JACKSON, Tenn. – May 31, 2001 – Boy Scouts attending Camp Mack Morris near Camden, Tenn. this summer will be a little healthier upon returning home, thanks to a new program initiated by the Union University School of Nursing in cooperation with the Nathan Bedford Forrest Boy Scout District and Camp Mack Morris.
“In today’s camps, it’s standard to have first aid providers but to have a nurse available is a real benefit,” said Geri Smith, an associate nursing professor, who coordinated the effort. Smith first got the idea of creating the program when her own son attended a church camp last summer and brought home a suitcase and bags filled with other campers vomit.
“Apparently, a fast moving virus had hit the camp and everyone was hurling their stomach contents anywhere they could find a container,” said Smith, who spoke with other parents who shared similar scary stories about their children’s camp experiences. As a result, Smith spent much of last year researching and acquiring the protocols to meet the standards required by the American Camp Nursing Association and American Camping Association. This spring she trained 30 nursing students who will serve as camp nurses for the week-long Boy Scout camps at Camp Mack Morris in addition to a Cub Scout day camp at Lambuth University in Jackson.
“The camp offers a variety of opportunities for students who primarily have spent most of their nursing careers in hospital environments,” said Smith. “This is a perfect way for students enrolled in a community health nursing class to learn more about camp nursing while the camp enjoys the benefit of having nurses on board as their medical providers.”
The first camp is scheduled to begin Wednesday, June 6.
Sara B. Horn,