Scenic view of trees at camp

Your In-Depth Guide to Medication at Overnight Youth Camp

by Pine Cove


Updates for 2023

We are continually evaluating the latest state and church recommendations for our procedures to protect the health of campers, staff, and parents. Major updates are summarized below.

    • While we encourage you leave all over-the-counter (OTC) meds at home, if you must pack them, like a preferred allergy pill, then they have to be in blister packs processed and filled by a certified pharmacist or by the manufacturer.

Safety at Pine Cove is a big deal. Especially medical safety. We distribute over 150,000 medications each year and put a lot of time and energy into training our camp staff and medical staff to provide the highest level of care possible when it comes to storing, giving out, and overseeing medication.

Meds, understandably, bring with them a number of questions. We’ve put together this guide to help you know what’s what when it comes to camper meds.

If you have additional questions or concerns about your camper’s medical care, email us!

For our East Texas camps (Towers, Ranch, Timbers, and Shores), email

For our Central Texas camps (Silverado, Outback, and Ridge), email

For our Southeast camp (Springs), email

How do I tell you about my camper’s medical needs?

It is critical to communicate about your camper’s medical needs on the camper’s medical form. These forms become available in your account to fill out one month before your camper’s camp session. It’s important to have ALL medications included on the medical form before we can accept them at check-in. Make sure that if you make any last minute changes to your child’s medication before arrival at camp, that you also update the medical form.

If this is your first summer, you also completed a medical concerns form as part of your registration. This is the form where you will make sure to let us know about any bigger picture concerns, like diabetes or individual care needs your camper may have. It’s important to let us know about these needs as soon as possible before their camp session so we can make sure both our camp teams and medical teams are prepared to serve them safely.

Where can my camper keep their meds?

State law requires us to store all medications at the health centers. Exceptions are made for rescue inhalers, diabetic supplies, and epi-pens. Just be sure to mention your camper will need to carry these things with them on the medical form. This applies not just to campers, but also to our staff, so there’s no possibility of a camper getting into a staffer’s luggage and accessing medication. 

This includes over-the-counter medications. Please do not store any over-the-counter (OTC) meds or vitamins in your camper’s luggage. We already keep many OTC medications in our nurses office for use as needed.

What meds should my camper bring?

Please leave all non-prescription medications at home for the week. Standing in line for meds during mealtime is not most camper’s favorite thing to do, so if it’s not essential, your camper will thank you too! 

If you believe your camper must have their own over-the-counter (OTC) medications, like a preferred allergy pill, then they must be placed in blister packs processed and filled by a certified pharmacist or by the manufacturer. Be sure to allow enough time for them to be processed and available by camp time. Please also know that we are well stocked with most OTC medications they might need! See a full list of the medication we keep on hand at the bottom of this guide. 

When are meds given out?

During summer, medication is given out at meals from Monday breakfast to Friday dinner and bedtimes beginning Sunday night. Note that we do not give out meds at dinner on Sunday or breakfast on Saturday, so make sure to give your camper their dinner meds early when you drop them off at camp. If your camper takes medications daily at breakfast you can give it to them when you collect their meds at camper pick up.

Make sure to communicate with your camper what meds (if any) they should expect to be taking at mealtime, so they’re aware. It’s important that they know if they are supposed to stand in line for their meds prior to meals. 

At Winterfest, medication is given out at bedtime Friday night through Saturday bedtime. At Sunday breakfast we will not give out medications, so if your camper takes medication daily at breakfast you can give them that medication when you pick them up.

How should I pack my camper’s meds?

Make sure to keep all prescription medication in its original prescription container. It’s easy to want to consolidate when you are packing and put all their meds for the week into a baggie—we get it! However,  state regulations require all medication to be in containers processed by a pharmacist. We cannot make exceptions. Please remember to keep them with their original prescription bottle. 

As a reminder, you should not need to bring over-the-counter (OTC) medications as we stock many in our clinic to be given as needed, but if you must send them, they too must be in pharmacy processed blister packs. 

Anything else important about meds?

Speaking of state regulations, we also cannot administer prescription meds that are:

  • Expired. All medication must be currently valid.
  • Prescribed to other people. Medication must be prescribed to the camper only and not other family members. If dispensing instructions have changed, please ensure the label is updated by the pharmacy.
  • Compounded or mixed at home. We can administer medicines that have been compounded or mixed by a pharmacy, but we cannot administer medicines that have been mixed or compounded together at home. Our nurses at camp are also unable to mix or compound medicines together. If you need this, work with your pharmacy ahead of time to bring a pharmacy mixed medicine with you.
  • Broken in half. We cannot administer medicines that are cut or broken into smaller doses than prescribed.

Regulations require us to follow the directions on all prescription medicine bottles or pharmacist processed blister packs. 

What about essential oils or vitamins?

Due to the already large amount of medicines tracked and given out during the week, we do not administer essential oils or vitamins, unless they are prescription (and in prescription bottle or in blister packs from a certified pharmacist). Please do not send them in your camper’s luggage.

What about CBD oil?

Similar to essential oils, we do not administer CBD oil to campers, and we ask that you do not pack it in your camper’s luggage.

How do I get my meds back?

On Saturday you can pick up your meds from the meds pick up table before or after picking up your camper. Please don’t forget! Bring your photo ID so we can verify we are giving the meds back to the right person.

Full list of medications Pine Cove keeps on hand

Allergy / Antihistamines / Sinus / Cold and Cough

  • Afrin
  • Benadryl (liquid, tablets, topical)
  • Chloraseptic Throat Spray
  • Claritin (liquid, children’s, and tablets)
  • Cough Drops
  • Pepcid (H2 blocker)
  • Phenylephrine Tabs
  • Robitussin / Robitussin DM
  • Saline Nasal Spray
  • Sore Throat Lozenges
  • Zyrtec

Eye Drops

  • Allergy Eye Drops
  • Artificial Tears
  • Eye Wash

Pain Reliever / Fever Reducer / Analgesics

  • Ibuprofen (liquid, jr chewable tablets, 200 mg tabs)
  • Tylenol (liquid, jr. chewable tablets, 325mg and extra-strength 500mg tabs)

Stomach Relief

  • Anti-Nausea Liquid
  • Bonine (Meclizine)
  • Colace (stool softener)
  • Dramamine
  • Dulcolax
  • Immodium (liquid and tablets)
  • Maalox
  • Milk of Magnesia
  • Miralax
  • Mylanta
  • Pepcid
  • Pepto (children’s and adult tablets)
  • Tums


  • Aloe Gel
  • Anti-Fungal Cream and Spray
  • Benadryl Anti-Itch
  • Burn Gel
  • Caladryl
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Medicaine Sting Swabs
  • Neosporin
  • Oragel
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Solarcaine
  • Vaseline

Posted Mar 1, 2022

Pine Cove

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