I went out to take the girls (Gwen and Gabby, my dogs) on their morning walk when I was descended upon by a cloud of very hungry mosquitoes! I know they will be less of an issue this summer, but it made me think of last year when I was trying to figure out whey there was a spot of dead grass next to cabin 2 (yes, these things are related...).
As I was mowing last summer I noticed a circle of dead grass near the girl's cabin. I assumed that it was a place they all walked and was trampled down. But later that day I was sitting at the table under the Spruce trees when I saw each girl come out of the cabin, stand on that spot, and spray themselves with bug spray.
To say they sprayed themselves was an understatement. It was scary how much bug spray they we applying. I guess they were operating under the idea that more was better! But I know that isn't the case. It can't be good for their skin to use that much! Children are not the only ones who don't know how to apply the stuff. Last weekend at the carnival a saw a parent use almost 1/4 of a can of spray on their child all at once! There are many articles and warning on the internet about using too much of the stuff.
People send their children with many types of gear to protect their
child. Arm bands, homeopathic repellents, sonic devices... I even had
one parent set up a mosquito net on the bottom bunk for their child!
Last summer we had two children show up with Thermacell Mosquito
repellers. I am not sure how well they work but they they require a
propane cartridge that has to be replaced every 12 hours, and a small
mat insert that has to be replaced every 4 hours. I do not feel safe
having those small propane canisters in the cabins and at camp. If you
have questions about these units, please contact me.
So what can we do?
First off, talk to your child about how to use bug spray. Remind them that too much is not good for them. Show them how to apply it. Also look online to familiarize yourself about the different kinds of repellent. DEET can be scary if you don't' understand about it.
I have not had much luck with most produces, bands and alternative stuff. I personally tend to avoid the spray repellent. For the past few years I have recommended to parents to use the wipes. I personally have been using the Deep Woods Off towelettes. It allows you to get all areas covered without over using the product. And you don't get over-spray on everything around you (including your friend's eyes)I typically apply a little spray to the underside of the brim of my cap to keep the bugs out of my eyes, and then wipe the areas that are not covered. Don't forget to tell your children to apply the repellent after they have applied sunscreen, not before.
Another thing for you parents...You need to check the box telling us your child can use insect repellent while at camp on the Medical Examination and Medical Authorization Form. I will be sending out emails to parents soon about that form with complete instructions.
When you arrive on camp, please give the counselor your child's repellent so they can keep it next to the door of the cabin to remind children when they leave the cabin. That way the counselor can remind the child to use it, and it doesn't get all over the cabin, the cabin mates, the bunks, and everything else.
We do a great job keeping the grass low so ticks are not a major problem, but we still have children check for ticks when they come out of the woods, and the staff remind campers to check for ticks when they shower at night. Insect repellent will help with these little critters too.
Lets all work together to make sure you child has safe, bug free summer! I look forward to seeing all of your smiling faces at camp soon!