Pick fruit first
Fruit and vegetable selection.

Camp will put on some great meals, but they can’t control if you always head out and get a 22-inch pizza and snacks.

A healthy, balanced diet is essential for maintaining your energy levels, and trust us; to keep up with groups of 13-year-olds, you’ll need all the energy you can get.

Each to their own, but sometimes a fresh fruit bowl can taste much better in the sun than a big plate of chips (although we love the fries, too). Opt for fruits and vegetables and swerve the junk food where you can.

Your body (and summer) will thank you for it.

3. Sun safety is cool
Two staff friends at summer camp.

We touched on it during the hydration point, but sun/heat stroke is terrible, with the longer-term consequences even more severe.

There are a lot of heatstroke preventative measures you can take, though, to do your best in negating its effects.

Spending time outdoors is a significant part of summer camp, but protecting oneself from the sun’s harmful rays is vital.

Don’t think it’s cool not to wear sunscreen as you ‘want a tan’. No one is stronger than a gigantic ball of fire in the sky.

Everyone will promote sunscreen with a high SPF and have some protective things like a hat and sunnies.

Protect yourself from the sun, and you’ll have a better time.

4. Sleep isn't for the weak
Two friends together at summer camp.

None of this’ sleep when you’re dead’ rubbish, please. You need sleep.

You’ll likely be on the go for 12 hours+ a day at camp. It’s great, be it’s intense. Everyone needs a social life, and you’ll want to get off camp to enjoy yourself but pick your battles.

You’ll sleep like a log when you’re away because of the energy you’ve expended, but your body needs that rest. Without it, you’ll get run down and ill. We see it yearly when some people want to hit it too hard.

Sometimes, saying no to a social time to get some rest is the cleverest thing to do. Put yourself first, and then you’ll be fully recharged to socialise next time.

5. Keep clean, people
Two people laughing whilst working at camp.

Being at camp when everyone arrives is a bit like Freshers. For those who have been to uni, you’ll know Fresher’s Flu is real.

People come from all areas of the world, and naturally, being in such proximity means your body has no clue what’s going on. It’s easy to pick up the odd cough or cold (which, in the heat, is rough).

Keep your immune system as up-to-date as possible. Eat clean, wash your hands, and have a good scrub at the end of each day.

It’s messy work, camp.

6. Put yourself first
A staff member smiling at summer camp.

Yes, it’s all about the campers. But, if you’re not on top form, they’ll get less of a summer.

Each staff member brings so much to the role, so looking after yourself better is, in turn, looking after the kids better.

Summer camp can sometimes be emotionally challenging, especially for first-time staff. Don’t be scared to express your feelings and communicate openly with your mates.

Believe us; many people will likely think the same thing.

Nerves are real, especially when working abroad for the first time; it’s normal. (P.S., if you are, here’s a 5-step Guide to Travelling America for the First Time).

Camp is a supportive and inclusive environment that fosters positive relationships and personal growth. There’s a great support structure there for those who need it, so remember that the camp has seen decades of staff go through the same thing; they know how to help.

Let’s get each other talking.

Making yourself a priority is vital to staying healthy at summer camp and getting the most out of summer.

That takes many forms, and you’ll undoubtedly cover most of them during your time away. Doing so gives you the best opportunity to be full of energy and health, precisely what you need to have the best summer ever.

If you do, that’ll mean the campers will have the same, too.

Camp Leaders
With over 20 years of travel experience, the Camp Leaders team has the answers to almost anything you can think of. We're here to help you sort your ultimate summer - feel free to ask us anything.

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