Health Information & Medication Policies

At Cheley, we are grateful that you entrust us with the health and happiness of your camper.

Whether it be physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual, camper well-being is one of our priorities. At Cheley, we focus on youth development and providing the nurture and care necessary to assist our campers in their quest for adventure.

At camp, we prioritize the well-being of our campers and staff with four health centers staffed by nurses and aides. This dedicated team works diligently to provide excellent medical care while remaining responsive to parent inquiries and concerns. Rigorous policies are in place to mitigate illness risks, including measures to limit the spread of communicable diseases such as the flu, Covid-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and strep throat. Throughout the summer, we foster a healthy environment by promoting handwashing, daily cleaning of high-touch surfaces, emphasizing the importance of sleep and hydration, and monitoring camper health.

Our healthcare staff members at Land O’Peaks and both TEs are available 24/7 to assist campers with any scrapes, bruises, or blisters that may occur during Rocky Mountain adventures. To further support camper well-being, we strongly recommend that campers are up to date on pediatrician-recommended vaccines and we advise you to delay your camper’s arrival if they are unwell. For most of the summer, a doctor is on-site to accompany our team. In the rare event that additional care or treatment is needed, we are conveniently located just four miles from Estes Park Health, offering Emergency & Urgent Care services.


Caring for our campers and staff is demanding yet crucial work. We recognize the significance of keeping you well-informed about your camper’s health. Our staff adheres to the following guidelines and aims to respond to you as promptly as possible:

  1. Routine Health Center Visits: For routine issues like minor skin abrasions, headaches, or blisters, we generally won’t contact you unless there are special considerations.
  2. Non-Routine Situations: We will promptly inform you if your camper is taken to the doctor or hospital, receives a prescription, spends a night in the health center, or takes two days off activities during the summer due to illness. In cases requiring external medical care, we commit to reaching out on the same day unless it’s after 9:00 PM in the camper’s home time zone, in which case we’ll contact you the following morning.

Additionally, we want to emphasize our commitment to keeping you informed about your camper’s well-being. Onsite, we have a dedicated healthcare staff member, and there is a nearby medical facility to assess and decide on any necessary actions. Should a concern arise, we may proactively reach out to discuss and determine the most suitable course of care for your camper. Your camper’s health and well-being are our top priorities, and we value open communication to ensure their positive camp experience.

A Healthy Summer Starts at Home

As part of the enrollment process, you will be asked to complete various required wellness forms, including our Medical/Health History, Healthcare Provider, and Immunization Forms. These forms give our Health Professional Team access to a camper’s health history, allergies and Epi-Pen use, medications, treatments, and more. Depending on your camper, there may be additional paperwork to submit, such as the Immunization Exemption Form, an Action Plan for medical emergencies, or a copy of your camper’s IEP or 504. We prefer that you upload these to your CampBrain account; however, you may also email them to us.

Healthcare Provider Form

The Healthcare Provider Form must be completed and signed by a licensed medical professional and is DUE MAY 1ST. Campers are required to have an annual physical examination, which must be completed within 12 months of their arrival at camp. This is required by the American Camp Association.

Colorado Immunization Form

Your camper’s immunization record MUST BE TRANSCRIBED onto the Colorado Immunization Form. It must be completed and signed by a licensed medical professional and is DUE MAY 1ST. This is required by CDPHE and Child Care Licensing.

Accepted Out-of-State Certificates of Immunizations or Official School Documents

The following out-of-state Certificates of Immunization or Official School Documents are CDPHE-approved and can be submitted in lieu of the Colorado Immunization Form.

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington

we suggest using apps like scannable, the iPhone’s notes app, adobe scan, Microsoft lens, google drive scan, etc. to scan these forms into a pdf format.

Medication at Camp

All medications sent to camp must be in original packaging with a prescription label for your camper AND be listed on the Healthcare Provider Form. Over-the-counter medications that are taken daily must also be listed on the Healthcare Provider Form. We cannot dispense any medications not listed explicitly on these forms.

The other non-prescribed medication that we often see falls into the homeopathic or supplemental category – dietary and herbal supplements (including, melatonin and lactase), essential oils, etc. Our Health Centers are not stocked with these items. We know that you may give your camper these daily, so in order for us to give these to your camper, they too must be listed on the Healthcare Provider Form along with dosage and time taken.

Daily medications are distributed at mealtimes and before lights out unless the prescription requires otherwise. As-needed medications will only be distributed if your camper visits the health center and requests them. Our Health Centers and first aid kits are stocked with common over-the-counter medications (see “Stocked OTC Meds” below) for your camper if needed if permission is granted on the Medical/Health History Form. Unless your camper takes typical OTC medications daily, there is no need to send these. If there are medications or supplements your camper can do without while they are at camp, please refrain from sending them.

Additionally, we recommend that campers possess the ability to swallow pills with ease. This recommendation is made due to the limited availability of chewable or liquid medication options in our Health Centers. Furthermore, our first aid kits are primarily stocked with swallowable versions, making it challenging to accommodate campers who struggle with or are unable to swallow pills.

While campers may carry inhalers and EpiPens with them, other medications are not allowed in cabins. If they require these items, please send a spare to be kept in the health center. If campers wear contacts, they should bring extra lenses and a pair of glasses. If you have any questions about your camper’s medication needs, please contact us.

Miscellaneous Concerns

Climate and Weather

People love to talk about the weather! At Cheley, it’s no different. Most days we’re talking about how perfect it is – blue skies and plenty of sun. The sun shines most every day, and while rain varies, typically we have an afternoon rain shower. They don’t last long though, but a rain jacket is a must.

At an elevation of 8,200 feet, summer temperatures average high in the 70s with very little humidity and cool evenings, usually 50 to 55ºF. It is best to be prepared for all types of weather and is important to refer to our Packing List when preparing for camp.

Altitude Sickness

Altitude, like elevation, is the distance above sea level. National Geographic describes “high-altitude” as being at least 2,400 meters (8,000 feet) into the atmosphere. And because Cheley Colorado Camps sits at an elevation of 8,200 feet above sea level, it can be described as a high-altitude summer camp. Although it just barely meets the criteria for high altitude, campers who have never experienced it before may be surprised to experience how it affects them—at least initially.

Most campers don’t experience any symptoms of altitude sickness at our elevation; however, it’s important to know that there’s a chance your camper will experience some mild symptoms during their first few hours at camp, during strenuous activity, or if traveling to very high altitude (above 12,00ft) on a hike, backpack, or other activity. The most common symptoms include headaches, fatigue and loss of energy, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, and sleep problems. The best way to acclimate and combat altitude sickness is to drink enough water, eat regularly, and rest.

Head Lice, Bed Bug Screening, and Tick Protocol

Head Lice: We check all campers for head lice upon their arrival at camp. Over the years, we have found that most cases of head lice are brought to camp from home; therefore, to prevent the chance of lice being brought to camp, begin checking your camper’s head for lice a month before your camper’s arrival at camp. If you find and treat any lice, you must inform us. If your camper has head lice, we will contact you.

Bed Bug Screening: We check our cabins/wagons for beds bugs. Should any issues arise, we have a plan in place to deal with bed bugs both prior to and during the summer.

Tick Protocol: At Cheley, we do the following to help minimize exposure to ticks:

  • Train staff in our procedures including identification of ticks, encouraging regular application of bug spray, encouraging campers to wear appropriate clothing when hiking, backpacking, etc.
  • When campers return from program, counselors help campers do their own tick checks.
  • When necessary, checks done during the summer by members of our Health Center staff. Our nurses look for signs of bug bites, ticks, rashes, scabs, etc.

Dental & Orthodontic Care

We recommend that campers visit their dentist and orthodontist before coming to camp. Our local orthodontists are not willing to do substantial work or major repairs. If a wire snaps or a similar problem arises during the summer, the orthodontist in Estes Park will do what they can to make sure your camper is comfortable until they return home and see their own orthodontist.

Parents of campers undergoing orthodontic treatment should relay any special instructions to us.

Mental, Emotional, and Social Health

We care deeply about the mental well-being of our campers and take pride in caring for them in a nurturing manner! While being at camp is joyful and therapeutic in nature, Cheley Colorado Camps is not a rehabilitation or recovery program nor is Cheley a treatment center. As such, it is important to have realistic expectations regarding the support we can provide your camper while they are at camp.

We train our staff to help foster social skills, relationships, and personal growth and offer intentional support to campers who need a little extra TLC. Our staff do not have the expertise needed to work with campers who have severe mental, emotional, or social difficulties. Although we do have trained mental health professionals on-site, we do not have a designated social worker, nor provide therapy. To ensure support and continuity of care during your camper’s time at camp, we can schedule calls with your camper’s mental health provider.

Keep in mind that regardless of the positive and empowering nature of camp, it is an emotionally and physically demanding experience. That said, many campers who experience mild/moderate anxiety, depression, and ADHD/ADD often do well at camp if they have positive coping mechanisms; therefore, we encourage campers to continue their prescribed medication and bring other coping strategies (journal, favorite book, etc.) to camp.

We find that the more honest and detailed you can be with us ahead of time, the better your camper’s time at camp will be. As part of the enrollment process, you will be asked to complete various wellness forms, including our Parent Information Form. This form gives our staff insight into your camper’s mental health and well-being, and more. Not only does it allow our staff to get to know your camper, but it is invaluable for helping set the stage for a positive camp experience.

Cheley Colorado Camps should never be used as a tool or replacement for mental health care.

Vaccine Requirements

Campers are not required to be vaccinated for Covid-19; however, we strongly recommend campers are up-to-date on their vaccinations as recommended by their pediatrician (including those for Covid-19 and flu).

Colorado law (Board of Health rule 6 CCR 1009-2) requires all students attending Colorado schools and licensed child cares to be vaccinated against certain diseases, unless an exemption is filed. The minimum number and spacing of doses is set forth in the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedules. Meeting the initial vaccine requirements does not excuse a student from meeting additional requirements. In addition to the vaccines required for school entry, there are several vaccines recommended by the ACIP that provide protection against other diseases. These include Meningococcal, Hepatitis A, Rotavirus, Human papillomavirus and Influenza.

Below are the vaccines required for students attending Colorado licensed child cares and schools.

Vaccines required to enter child care:

  • Hepatitis B.
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTap).
  • Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib).
  • Inactivated poliovirus (IPV).
  • Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13) or polysaccharide (PPSV23).
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR).
  • Varicella (chicken pox).

Vaccines required to enter school (K-12):

  • Hepatitis B.
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTap).*
  • Inactivated poliovirus (IPV).*
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR).*
  • Varicella (chicken pox). *
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap).**

*Students 4 through 6 years of age are required to have their final doses of DTaP, IPV, MMR and Varicella prior to kindergarten entry.

**Students are required to have Tdap prior to entry into 6th grade. One dose of Tdap is required for 6th through 12th grades.

If your camper is not fully immunized, you will be asked to upload a copy of the Immunization Exemption Form:

Stocked Over-the-Counter Meds

  • Ace wraps
  • Albuterol metered dose inhaler (MDI)
  • Antacids – liquids/tablets
  • Bacitracin ointment
  • Bactine
  • Benadryl
  • Band-Aids
  • Benzoin tincture
  • Betadine solution
  • Burn spray
  • Calamine lotion
  • Chloraseptic throat spray
  • Claritin
  • Cough drops
  • Cough syrup
  • Dramamine
  • Drixoral
  • EpiPen
  • Eye drops
  • Flonase
  • Hydrocortisone cream ½% or 1%
  • Ibuprofen
  • Imodium AD
  • Milk of magnesia
  • MiraLAX
  • Naproxen (Aleve)
  • Nasal wash
  • Neosporin
  • Peroxide
  • Saline
  • Sucrets lozenges
  • Tinactin (athlete’s foot cream)
  • Tylenol/acetaminophen – liquid/tabs
  • Tylenol cough & cold
  • Vaseline
  • Zyrtec