GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Summer camps spend all year planning and preparing for the fun and safety of campers.  

Heat and humidity can seem unbearable, but with access to shade, whether it’s a manmade shade sail or tree cover, campers can help prevent heat exhaustion. At 3,500 feet, YMCA Camp Greenville is normally about 10 degrees cooler, so kids get a jump on more palatable conditions.

Water and slushies abound with Gatorade access as well. Staff are ubiquitous and roam around camp to keep up with an identify any campers that seem to be overdoing it in the heat, and to take pictures so parents can see how things are going via the camp’s app.

Rain and storms can put a damper on activities, but only lightning will send the campers indoors. A normal rain shower usually makes for muddy fun!  

Cory Harrison, executive director of YMCA Camp Greenville, said their lighting detection system finds lightning 30 miles away, and kids stay indoors until the threat has passed.

Summer also brings out bugs and wildlife, but it’s the bugs that insist on hanging around. The deer, turkey and bears tend to stay away thanks to hundreds of kids situated in the mountain at a time.

Cory Harrison said he loves to see campers out in the elements. Even if they must pivot because of weather from time to time, it teaches them how to adjust to change, which he said is an important life skill.

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Lightning safety

Use the 30/30 rule:

If you see lightning and you can’t count to 30 seconds before you hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck.

Once you head inside to take shelter from the storm, wait 30 minutes past the last rumble of thunder before you head back out.

Gnat hack

​Ever get tired of the gnats harassing you each evening?

Harrison has a hack for this:

“We’ve learned this trick. So often there will be gnats that just come out in the heat, especially with the water, and we just take the original brand, like the brown brand of Listerine, and if you just spray a little bit on your head and gnats will come nowhere near you,” Harrison said. “That’s a trick a lot of people don’t know. You smell great because you have Listerine on you, but also, bugs will not go near it.”