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Camp leaders modify schedule to keep kids safe during wicked heat

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Area camp leaders are making sure kids stay safe, cool, and hydrated as intense heat blankets Central Virginia.

More than 200 campers adjusted their routines at YMCA Camp Thunderbird Tuesday, as the heat index hit triple digits.

“When the heat is rising above 99-100 heat index usually what we do is we modify our activities to make sure campers are either in an indoor or air-conditioned space; they’re out of the direct heat,” said Camp Director Jason Ching. “When we schedule out all of our activities we make sure our program spaces are set in the shade or they have options to be in the shade.”

Tuesday, campers spent a lot of time in the pool or indoors doing activities such as reading.

More than a dozen water coolers are frequently filled at activity areas around the campus to ensure the kids stay hydrated.

“What we tell our counselors is to make sure that each camper is individually taking sips of water every 10 to 15 minutes and making sure their water bottle is filled up at all times,” said Ching. “What we do is we take a whole camp group and say alright everybody pause for a second find your water bottle and hold it up in the air and I want to see every camper take five sips out of their water bottle.”

Camp Thunderbird counselors are trained to spot signs of dehydration, and there is also an EMT on site.

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