Should I bring a copy of medical forms on the first day of camp with me?

If you have completed your online form online, you do not need to bring any forms on the first day. If you mailed them and do not see them in your account, we recommend bringing a copy of what you sent in the event we did not receive them.


What forms do I need to get a physician to complete?

The law of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires camps to have on file a Health Form for every camper and staff member. The parent or guardian of minors shall supply information for the Health History, and sign at the bottom within six (6) months before camp. The immunization history, physical and health care recommendations and restrictions, shall be completed, signed and dated by a licensed physician not more than eighteen (18) months before the start of camp.


Why do I need a physical from the last 18 months?

Children grow and change quickly! We need a physician or nurse practitioner to say that your child is well enough to participate in camp for how they are now, not three years ago. The state codes dictate that it must be within 18 months. We recommend connecting with your doctor early as they sometimes take a month or two to return forms to families or to get an appointment. 


What forms do I need to get from the physician?

Two things are required for attendance at Camp Howe:

  1.  A current physical (within the last 18 months from the date of attendance at camp).  The physical MUST be current throughout the child’s stay at camp.

  2. An immunization record.  Current Massachusetts state regulations for camps require the following immunizations for attendance at camp:

    • Two MMR’s (measles, mumps and rubella).

    • At least 3 doses polio vaccine. If a mixed (IVP/OPV) schedule was used, four doses are required.

    • At least 4 doses of DTaP.

    • One dose of Td (Tdap preferred)  is required if it has been more than 10 years since the previous dose of Td.

    • 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine, or laboratory evidence of immunity if born in 1992 or after.

    • 2 doses of Varicella

    • MenACWY (Meningococcal Vaccine) 1 Dose for grades 7-9 and 2 doses grades 11 and above

  3. Medication orders.  If your child takes medication routinely, or on an as needed basis as noted above, you will need to obtain an order from a physician for EACH medication as well as sign the parental consent form.  Camp Howe follows the medication regulations put in place by the State of Massachusetts for schools, which helps to protect your child and our staff and ensure medications are managed by a licensed professional. If you wish to have another OTC medication that is NOT on this form given to your child, whether on a daily or as needed basis, you MUST obtain a written doctor’s order for the medication, EVEN IF IT IS OVER THE COUNTER.  This includes mediations such as Clairton and homeopathic doses such as melatonin and supplement pellets.


What if my child has not received immunizations or does not see a doctor for a physical?

Massachusetts allows for a religious or medical waiver of immunizations; Massachusetts does NOT recognize a waiver for philosophical reasons.  You will be asked to either produce a medical waiver signed by a physician, or to sign a religious exemption waiver if your child is not fully immunized or had a physical under MA state law.  If your child is not fully immunized and there is an outbreak of disease for which your child is not immunized for, you will need to pick your child up from camp immediately.


The laws specified by the State of Massachusetts.

  • (A) Religious Exceptions. If a camper or staff member has religious objections to physical examinations or immunizations, the camper or staff member shall submit a written statement, signed by a parent or legal guardian of the camper, to the effect that the individual is in good health and stating the reason for such objections.

  • (B) Immunization Contraindicated. Any immunization specified in 105 CMR 430.152 shall not be required if the health history required by 105 CMR 430.151 includes a certification by a physician that he or she has examined the individual and that in the physician's opinion the physical condition of the individual is such that his or her health would be endangered by such immunization.


Campers who do not meet the above requirements unfortunately are not able to take part in our program. If you have any questions, please contact us.


What forms do I personally need to complete for on my child?

You should also have the following forms filled out prior to arrival at camp. This information can be completed on the online registration account.

  1. Health history.  This gives us up to date contact and medical history information.  Please be sure to sign and date the bottom as this is our permission to treat your child if necessary.

  2. Over the counter medication form.  This is for a few standard OTC medications that our camp physician has given us written orders for and that we keep stocked in the infirmary. 


Does the physical have to be on the camp form?

No.  Many physicians have computer generated physicals and immunization records.  As long as the physical has a height and weight, any pertinent findings or information and clearance to participate in sports or strenuous physical activity, it’s fine. 


Why can you give some over the counter medications but not others?

At Camp Howe we have what are called “standing orders” from the camp’s physician.  They allow our staff to give medications that you checked off based on those protocol orders.  However, if it isn’t on the list, then we do not have orders for it.  Please have a physician order for all the medications your child takes regularly.  They will be familiar with this as we follow the same regulations as for schools. This includes vitamins, supplements and homeopathic.


Does the medication order need to be on the camp form?

No.  Again, many physician’s offices have computerized medication orders which contain all the information we need to safely administer the medication.  You will still need to sign the parental consent however.


How long does it take physicians to complete paperwork?

Do not wait until the last minute before camp to have your child’s physician fill out forms! Many physicians are overwhelmed in late spring/early summer with camp and sports participation physical and form requests. Schedule your child’s physical, if needed, as soon as you register for camp. Bring all forms with you to the doctor but know they may provide their own computer generated forms. Do NOT have physicians mail any forms directly to camp; mailed forms are frequently lost! Upload them to your registration account and bring them in hand.


Can I pre dispense medication?

Medications brought to camp must be in the original container. This includes both prescription and over-the counter medication. All medication must be handed in to the Health Supervisor on the first day of camp. Campers with inhalers or epi pens are requested to bring two (2) to have one in reserve controlled by the nurse. To administer any prescribed or over the counter (not on our authorization to administer over the counter form) medication, the Health Care Staff  needs an authorization to administer from the child’s doctor. If this is not presented with the medication, unfortunately it can NOT be given to the child.


Will I be called if my child gets sick or injured?

We have medical staff on site who will care for the medical needs of your child. Parents will be notified by telephone in the event of an:

  • Illness requiring the child to be in the infirmary over night as per Standing Orders

  • Illness requiring medical attention by their own personal physician

  • Injury which requires outside medical attention

  • Injury which interferes with the child’s participation in camp program.


My child has special medical, physical, or emotional needs – can you accommodate us?

Whenever possible, Camp Howe tries to accommodate youth with medical conditions, developmental disabilities, or physical disabilities. We offer a supported program, the ECHO Program. We also have youth with special needs in our traditional program that we have connected with the families and determined that this is a good placement.  In order to ensure a fun and safe experience for all campers, please Executive Director or 413-268-7635 to discuss your child’s unique needs. We will do our best to accommodate your child, but we cannot guarantee we can meet your child’s specific needs at Camp Howe.