From heart aches to heart warming!


After lunch Caroline and Anita came to fetch the kids. They both looked a little grim but managed to put on brave faces for the kids.

“Where’s Sammy?” My son asked, noticing the substitution immediately.

“She has a tummy ache.” I answered. It was probably true, although, I am not sure it was her tummy that ached. More likely her conscience and, or, her heart that ached from her regrettable mistake in judgement. It was a painful lesson, that was for sure.

“Shall we try some tether ball or ‘Duck-duck-goose’?” Anita changed the subject.

“Duck-duck-goose!” My eldest daughter shouted.

The kids scrambled down from their chairs and took off out the dining hall as the counselors followed in their wake. I turned towards the back stairwell as I noticed a gaggle of boys starting up the stairs in front of me. Ugh. It looked like quite a crowd for me to work through.

I trudged up the stairs behind the stream of boys. My thighs ached with every step after my run this morning. I felt old.

At the top of the stairs, one of the campers held the door open to me and revealed the dozen campers standing, sitting, and sprawling on the floor outside the health office. Oh boy.

“OK guys. Let me have alllll the campers who just need their regular meds first, ok?”

I opened the health office door and immediately had three guys in the office behind me. I gave my hands a wash in my lovely Bath and Bodyworks soap. Aaaah! The fresh scent of Juniper Breeze. My favorite. Then I proceeded to give out their meds. I made quick work of those guys.  I stuck my head out the door while the last one swallowed his pill.

“OK who needs band aids?” I called out over the cacophony in the hallway. Four campers held up their hands. I waved them in.

I saw a couple of open blisters on feet, a small case of ‘road rash’ on a knee and one odd looking rash on a wrist. I got the blistered dudes to give them a good wash with some of my soap to get the sand out, a few band aids to cover their blisters, and reminded them not to let them fall off in the lake (gross!) and sent them on their way. I had the road rash dude wash his knee out with a little bit of soap also. Then I put a very light layer of gauze over top, as it was weeping a little bit of serous drainage. Nothing that looked infected though. I figured the gauze would let it dry out but soak up some of the serous oozing and keep it from rubbing up against things. I told him to keep it clean and dry as much as he was able and to come back to me if it looked red, or started to weep creamy-looking drainage. Now for the wrist….

A dermatologist, I am not, but I took a look at Taylor’s wrist. But first, I put on some gloves! If it was something contagious, like chicken pox, I didn’t want it!! He said he thought he had had chicken pox as a kid. That was a huge relief! Hmmm. It was a group of tiny blisters. He said it was kinda itchy, but not painful. It had started last evening and had developed into this grouping today. It felt better when he was swimming. I asked if he had been out in the woods and he said he had been part of the group running and hiding in the forest during ‘Capture the flag”. He had climbed up into a tree and had sat on a branch for many minutes as he had watched some of the campers below. Poison ivy? Poison oak? I didn’t know. So, I decided to give him some non-drowsy antihistamine to reduce the itchiness (all I needed was for him to scratch that with dirty fingernails and have him break out in impetigo!) and then I lightly covered the blistered area with an over-the-counter steroid cream and then I wrapped some saran wrap around his wrist. I asked him to come back after dinner so I could assess it again and see if we had made any progress. Taylor agreed and off he went. 

The remainder of the campers came in one by one. I had two head aches (acetaminophen), a sunburn (aloe-vera lotion and a stern lecture), swimmers ear (the drying drops did the trick), a sliver in the hand (took 3 minutes to get that little sucker out!).

“Everybody say thanks to Anne.” Ben instructed the campers as they started down the stairs.

Love me some Dettol!

“Thaaaaaanks Aaaaaaanne!” I heard the cheer echo down the stair well. It warmed my heart.

I turned back to the office and did a quick tidy up, tossing the band aid wrappers in the garbage. I wiped down the counter-top and sink with some Dettol and then I gave the floor a quick sweep. I washed my hands again and then sat down and quickly jotted down some names and notes about who I had seen, and what I had done.

I locked up the office and walked down the hall to the balcony on the east side of the building. A couple of the counselors were chilling there on the deck chairs. They greeted me with a “Hey Anne!”.

I walked over to the balcony and had a look over the activities down below. I was looking to see where my kids ended up. I noticed them right away. There was a large circle of kids by the flag poll. Both big and little campers and a few counselors were playing a huge game of “Duck-duck-goose’. My son was walking around the outside of the circle tapping each head with a “Duck…duck….duck….duck….” I watched as he went around most of the circle, with my daughters, the counselors, and campers smiling and chuckling at him. Then he picked one of the biggest counselors, Joe, to be the ‘goose’. Giggling and attempting to run, my son’s glee was readily apparent as he tried to run around the circle and beat Joe back to the open spot. Joe shouted as if completely startled, got up, and in a very comical slow motion ran in the opposite direction as my son. About half way around the circle my son stumbled and fell. My son quickly got up, uninjured, and turned to check to see Joe’s progress. Joe then feigned a stumble too. Joe then dropped to his knees, hands in the air a la Platoon style, shouting “Noooooo!” and fell face down onto the ground. Joe crawled on his hands and knees and then got up and stumbled back several seconds too late to reclaim his spot in the circle. The circle of kids were in hysterics, laughing at Joe’s antics. I cracked up as I watched. My son had already returned to the open spot and the surrounding kids were patting him on the back congratulating him. He was bursting with happiness, bouncing on his knees and clapping!

God I loved this place!

I lost at ‘Duck-duck-goose!

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