Western Canada’s first-ever conference for Camp Nurses


“Anyone who understands the life-changing power of camp knows how important it is to kids,” —Catherine Hoe Harwood, RN, MScN

Boating accidents, biking collisions, kids falling through broken windows, flu outbreaks and trauma management are all part of the adventures that Catherine Hoe Harwood, RN, MScN and Darlane Pankratz, RN, BSN, have managed during their stints as camp nurse. Harwood, an Associate Professor and Pankratz, a Clinical Instructor in the nursing department at Trinity Western University, have developed a way to pass along their expertise, co-chairing Western Canada’s first-ever conference for Camp Nurses.

While there are 68 camps registered in the BC Camping Association alone, Western Canada has limited resources available for nurses who want preparation for the changing and expanding camp nurse role. But for nurses and for any parent who is planning to send their child to camp, there’s good news. On May 2nd and 3rd, TWU will host a conference to help nurses learn health care priorities, key resources and effective health promotion strategies for the camp health setting.

Featured speaker at the conference will be Linda Erceg, RN, MSN, author, journal editor, founding president and executive director of the Association of Camp Nurses. A sought after expert on camp nursing, Erceg brings a wealth of knowledge that spans the foundations of camp nursing as a movement to the present. B.C. camp nurses will be giving the Canadian camping perspective.

“Experienced camp administrators understand that camp nursing is more than applying bandages and passing pills,” says Harwood. “Quality camp nursing draws upon a blend of nursing assessment and skills and requires knowledge, attitudes and judgment specific to the unique needs of the camp clientele.”

Conference attendees will explore the wide variety of challenges camp nurses could face—including medication issues, management of communicable diseases, camp health promotion and identification of children with psychological concerns. Nurses will even learn the history of camp nursing, challenges for tomorrow, and will be introduced to the core skills needed to launch a Camp Nursing Practice.

“Anyone who understands the life-changing power of camp knows how important it is to kids,” says Harwood. “Being a camp nurse is so rewarding. At camp everyone is well, even though they may have an injury. It offers the bonus of clinical practice hours for nurses to maintain nursing licensure and it’s a chance to grow professionally as a nurse.”

Conference: Camp Nursing: Putting the Puzzle Together – Knowledge, skill and networking for novice and experienced camp nurses

Date: May 2 & 3, 2003

Location: Trinity Western University, 7600 Glover Rd, Langley, B.C.

Registration Information: (By April 7th) Students: $80.25; Nurses and others $133.75
(After April 7th) Students: $101.65; Nurses and others: $155.15

Accommodation: Dorm style accommodations available upon request

For more information or to register: Phone (604) 513-2067; Fax (604) 513-2060; Website: www.twu.ca/campnursing

“Camp is a unique and life-changing experience for children,” says Harwood. It offers opportunities that can’t be gained in day to day community in home and life—but we’re biased because we think every child should go to camp.”

Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a not-for-profit Christian liberal arts university enrolling over 3,200 students this year. With a broad based, liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the University offers undergraduate degrees in 38 major areas of study ranging from business, education and computer science to biology and nursing, and 12 other graduate degrees including counseling psychology, theology and administrative leadership.

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Last Updated: 2015-07-13
Author: Keela Keeping