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Grrr*Summer Camp told DD to go to the bathroom in the woods

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Tonight we went out to dinner. My 8 yr old went to the bathroom and was gone a while, which isn't typical, so I wondered if she was sick. She said she had a stomach ache, and I asked if she was going to the bathroom while at summer camp.
She said that she didn't want to go because they (the counselors) were telling kids to go in the woods because they weren't enough counselors to take them to the bathroom.



I wrote an email to the director and will call in the morning but I was rather annoyed.

While I am ok with my child in an extreme emergency going in the woods, this is not their choice to make and I really feel it was poor judgement. I worked at this program years ago and I know it is a pain in the butt to take several kids to the bathroom but sheesh, my child shouldn't feel that they can't go because it is inconvenient to the counselor.
post #2 of 28
My teenage son is helping at nature camp this summer. One of his main jobs is escorting kids back down the trail to the bathroom at the nature center. Maybe your camp is short-handed?
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
The usually have a good ratio, so this wasn't the norm that I am aware of.
post #4 of 28
If they don't have enough staff to take the kids to the bathroom, they don't have enough staff to be open and they should refund your money.
post #5 of 28
sounds reasonable to me depending on how far away bathrooms are. What exactly is 'wrong' about asking/tellingi a child to goto the bathroom in the woods when out camping?? I worked at YMCA camps for years in highschool/college and I honestly have to say... I don't get it.
post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamadelbosque View Post
sounds reasonable to me depending on how far away bathrooms are. What exactly is 'wrong' about asking/tellingi a child to goto the bathroom in the woods when out camping?? I worked at YMCA camps for years in highschool/college and I honestly have to say... I don't get it.
While I agree with you in theory... an 8 year old girl most likely does not want to get partially naked with other kids in the vicinity.
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
It was the "being naked in front of other children thing" and while I am ok with digging a hole in the woods to go, I rather doubt that is what they were asking the kids to do.
post #8 of 28
I think it's one thing to go to the bathroom in the woods when you're camping with your family and a completely different thing to go in the woods when you're out with a bunch of peers.

If she was uncomfortable with it then, it's not ok.
post #9 of 28
How far away from the bathrooms were they? Why do 8yo's need to be escorted to the bathroom? What about at evening/night when I'm guessing they were closer to the bathrooms.
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrieMF View Post
How far away from the bathrooms were they? Why do 8yo's need to be escorted to the bathroom? What about at evening/night when I'm guessing they were closer to the bathrooms.
LOL... I was wondering that too.
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrieMF View Post
How far away from the bathrooms were they? Why do 8yo's need to be escorted to the bathroom? What about at evening/night when I'm guessing they were closer to the bathrooms.
Well, they are in the woods.
People in my homeschool group are mostly really relaxed but the parkdays in the woods, one of us will escort the eight and under crowd to the bathroom.
My dd is a year younger and I wouldn't feel comfortable with her walking alone in the woods.
post #12 of 28
If you are so far out in the woods than an 8 yo cant find their way back to the toilet by themselves, then the closest tree seems like a reasonable option to me. It doesn't mean the whole group will come over and watch her pee, I'm assuming they have better things to do.

I don't get it either. She is out in the woods. Thats where people have been going to the bathroom for the last 3.999 million years. It's only in the last 20 years society has developed this notion that it isn't ok. That doesn't make the last 3.999 million years wrong.
post #13 of 28
Some kids just don't pee outside easily.

My dd is 3.5 and really will only pee on a tree in an extreme emergency. She *hates* and always has. She has been potty trained since 2, and never really liked it, and we camp and hike a lot, so it isn't like she hasn't had a chance to do it.

I'm hoping by the time she is 8 she won't be bothered by it, but some people are... and I think we should respect that and the OP's DD.

My boys love to pee outside, but probably would not if they were with a bunch of kids at camp. They would with us, but : I don't see why they can have everyone walk to the bathroom at a certain time for break.
post #14 of 28
yeah i am thinking if they are that far out then maybe going behind a bush is the best option. maybe reminding your dd to go before they get on the trail will help? that way it is out of the way before they get out there and get busy hiking.
or if they can get a group to go at once. i know it would be a HUGE PIA to hike back and forth taking one kid at a time to the toilet.
h
post #15 of 28
Huh, I always went to summer camp in the woods and I NEVER would have so much as peed in the woods even though I did go in the woods when I was camping. Summer camp in the woods is not necessarily camping which might be a weird distinction if you haven't done both? That feeling of not being able to fall asleep without trekking to the bathroom and having to ask someone to go is seared in my memory. We just had to go in pairs, if I remember correctly...hmmm. Kids have varying degrees of bathroom comfort, maybe other kids don't mind and you can have your daughter tell the counselor that she doesn't want to go in the woods, I bet someone would go with her if she asked. Well, now that you have talked to the director for sure! It does not seem weird to me that your 8 year old holds it rather than going in the woods. You might not have sent her to summer camp if you guys didn't think bathroom facilities would be available. It sounds like you had reason (past experience) to believe she would be able to go in a bathroom.
post #16 of 28
Wow, I always thought that was part of the fun of camp.
post #17 of 28
My DS doesn't have any problem peeing in the woods (though it's easier for boys--more private and no need for tp) but I don't know how he'd feel about it if in a group of other kids. I know he wouldn't be down with going number 2 in that scenario (and like your average 8 year-old daycamper is going to dig a hole--do they carry shovels?).

So my son would probably come home that day with a stomachache too and I would definitely complain. If going in the woods is how they do it at that day camp then you needed to know that beforehand.
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Thats where people have been going to the bathroom for the last 3.999 million years. It's only in the last 20 years society has developed this notion that it isn't ok. That doesn't make the last 3.999 million years wrong.
People have only been frowning on outdoor urination since the 1980s? Then why were toilets, latrines, and Roman urinals invented so much earlier?
post #19 of 28
Thread Starter 
As an aside, this is a licensed summer camp run through a daycare, so there are many regulations they must follow and access to a bathroom is one of them. Second, we are talking needing to have a BM which is a bit different than peeing. Third while I don't have an issue with your child choosing to pee in the woods, she is in care, and it is their job to take care of the children.

I do have a problem with a child who holds her needing to have a bm because she didn't feel comfortable going in the woods and they were told they were short staffed. I also don't believe my child should have to specify what she needs to do in the bathroom in order to use the bathroom, she has a right to privacy.

As far as walking in the woods by herself, again there are regulations that specify if and why a child can be left alone or unescorted. So, whether I would let my child walk in the woods alone isn't up to me to decide, she is in care and they are required to follow certain rules.
post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 
Update- Just spoke with the director and she said this situation wasn't "OK" and she would speak to the staff. She apologized that it even happened.


My children have never had to eliminate anywhere other than the bathroom. I don't have a problem with digging a hole and going if that is what you do, but we have never been in a situation where we needed to go. I have friends who will let the kids pee in the woods/field but it is generally an emergency situation or because they are on a hike and can't get to the bathroom.
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