Total Miles: 10 miles
Total Cost: priceless
Last summer I had the unique opportunity to be the camp nurse for basketball camp to some 40-odd teenage boys in Wisconsin. (For last year's trips, check out the links under June 2012. And for last year's camp video highlights, click here)
There were over 80 teenagers registered to attend camp, which started on Monday, August 5th...by the time the last campers checked in, we had 50 teenage "ballers" from all over.
Being a Neonatal ICU nurse has it's pros...and cons...I'm a little more familiar with patients who weigh less than 13 pounds and can't talk back. But after managing last year's bunch, I was confident this year would be smoother. ('was' being the operative word)
Of the ten counselors, one was unable to attend the meeting Monday morning during which my cellular number was given...guess which counselor was the first to have problems? yup.
I learned at breakfast on Tuesday morning that one of the campers had decided to call 9-1-1 around 0200 and then inform his counselor he wasn't feeling well...as they rode the ambulance to the ER.
The counselor now has my number programed into his cellular device.
The teenager was ok...until Tuesday night...I got a call as I was finishing up a blog post on Colorado and turning off the lights. The kid's mother wanted him to leave with his team right then because he wasn't feeling well. So, at midnightish, I headed over to the guys' dormitories to have a chat with both the camper and his mother. My NICU training came in very handy in speaking with the mother, and she agreed to allow him to stay for at least another 24 hours. I ended up staying out until past 0100 purchasing a water bottle and some snacks for the camper.
Nap time the next day was obliterated by a sweet camper whose eye started swelling (randomly) at lunch...and got progressively worse during nap time. After placing a few messages to some medical friends of mine, I opted to take him to a doctor's office to get checked out. We got some meds on board, and he was feeling better by the end of the day.
Being tired by the time we reached the room late that night, my roommate (the camp secretary extraordinaire, Kristen) and I opted to go to sleep...which was more wishful thinking. By 0200, my phone was going off...the camper who called 9-1-1?
He had called them again without telling his counselor. Again. The counselor assured me that they would be ok and that he would contact me if they needed me to come get them from the ER. I tossed and turned for over an hour before drifting off into a fitful sleep. Only to be reawakened at 0400 by another text. The kid had been diagnosed with a pretty serious condition, but the doctor opted not to keep the camper overnight. And by breakfast time, the camper and his friends had left without saying a word. Sigh.
This year, it was the popular thing (that all the 'cool' kids did) to have a bag of ice and sit on the sidelines with the nurse.
At least, that's how it seemed.
If only they could have all coordinated when they wanted ice...instead, I got my exercise in and became VERY familiar with the ice machine by making numerous trips to the ice maker.
Miraculously, by the time the competitions and tournaments came around, the sidelines were cleared.
Laugh. Out. Loud.
I love them. Each and every one. They all grew, both in basketball skills and in their relationships with God. The services were a huge blessing. I was able to sing a couple times and enjoyed joining voices with other staff members to sing praises to God.
Kristen and I had a wonderful time being exhausted together...we drank WAY too much Starbucks, and we probably had too much fun watching the skits and games.
Overall, it was a very stretching and profitable week.
I will admit, I teared up when Friday night awards' ceremony came. Pastor Mike introduced the staff members to those in attendance, and those crazy campers gave a standing ovation...love them (and their scores of ice bags!)!
This year was significantly different from last year, but I learned so much and know that God is continuing His work in both the campers and in me.
"Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
~Jesus (Matthew 11:28)