My hands gripped the steering wheel tightly as I hurtled around the hairpin turns. We were on our way to camp and, quite frankly, I was freaking out and these crazy back roads were not helping! One false move and you slam into the the sedimentary rocks of the Canadian Shield!
Just months before I had sent in my application to be a volunteer camp nurse. It was kinda on a whim. I just thought it might be nice to spend a few weeks at a lake with the kids. I was thinking it might be fun for them and a good experience for me. Was I wrong?
The camp director had come to the house to interview me after he had received my application. He wanted to meet me and my husband in person which seems reasonable if you are gonna have an adult hanging around with a bunch of kids. I had spent the day cleaning the house up like crazy, which is just about impossible with 3 little kids! I was so nervous. Did I mention that the director was a priest? Oh yah. This was a church camp. I had never had a priest in my house before.
I had barely managed to keep the main floor tidy. After introductions and chatting with us a while, he asked if he could show us a video about the camp. I just about died! The TV was in the basement…which I had not cleaned up at all. It, honestly, was a minor disaster. I apologized about a hundred times. Toys from wall to wall and I had not emptied the (very full and very stinky) garbage can full of diapers! I was pretty sure that I would never get the job. And, I kinda wondered if I really wanted the job?!
Father Brian had explained that Camp Acorn (“Mighty oaks from little acorns grow”) had an open door policy. As in, there were no locks on the bedroom doors. I can imagine that might be a good idea with teenaged counselors and “social safety” and all, but I, frankly, found that kinda creepy. Additionally, each bedroom was outfitted with bunk beds. Yup, bunk beds. I hadn’t slept in a bunk bed since I was 10 and went to camp myself. My back ached just thinking about it! There was one shower on each of the upper 2 floors of the 3 story building. That meant 16 people shared one shower. Oh and 2 toilets. Shy bladder? Forget about it! I would be the only health care provider for the 80 campers and 30 staff. The local hospital was a 45 minute drive into town (along those hairpin turns again!). I already mentioned that this was a volunteer job too, right? This scenario was wrong on so many levels. Why had I ever agreed to this?
Well…part of the reason may have been that the camp nurse was provided with child care for an hour after each meal so as to allow for medication distribution AND an additional 2 hours every morning during the AM instructions for some “down time”. FREE CHILD CARE! Oh dear Lord, yes, sign me up!!