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gifco147

What power options are camps offering for CPAP users?

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Our closest summer camp has 2 or 3 campsites that have a locked power outlet at 1 platform tent.  These are closest to the camp office and staff cabins, so its not a far run for underground cable.

 

This is a newer add on, and I don't think its advertise, this past year, they offered a half week Webelos Resident camp, followed by a half week of Special needs camping, Our local Autistic/Special Needs Troop went for a true camp experience without the hassle of being there for a full week.  This was a first for may of those boys.

 

Most leaders I have dealt with in the past either bring a battery box, or go without.

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I am a CPAP user but I do not need it as much because I lost a lot of weight so I could go camping. (I have to work really, really hard to get my BMI from Morbidly Obese to merely Overweight. I have the metabolism of a sloth now)  In the years since there are small, compact, battery CPAP's that one could bring on campsites like summer camp and then recharge during the day. The machines now are much quieter and are less noisy then 

I am also a diabetic and long excursions take a lot of extra work to be accommodated and at times I need some assistance from fellow scouters. In return I work extra hard to pull my weight HOWEVER there are time I choose to simply just not go because it would be impose too many limitations on others. 

That said I have seen outings with kids with limited mobility options, blindness, etc being cheerfully accommodated by their buddies so some of this is a bit of a straw-man IMHO.

Now if its is Girl-Scouter needing a CPAP for Family Camping then all bets are off!

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Let's please remember that the original poster came here to get ideas on HOW to solve a particular problem.  Like most threads in which people do that, some of the responses raise questions about whether there is a problem in the first place.  That is not against the rules, but I think some of the responses here have been unnecessarily harsh.  We are supposed to be "helpful", and provide that help in a "friendly" way. 

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17 hours ago, gifco147 said:

Greetings!

I am looking for some input from the group. I am the Health and Safety Officer for one of our Council Camps. We are seeing a steady increase in the number of adult leaders who rely on CPAP, and we have tried several different options to meet their medical needs. Some of our sites are close enough to run a long extension cord, but many are not. We have tried battery boxes with some success, but they are heavy and expensive. During our busiest sessions, demand surpasses availability. 

So,....

What are your camps doing to meet this need?

(Please note that I am talking about power for medical devices only, not power for charging other electronics)

Assuming this is in a BSA council great topic for 1) your council ERM Committee and 2) your council Health Supervisor (who should be the one to sign off on this protocol)

On a more general note, extension cords should not be a permanent solution.   In most states that would not meet code.   For outdoor wiring solutions, a discussion with the Camps maintenance staff / Ranger and local AHJ about the use of circus wiring if you have to have cords is a typical choice.     

The other alternative would be to provide a designated area for said adults, perhaps outside of normal locations.  This might limit their effectivness as supervision for youth.   

 

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I'm a little concerned that if snoring becomes a medical concern and one becomes required to address it in order to attend camp, my fellow scouters will banish me to the camp CPAP station! :laugh:

Actually, my observations parallel those of @scotteg83. I think a lot of scouters use summer camp as a way to figure out how to extend their camping envelope given the conditions that they have accumulated. They do that in consultation with their doctors and us.

I'm not sure that electricity to the camp site would keep them from innovating, but it would certainly not encourage them to use the week to figure out solutions for the other 12-15 camping nights of the year.

That said, one or two campsites where power could be opened for scouts/scouters with medical necessities sounds like a plus. But, I would try to get those stakeholders at the table to determine what they'd really like.

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18 hours ago, gifco147 said:

Greetings!

I am looking for some input from the group. I am the Health and Safety Officer for one of our Council Camps. We are seeing a steady increase in the number of adult leaders who rely on CPAP, and we have tried several different options to meet their medical needs. Some of our sites are close enough to run a long extension cord, but many are not. We have tried battery boxes with some success, but they are heavy and expensive. During our busiest sessions, demand surpasses availability. 

So,....

What are your camps doing to meet this need?

(Please note that I am talking about power for medical devices only, not power for charging other electronics)

My recommendation would be to:

  • Set up an area of camp where people requiring any type of electrical connection for medical devices can bunk. That way you have them all in one area.
  • To keep noise pollution down I would try to set up this area as far away from other campers as possible.
  • If required, have a men's and women's area.

I saw a set up like this at a camp on the east coast. The tent camp was behind the dinning hall, near the health lodge. The drone of the CPAP machines at night was drowned out by the A/C units and ice machines at the dinning hall. Our camp was about a quarter mile away and you couldn't hear anything until you got within 50ft of the camp site. I gotta say the drone of the CPAP machines was louder than I expected.

As a former camp staffer, I would say that the camp should not have to offer this service. I think you go down a slippery slope once you make such an accommodation. I suspect there might even be increased liability should you offer the service, the electricity goes out (with no battery back up) and someone (God forbid) dies as a result.

Best advice is what others have said here: Don't offer the service. If folks cannot sleep without CPAP then perhaps a week at camp is not in their best interest.

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7 hours ago, Col. Flagg said:

 I suspect there might even be increased liability should you offer the service, the electricity goes out (with no battery back up) and someone (God forbid) dies as a result.

Best advice is what others have said here: Don't offer the service. If folks cannot sleep without CPAP then perhaps a week at camp is not in their best interest.

Agreed, why take the chance? Putting them in a separate campsite limits supervision (most small troops only bring 2 adults around me). 

All the camp needs is to be sued and shut down since someone died that needs it, but the camps electricity is out. If anything, have them sign a waiver.

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I haven't been to our council's camp in a couple years now, but the way it was..... there's a small shelter at each site, just barely big enough for one picnic table under a roof.  There's an outlet there.  Not uncommon to see extension cords spread from there to nearby tents.

As I understand it, they have remodeled so that every site has a screened in shelter, with some sort of bunk house in the back for Scouters...basically a room big enough for a few bunks.  I would assume there's power.

No such thing at the last place I went to summer camp.  One of our ASM's brings a marine battery for his cpap.  I always thought that if I were him I'd rig up a small dolly for the battery, complete with charger.  That way he could wheel the thing up to the dining hall or wherever mid week to recharge if need be

 

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My husband uses a CPAP machine and has had it now for a little over a year.  He takes a battery when he's camping outside.  

At my Wood Badge, several CPAP users were placed in a cabin with electrical outlets to meet their needs.  I think they were grouped into the same patrol?   Maybe I have that wrong... I'm not sure but a whole group was in a cabin because of the need.

Honestly I don't care for the CPAP machine and would like it if my husband were able to get away from the need for it, which would mostly require weight loss.  He's not sure if losing weight will be the cure, but goodness knows it can't hurt. 

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Our troop runs its own camp with no power or running water. They run a generator 30-45 minutes a day to run the electric pump for cook shack water and water barrels for the showers. Any adults needing medical power would need to be self supporting. We have never had a scout needing power accommodations. 

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FWIW at Jamboree we had a few adults who needed a CPAP,  they brought solar chargers and large battery packs.  There are lots of battery-powered CPAP devices on the market that are designed for travel as well.  That might be an option.

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We camp regularly at 4 different BSA Scout Reservations. Only one of them has electric in the Scout campsites and that is a leaders cabin with power. We have one dad in the Troop with a CPAP and he brings a battery pack and charges it every day. I look forward to the peace and quiet of no phones or electronics in camp because of the lack of electricity. 

I would leave it up to the adults to take care of themselves. I'd rather see any money that would be used to hire contractors to install electric be used to better the program for the Scouts. 

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Some patients should look at the custom mouth piece option for an off-grid solution. The mouth piece replaces the CPAP during sleep and effectively changes the shape of the airway enough to eliminate snoring and the need to use the device.  A family member with mild to moderate sleep apnea was able to make this change.

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