Unexpected perks of being a camp nurse

Having been a camp nurse for 15 summers I learned that being a camp nurse offered many unique perks. Some were rather unexpected.

  1. I became a bit of a sliver removal master. It makes sense when you figure these campers are in the playing in the woods. I highly recommend a magnifying glass. Check out this how-to video.
  2. I learned to not sweat the small stuff.  Eating lunch in your bathing suit and towel? No worries. No makeup? Not important. Messy hair? Don’t care.
  3. I learned that hand washing can prevent an epidemic.  Epidemics are fun suckers.
  4. I got in touch with my inner artist. Nothing I made in the Arts ‘n Crafts room would win a prize but it was relaxing and cathartic.
  5. I realized how much I love napping in a hammock.
  6. I encountered a lot of wildlife. And, no, I’m not just referring to the counselors! I have seen fox, deer, bears, moose, turtles, fish, loons, Herons, rabbits, racoon.
  7. I had the opportunity to commune with nature: swinging my feet in the water; running along the road through the woods; sitting under the dappled shade of the trees. Disconnect to reconnect.
  8. I learned how to rock climb, windsurf, kayak, and sail at camp. For free. And the instructors were experts in teaching beginners. Where else can you get that opportunity?
  9. I got a tan on the job.
  10. I attended several very amateur drag shows. They were very entertaining.
  11. My kids got to go to camp for free. I managed to save myself quite a bit of money over the years and the camp experience afforded my children many life skills and life lessons.
  12. I got to wear a bathing suit to work. I just never knew where my day would take me, so I packed a towel in my bag. That way, when the urge to take a dive, sit on the beach, go for a kayak, or take dip in the lake overcame me, I could indulge.
  13. I became an expert at a two minute shower.
  14. I lost 5 lbs! How? More exercise and less food. I walked even more than I did working on the floors at the hospital. Plus the terrain at camp is hilly, so that adds up. I was more active as I participated in running, swimming, kayaking, etc, so I toned up too. On top of that, camp food was healthy and I didn’t snack since I didn’t have access to my own kitchen. Voila!
  15. I honed my acting skills. Not only did I get roped into some of the camp activities (see this posting: https://memoirsofacampnurse.com/2015/02/01/the-big-reveal/) but I had a lot of practice on my poker-face (see this posting: https://memoirsofacampnurse.com/2017/01/23/girl-power/).
  16. I met new friends of all ages. I never expected that some of my most delightful interactions would be with the counselors. I was even invited to the wedding of two counselors and their wedding cake featured a tent and a canoe!

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