Cake is the answer

After dinner, Anita had to peel my son’s face off the dining table and scoop him up to take him upstairs. His sleepy eyes barely fluttered, and he lay his flushed little face down on Anita’s shoulder and closed his eyes again. He was a goner! Amazing what some fresh air and rambunctious water play will do to a kid! Anita told me later that he didn’t even waken while she changed him into his PJs!

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I hurried up to the office and saw my regular “med kids” and an additional collection of about eleven campers. It was a potpourri of various afflictions including; swimmer’s ear, abrasion on the leg, acid reflux, allergies, something in my eye, and the like. Some of the kids came in looking for a band-aid for a really minor scratch or scrape. Most of the time I would have them wash it out with my fancy smelling liquid soap and some warm water and then maybe we would put a band-aid on it, maybe some Bacitracin. I had to wonder though…why are they showing me these lame scrapes? I just chalked it up to the fact that these kids were far away from their Mums and they just needed reassurance. “OK Bobby. That looks fine. No, you will not likely die from gangrene. Keep it clean and dry. Buh-bye now!”


It took me about 40 minutes to see all the regular med kids plus the eleven “afflicted”. It kinda made me wonder as I saw the last kid. Can you imagine these kids sitting around and waiting 40 minutes? Most of them saw it as a social opportunity I figured. Hang out in the main building with some of your friends and away from the mosquitoes, meet other campers, chat with the accompanying counselors. Good times outside the nurse’s station!? Oh yay!

Afterwards I went in to check on the three sick Deer hut campers. They were sitting up on the bottom bunk and were involved in a lively discussion of Brett Hull’s overtime goal in the final game of the 1999 Stanley Cup. OK, whatever. I figured they were good to go! After, of course, I gave them a lecture about washing their hands before meals, no sharing cups, etc. They nodded and left with their sweaty pillows under their arms. Time for me to get my kids again.

My son was out like a light. The girls were still up though and they were not yet interested in bedtime. So, not wanting to wander far from my sleeping son, we hung out in their room for the evening. We called in it “girls night in”. 

Time for a pedi!


The girls had showers and got their jammies on. I rummaged through my bags and found some nail polish. I needed to redo my very sad pedicure anyways. I found some “Cantaloupe Pink” and we sat down on the floor to glam it up. The girls gave me the low down on their instructions. They filled me in on all the shenanigans going on in swimming class. Sounds like they had a total goof ball for a swim instructor who managed to teach them lots of swimming skills but kept it pretty lively and fun too. They were also going to canoeing classes now. They had learned the rules of canoeing in a song. Apparently the canoeing instructor would pull out his guitar and make up a song, on the spot, about the parts of the canoe, the paddle, how to get into the canoe safely, and how to get back into the canoe if it capsized (which was a good lesson, since the instructors would have the kids tip over their canoes in every class!).  

“Oh and Mum, did you know that Bob Sakamoto invented the canoe?” My daughter asked as she blew on her toes to dry the polish.

“Bob Sakamoto? Who’s that?” I asked as I lathered on another layer of polish so as to disguise the permadirt that had formed under my nails.

“Mum! I just told you. The inventor of the canoe.” She rebuffed me.

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“Ummmm….I’m pretty sure the native Indians invented the canoe. And I am pretty sure that none of them were named Bob Sakamoto. I’m not sure how accurate your canoe facts are there my friend!”

“But that is what Bobbo told us in canoeing!” She giggled realizing how goofy it sounded.

I laughed. Sounded like the instructors were seriously making crap up. But who really cared? They were learning how to canoe, having a blast, singing songs, meeting new friends and wearing a life jacket the whole time. I saw no problem with that.

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The girls showed me their twig art too. It was a picture frame! It looked a lot like the one depicted to the right…but more like a 7 year old would make it…like uglier…but endearing…if you know what I mean? Am I a bad mum? OK whatever.

Finally the girls were ready for bed. I tucked them in, as best as you can tuck a kid into a top bunk! 

“Love you guys!” I said as I kissed them goodnight. “You having a fun time at camp?”

“Yes!” The sang in unison. 

“I’m glad. See you tomorrow. Sleep tight and don’t let the mosquitoes bite!” I gently closed the door. I peeked in on my son, still sleeping. I decided to grab a book, go down to the office and tie up loose ends. 

Ben and Angus dropped by for another visit. I was glad cuz I wanted to bounce an idea off them that I had been brewing. They took up their spots on the examination table.

“Guys. Do you think we could do a ‘Clean Hands’ award?” I asked as I wiped down the counter tops.

“What for?” Ben asked.

“Well, I just looked after half a dozen of the Deer hut campers with belly aches. I can’t help but wonder if we could have stopped whatever bug they had from spreading if they had had clean hands at their meals. Seems like the ‘Silver Broom Award’ was a big deal at dinner tonight. Would we be able to do something similar with a ‘Clean Hands Award’?” 

“Well, what would the prize be?” Angus asked.

“Would it be lame to have a cake for that too?” I asked. “Seems like people are pretty excited about cake at camp!”

“Anne. There can never, ever, ever be too much cake at camp.” Angus said with a solemn expression on his face.

“Sweet! That’s what I will try to do then.” I smiled.

“Caaaaake!” Angus whispered to Ben.

“But how will you decide who wins?” Ben asked.

“Caaaaake!” Angus whispered again.

“Just like the Sliver Broom Award, I will make it a random check before meals as the kids are lined up outside. I can take a tally of how many of the campers have clean hands. Check, say, maybe three times a week? Waddaya think?”

“Sounds like a great idea Anne. Just check with Shawn in the kitchen and make sure they would have enough of the ingredients.” Ben suggested.

“Awh man! That would be awesome!” Angus answered looking all dreamy eyed as he contemplated cake. “Another opportunity for caaaaaaake!” And he licked his lips all dramatic-like.

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