Increasing Resident Interest and Participation in Summer Camps for Children with Chronic Diseases

Project by Ricki Carroll, MD, and Meredith Winter, MD

Published on

News from the Pediatrics Residency Program

As part of the resident advocacy project, resident physicians have volunteered as medical staff at Dragonfly Forest Camp sporadically over the years. As camp physicians, their role included administering medications, treating minor illness and injuries, and triaging more severe ones.

The camp, located 45 minutes from CHOP, serves children with chronic medical conditions including sickle cell disease, hemophilia, chromosome 22q.11 deletion, asthma and autism. The mission of Dragonfly is to “provide an exhilarating, challenging, and nurturing camp experience through which children gain a greater sense of independence, self-esteem and self-reliance.” The camp accomplishes these goals by integrating peer support and outdoor adventure with high-quality medical care, supervision and education.

Starting with Ricki Carroll, MD, and continuing the following year with Meredith Winter, MD, a medical camp elective rotation was formalized, allowing CHOP colleagues to participate more fully in the camp volunteer experience. Based on a needs assessment from former resident colleagues, the team identified staffing needs and defined the role of medical personnel at the camp. Medical camps such as Dragonfly cannot exist without volunteer medical staff. Recruiting medical volunteers, especially physicians and nurses, had been especially challenging. There has since been increased participation in the elective each subsequent year.

About Resident Senior Advocacy Projects: At Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Community Pediatrics and Advocacy Program (CPAP) integrates an expanded focus on advocacy and community-based pediatrics into pediatric resident training. Senior Advocacy Projects are the capstone of the CPAP curriculum and training.