From July 12 to 16, 2021, eight students from Goodwin University’s Nursing 210 pediatric class, along with instructor Robin Cournoyer, completed their clinical experience at YMCA Camp Woodstock in North Woodstock, Connecticut. Established in 1922 and known as the “Friendship Camp,” it welcomes campers into a culture of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility.
Throughout the week, the Goodwin students assisted with medication administration, performed focused assessments on the campers, provided routine and emergency care, and reviewed physical and medication forms. The student nurses created 15-minute health and safety in-service presentations that were developmentally appropriate, educational, and engaging. Topics included diabetes, bullying, sun safety/protection, poison ivy, hydration, the do’s and don’ts for dogs, and tick removal. The students hoped these presentations would help promote and protect the health and safety of the entire camp community.
Following their Camp Woodstock experience, this group of students has one more academic semester to complete before taking their NCLEX exam that will enable them to practice nursing. They gained so much from their experience at Camp Woodstock, both educationally and personally. The camp week was a great success, and students and facilitators alike appreciate the wonderful opportunity provided through the collaborative effort of Tony Gronski, Will Jones, and Lauren Remillard.
Following are some brief comments from the Goodwin students…
“When it comes to the camp experience, three F’s come to mind: Fun, Freedom, and Friendship.”
“The most important thing I learned is that ice packs and popsicles can fix almost anything. It seems so simple, but [often] these kids just needed to be listened to and given an icepack.”
“I would definitely consider being a camp nurse as a career path. I love children and interacting with them, and have many years of experience working with preschool to age 21 in my current job. My best learning experience was role-playing as it allowed us to suggest care without the fear of making a mistake. I also loved having the time to interact, play with, and observe the children. It helped me to connect with what we are learning in class and their developmental levels.”
“I could see myself as a camp nurse. I think the most valuable thing I learned in this camp setting has been looking at physicals and the handwritten Medical Administration Record. That is something that we really cannot do in the hospital setting, and it is a change of pace.”
“I learned a lot about how camps operate and how many people it takes to make sure things run safely and smoothly, especially in the midst of a pandemic. It was brought to my attention, more than ever, that funding is an integral part of camps and health care. Finding nurses, potential volunteers, and students are resource factors I had not previously thought of for camps. “
“I learned about the structure and inner workings of how a camp functions. Many things need to be considered when opening a camp and many challenges arise as the camp continues to stay open. I believe that our ‘Think Big’ assignment plan for a weight-loss camp would be widely accepted by many parents today. Childhood obesity has been on the rise, along with the associated health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory illness.”
“Through this assignment, I learned to look at a camp from a nursing perspective and consider what goes into making a good camp. It taught us there are many ways to set and run a camp, and there is no one correct way, but to look at other camps and use them as models. I think the most valuable lessons is to be organized. The nurses had a system and made it look easy, but I knew they had planned everything out for a purpose.”
“The ‘Think Big’ assignment taught me what I want and do not want in a camp environment for my kids. It was very eye-opening to the many aspects that go in to creating a productive and successful camp. It was also important to create a healthy, but safe, environment for the kids, one that promoted health and well-being but also long-term achievable goals. It also taught me to think about the many different specialists who make sure the kids are safe, healthy, and meeting their expectations and goals.”
Pictured above, l to r (front): Amanda Bednarcyzk, Jaclyn Ochenkowski, Shannon Rourke, Daphne Lim, Kellie Owen, (back) Will Jones, Tonya Ziegler, Cara Murphy, Jaela Davidson, Robin Young-Cournoyer
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.