I grabbed my back pack and left the boathouse. I had one more first aid kit to inspect and that one was in the hut on the beach. As I climbed the steps to the main house I noticed the van was finally gone! The ER trip into town had departed. Sigh.
I turned down the path toward the beach but as I made my way down there I passed a group of LIT I’s who were milling about by the flag pole and clustered at the picnic tables. A few of the guys were blindfolded, some had huge headphones on, three were hobbling around on crutches with a bungee cord wrapped around their legs, some had duct tape across their mouths and two more had their fingers wrapped in about one metric ton of scotch tape. My curiosity was piqued, so I had to wander over. Caroline was sitting on the picnic table supervising two groups of guys attempting to put together a couple of puzzles.
“So, Caroline…what are you guys up to today?”
“We are doing disability sensitivity training with the LIT’s. They are learning about the challenges a person with a disability might face in a day. So some of the LIT’s will be mute for the morning, some will be hearing impaired, some will be blind. We have a couple on crutches who will have difficulty walking around, and then we have a few who will not be able to use their hands. They will have to work with each other today to compensate for their differences and accomplish various tasks, including eating lunch.” Caroline winked and nodded at me.
I looked back at the kids at the picnic table working on the puzzles. It did appear to be a great challenge as the LIT with his fingers taped together was attempting to point out a puzzle piece to one LIT who was ‘deaf’ and the other who was ‘mute’. There was much grunting, shouting, and hand motions!
Meanwhile the three ‘blind’ LIT’s were being guided by the three LIT’s on crutches as they tried to navigate around some orange cone obstacles and then get to the drinking fountain for a drink. This was quite a loud activity. The guys on crutches were shouting out directions, but one of the ‘blind’ LIT’s was headed toward another and they ended up bumping into each other. One of the LIT’s on crutches finally hobbled over to his ‘blind’ LIT and guided him around the obstacles by having the ‘blind’ guy hold on to his shoulder. Smart! Of course when the ‘blind’ individual got to the drinking fountain, he ended up spraying his face in water as he got too close. Lots of laughter over that one!
This was fantastic! I thought of so many of my elderly patients from my nursing home days who were riddled with arthritis for whom just walking, bathing, eating, and dressing were such huge obstacles! Many were deaf. Many had cataracts or diabetic retinopathy causing blindness. So many were afflicted with strokes, making verbal communication almost impossible. This exercise was invaluable! Not only would they learn about these challenges but they also might appreciate their health and their youth a little more!?
“Awesome Caroline. This is awesome. Enjoy your morning!” I patted her on the back. I glanced at my watch. I had about fifteen minutes before I needed to rendezvous with Danielle for our run. Hmmmm….maybe this would be a good time for that phone call. I headed towards the main house and jogged up the stairs to the third floor office and stepped inside. Bill was grabbing his keys and a stack of papers.
“Oh hey Anne! Do you need me? I have to do some mid summer evaluations,” he said as he waved his papers at me.
“Nope, nope. I am good. Just wondered if I could use the phone to make a call for camp business?”
“Absolutely. Is there anything that I need to know?”
“Nope, nope. I think it should not be a problem.” I said as I unzipped my back pack and found the note with Amanda’s mum’s number and sat in the chair.
“OK, well just shut the office door after you leave please.”
“No problem.” I smiled and nodded and picked up the phone to dial. Bill left the room and I waited for the sound of the door closing behind him. I took a deep breath and dialed the number. The phone rang twice and picked up. I was greeted in a very professional manner.
“Good morning. This is the law office of Smythe and Ripley. My name is Diana. How may I help you?”
“Diana? This is Anne, the camp nurse at Acorn. Amanda asked me to call you.”
“Oh thank GOD!” The professional tone disappeared. Diana sounded, frankly, distraught. “Can you believe what I am going through right now?” She whispered into the phone.
Nope. Nope, I could only imagine.