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Tips For Summer Camp > Letter to Camp Counselors

Just copy the following letter and paste it into a word doc. Be sure to change the names as well as the "he's" and "she's" as applicable. 

July 26, 2009
Dear Camp Counselor,
XXXX has a genetic disease called Cystic Fibrosis (please see attached for an explanation of what this is). His health has been very good so far but he does require a lot of care. Our specific needs to keep Jacob healthy during camp are as follows:
1.    With snacks and meals Jacob needs to take pancreatic enzymes to digest food (see below for dosing). The enzymes need to be taken immediately BEFORE he eats.   Jacob will have his enzymes with him and is very good about remembering to take them on his own. But in the excitement of camp, he might forget so please feel free to ask him if he has taken them. If he forgets, he can still take them within 10 minutes of eating, otherwise skip it. Don’t worry, one missed dose won’t hurt, but repeated missed doses could cause intestinal problems. 
2.    Hand washing is critical because it is the best way to prevent colds. A cold can turn into a lung infection for Jake which might require hospitalization. We ask that you wash hands before eating and enforce your sick policy at camp. Our motto is “prudent, but not paranoid.”  Thanks for your help with this.  
3.    During hot weather, please make sure Jacob gets plenty of fluids and salty snacks, which we will provide. CF depletes the salt in his body very quickly so dehydration can be an issue. He should be allowed to drink water at any time to help with this issue. We would appreciate you allowing him to keep a water bottle handy at all times.
4.    There are times when Jacob needs to go to the bathroom immediately and he can sometimes take awhile for bowel movements (10-15 minutes is the usual time needed), sometimes 3 or 4 times a day. This is due to pancreatic insufficiency caused by CF. Please allow Jake to go to the bathroom at any time and be aware of the length of time he might need in the bathroom.
5.    We talk freely about CF with discretion and sensitivity (with Jacob and everyone else). When other kids (inevitably) ask about why Jake takes medicine we explain that “they are called enzymes and they help him digest his food cause his tummy works different than ours” (why?) “Because that’s how he was born and everybody is different.”
6.    Even though Jake might need some extra care at times, he is first and foremost a kid and wants to be treated like all of the other children at camp. Except for the mentioned items, he shouldn’t be treated differently.
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at www.CFF.org is a great reference for further information if you are interested.
Thanks so much for caring for Jacob. If we work together, our hope is that Jacob will stay healthy enough for the much-anticipated cure for CF. Please let us know if we can answer any questions. We look forward to a fun and healthy summer camp experience! 
Best Regards,                                                             Enzyme Dosing
Lisa Greene                                                                 Meals: ______________
Phone #
                        Snacks: _____________

Lisa Greene

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