Travel Nurses Make a Splash at Summer Camps!
S’mores, campfires, songs sung in rounds, water dripping from a canoe paddle, your new friend’s laugh, going inside only to sleep…
Which of these were your favorite aspects of summer camp?
What if we could send you back in time to experience them all over again? If you enjoy children, the outdoors and a close community setting filled with laughter, you could be the travel nurse for whom summer camps are looking.
Today we feature one of our clients: The Cohen Camps, which operates three Jewish culture camps in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, all within 100 miles of Boston. Every summer, Camp Pembroke, Camp Tevya and Camp Tel Noar need travel nurses to fill their sessions. You can work for two, four, or eight weeks, depending on camp needs. You may even find a way to do a stint at each one! If you have family in the Boston area, planning a visit after one of your summer camp nursing jobs could spark a fun family reunion!
A Day in the Life of a Camp Nurse
Cohen Camps travel nurses have very different lives than hospital travel nurses.
First, camp nurses live in the health centers, cozy buildings with examining rooms, private nurses’ quarters and sick bays for children who need to stay over night under supervision. While the camp nurse’s home base is the health center, he or she also frequently pops out and about the dining hall, cabins, lakeshore, poolside, fireside and the other buildings.
Mornings can be busy for camp nurses. After spending the night in their own room with private bath, they get showered and prepare for dispensing medication and checking on children with healthcare plans. Children who need regular medication and treatments typically line up to get them before breakfast. Sometimes, a child who has become ill during the night or had an insect bite stands in line with those getting medication.
After the morning rush, summer camp travel nurses prepare ice packs needed for the inevitable injury. They also complete documentation. If overnight trips are on the schedule, nurses package medications and instructions for the counselors to administer while away.
Throughout the day, nurses attend to injuries like scratches and bruises as well as the viruses that afflict campers. But physical injuries aren’t the only reason for going to the camp nurse. Often, a camper gravitates to one nurse or another by personality. If a camper NOT on a health plan starts checking in with a nurse on a daily basis, homesickness may be an underlying cause. In these cases, the travel nurses working at summer camps serve as intermediaries, alerting management so that measures can be taken. Camp management very much appreciates the front line, one-on-one role camp nurses play in keeping campers happy and safe.
Accredited by the American Camping Association, Cohen Camps know camp nurses play a vital role in the summer’s success. Today, a significant portion of children suffer from diabetes, food allergies and attention issues. Keeping them well and participating goes far to ensure not only the camp’s reputation but the children’s return the following year. Many of the campers are children of parents who attended the camps. Participation year after year and generation after generation is common.
With camp populations ranging from 280 to 350 at all times, Cohen Camps make sure to staff two to four nurses at each location. You’ll never be alone when diagnosing and treating campers. In fact, all Cohen Camps work with a child’s regular doctors as well as a local doctor. Nurses collect healthcare plans and medications at the beginning of each session. They keep medications locked away and distribute them only at certain times.
Nurses are expected to be available throughout the day, but with a staff of four they take turns going on one to two hour breaks. They also rotate their one day off each week.
In the evening, camp nurses join campers for dinner and evening activities. As night falls, nurses check the schedule to see who is on overnight duty. Because illness and injury can strike any time, nurses take turns covering the night shift.
Choose Your Camp Experience
All Cohen Camps emphasize Jewish culture including shria (singing), rikud (Israeli dancing) and more. Campers find familiar activities comforting and grow by learning new ones. They also gain confidence in skills through athletics, arts and crafts, games and boating/swimming. The differences between the three camps are mainly size and location. Camp Pembroke hosts girls only, while Tevya and Tor Noah have co-ed programs. Kosher and nut-free meals are an option at all three.
Located just 40 miles south of Boston, Camp Pembroke campers and staff get to use a heated pool, lakefront facilities (swimming, boating, pedal paddle boarding, windsurfing and waterskiing), dance studio, tennis courts, ropes courses and more. In a secluded, wooded area, camp travel nurses enjoy a peaceful, natural getaway they may not get in more urban hospitals. It is Cohen Camps’ single girls-only camp. Typically, parents send their daughters here to give them opportunities to develop their self-esteem and find their unique voices without the pressure of boys nearby. After 82 seasons, Pembroke is the oldest of the Cohen Camps.
Two hours northwest of Boston, Camp Tevya is just on the other side of the New Hampshire state line. With 350 boys and girls, Tevya is the largest Cohen camp. Located on Lake Potanipo, Tevya has its own dock on the 600-acre, New England-style campus tucked in a tall pine forest.
Tevya works well for parents who want their children to have a co-ed experience as well as for those who have a son and a daughter and prefer to send them both to the same place at the same time.
Camp Tel Noar
The smallest and youngest of the Cohen Camps, co-ed Tel Noar has been in operation for “only” 71 seasons. On a smaller property and with fewer campers, Tel Noar has a distinct village feel. Just 90 minutes north of Boston over the New Hampshire border between the 93 and 495 freeways, this camp offers a two-week session for campers with busy summers. Minimum stays at the other two camps are 3.5 weeks.
What Cohen Camps Looks for in Their Camp Travel Nurses
Cohen camps has found that a certain type thrives in summer camp nursing jobs. They encourage travel nurses considering the camp nurse route to envision the role as a school nurse with extended hours and lots of outdoor time. Their nurses come from broad backgrounds with some even taking advantage of the free tuition their children receive when they serve as camp nurses.
Some of their nurses return year after year, but when they take jobs, have babies, or decide to settle down once and for all, spots open up for new travel nurses. Then, the company looks for pediatric, military, or emergency room nurses who like children and have a great sense of adventure. These nurses may have never been to New England and long to tour the area. Or, they have family in the area and want to find a financially feasible way to reach them. While Cohen prefers to hire nurses willing to stay for the entire eight-week session, they have hired some for two and four weeks. They’ve also moved their nurses around from camp to camp.
For obvious reasons, Cohen prefers nurses who are energetic and caring. These nurses also need to be able to work to communicate with international campers and their families, as people come from France, Israel, South American countries and more.
Do the singing crickets, burbling brooks and laughing children call to you? Explore travel nursing at summer camps through AMN Healthcare. Fill out an easy application and a recruiter will contact you about summer camp opportunities. Spaces are limited!