Safety First: Top 10 Essential Summer Camp Safety Rules For Kids

Summer camps are the go-to activity for children to experience new things. In fact, about 11 million children go to a day camp or resident camp during the summer. It also helps that summer camp boosts the mind with mental benefits for your children.

To ensure a fun and fulfilling summer camp experience, you need house rules that every camper should follow while on site. These rules have the safety of both children and adults in mind. Let us look at these essentials to guarantee camp safety at all times:

1. Always Stay Together

One rule in camp safety that children should observe is to always stay together. Kids should practice even when there are adults watching over them. This prevents them from wandering off towards unsafe areas and prevents them from losing their way.

Also, when conducting any task, they shouldn’t venture on their own. If possible, go in pairs when going anywhere in the camp area. This applies when they go to the restroom or when going about on errands within the camping grounds. 

By going in pairs, it ensures that there is always someone nearby to help when one of them is in trouble. It also teaches accountability and may also forge friendships.

The takeaway here is that there is safety in numbers. 

2. Water is Off-Limits (Unless with Adult Supervision)

Bodies of water can excite children to go and swim. However, this also poses a potential risk if not supervised by a responsible adult. Brief the children that they need an adult to watch over them before they venture into the lake or river for a dip.

Set up some activities that involve swimming. This way, you can ensure that the children won’t need to sneak into the water unsupervised. They get the satisfaction of playing in the water while also engaging in official camp activities.

3. Establish Boundaries

Set up markers and boundaries for the campsite. Let the children know which parts they can explore and which areas are off-limits. We mentioned about bodies of water in an earlier point, where that area is off-limits to children unless an adult watches over them.

Once you have laid out the boundaries, you can have the children go around and have fun without going too far.

4. Shoes On At All Times

Whether you are using flip-flops or sneakers, children need to have some form of footwear on while going around. Being in the woods while barefoot could pose various dangers. Kids could get injured while walking on rocks, thorns, or poisonous plants.

Keep this rule up and in place for the children to avoid accidents.

5. Camp Tools Are Not Toys

Keep tools like knives and axes out of children’s reach. This also applies to every other camp tool that has the potential to be dangerous or fragile. 

Make sure to not leave these unattended to avoid accidents. Always keep in mind how curious children are.

To counteract this, consider the idea of giving them safe tools to tinker with like pails and shovels. This should help keep them busy. You can also consider the idea of having them involved in some of the chores.

6. Don’t Eat Anything Found in the Woods

While there are wild berries, mushrooms, and nuts within the woods, it is best for campers to not pick any of these. Explain to the children that these are not for picking and eating. This way, you can avoid any instances of poisoning.

Birds and animals consume these without issue but it’s not a guarantee that it would be safe for human consumption. While there are specific ones that you can pick and forage, it’s best to keep safe than taking the risk.

7. Keep Hydrated

Make sure that the children have water bottles with them at all costs and to have them always filled with water. Camp activities can be rather sweat-inducing and full of motion, causing the body to lose water.

Always make sure they have water available to replenish the amount lost.

8. Always Have Healthy Foods Available

Always have healthy food available. Since kids tend to be active and playful, they will need all the energy they can get from the food they eat. 

In this case, have healthy snacks available aside from the hearty campsite meal. Consider having plenty of high-protein snacks nearby. Store a bit of trail mix, nuts, peanut butter crackers, and so on. 

Sugary treats are ill-advised as they could lead to energy crashes.

9. Keep Clean

Always observe cleanliness, whenever possible. Keeping the campsite clean can help in preventing animals from entering the campsite. Explain to the children that being clean keeps everyone in the camp safe.

Also, taking care of the trash is also imperative. This preserves the beauty of the environment.

10. Do Camping Chores

While it may not look like a safety rule, it has the same function and intent. Here’s why.

There are plenty of chores that adults will undertake for the camp to keep it running smoothly and in great condition. What’s the best way to keep kids out of trouble when the adults have their hands full? Give the children camping chores to work with.

Camping chores can keep the children busy and out of trouble. It also teaches the children to be responsible as well. You can incorporate activities around these chores to make the experience fun and fulfilling, taking the opportunity to teach them in the process.

Uphold Camp Safety with These Rules!

There are more rules that you can set up for your kids to follow, but these are among the essentials that you would need for your children to follow. Not only does this keep them safe, but these also work as teaching opportunities.

Observing camp safety can ensure they are both safe and happy while in the great outdoors.

Excited to enjoy the wonderful outdoors with your family? Feel free to contact a camp advisor near you to set up an outdoor experience that you and your family will love.

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