Swine Flu Cases Affect WNC Boy Scout Camp

All Boy Scouts attending Camp Daniel Boone in Haywood County are being continuously checked for swine flu after 19 scouts were sent home early last month after showing its symptoms, ten of which tested positive for the swine flu virus.

Recently, there has been only one swine flu case following the camp exposure. This was confirmed on June 26, after a Camp Daniel Boone camper, who had previously reported symptoms of a fever during camp tested positive for the virus H1N1, also known as swine flu.

The camp has been concerned about new reports of new cases from scouts who have returned home and wishes for them to have a speedy recovery. Upon notification, Camp Daniel Boone began alerting its leaders and following health department procedures. All leaders in camp received letters to give to their scouts and parents.

“Our precautions are designed to catch a camper who arrives with the virus quickly so we can minimize/eliminate it spreading,” said camp director Dan Rogers. “The fact that we had one case last week is a very good sign that our efforts have been successful.”

38 scouts and staff reported flu-like symptoms during camp, according to authorities. The sick staff was quarantined as a result to minimize the risk of new campers while the camp was disinfected over a weekend period. Scoutmasters were asked not to bring any campers who may be ill into the camp.

A policy was passed on June 16 offering to refundany isolated camper diagnosed with H1N1 while at Camp Daniel Boone based on the total camp fee minus a $50.00 processing fee. All requests for reimbursements would be handled through the Scoutmaster.

“We were supposed to report if someone was sick to our scout master and stay away from them,” said 13 year-old Spencer Williams, a returning participant in Daniel Boone’s camp this past June.

Out of the ten campers who tested positive for swine flu, eight scouts belonged to a troop from Dunwoody, Ga. and six more showed symptoms. Two more scouts that tested positive were from Palm Beach County, Fla.

Campers were medically screened upon arrival to the camp, and continuously checked twice a day thereafter.

“They would ask me questions about what symptoms I had, and then they would take my temperature,” said Williams. “We had to do that twice, before breakfast and before dinner everyday.”

The camps medical staff will continue to screen scouts and staff twice daily.

“Our procedures, developed with the help of the Haywood County Health Dept, State of NC Dept of Health and CDC have been very effective,” said Rogers.

According to Williams, several hand-sanitizing stations were put up around the campsite. Also, all of the camp cabins and tents were disinfected immediately.

The front page of the camp website, located at www.campdanielboone.org, has been updated frequently to include outside parties and report what sorts of sanitation is taking place. E-mails were sent out to all parents of the signed up campers alerting them of the situation.

When asked about the camps reputation, Rogers stated “If we were the only camp in America to have this virus this year, then I would believe it could be looked at as a failure of the camp, but the fact remains there are a lot of camps out there dealing with this issue.”

“I wasn’t worried when I got to camp because I heard how they were containing it,” Williams said. “The counselors were really cautious and watchful. That helped me feel a lot more comfortable.”

Camp Daniel Boone hosts about 700 campers from across the country, all between the ages of 11-17.

“Registrations for next year are strong and we expect to sell out for 2010 in late October 2009, just as we have the past 3 years,” said Rogers. “People vote with their feet and the feeling I have at this point is one of trust and approval of the operation we run here at Camp Daniel Boone.”