Monday, August 9, 2010

Welcome to the Infirmary

The infirmary is my home at Chop Point. I do have my own bedroom upstairs, but essentially the only time spent in my bedroom is spent asleep. The infirmary is where memories are made.

For the sake of confidentiality, patient privacy, and grossness, I can't show you photos of the concussions, twisted ankles, poison ivy, cheek abcesses, ingrown toe nails, vomiting, diarrhea-ing, sore throats, menstrual cramps, swimmer's ear, and lobster allergies that keep the place busy. Instead, I can show you my other visitors who come for...I'm not sure. Some probably come because I have the most comfortable beds in camp. Others come because I keep a stock of tasty water in my fridge (as opposed to the water in the dining hall that has a distinctive iron taste and color). Some come for nail polish, nail clippers, a kitty fix, eyebrow plucking, ice cream with blackberries, and my stuffed dog Tag. I like to think that some of them come for my awesome pirate flag!

Honestly, I believe the kids come because they somehow feel at home in the infirmary. It is a cozy space that is perfect for serious conversation such as the Haiti earthquake talks that they beg from me and the life lesson talks that they share with each other. Kids from the oldest cabins and the youngest cabins stop by for a bandaid and stay for a chat. It becomes sort of a night ritual where kids have to pop in to say good night to Kez before going back to their cabins, almost like being tucked in by Mommy or Daddy. One of my campers eventually stopped calling the infirmary by its proper title and referred to it instead as The Family Room.

At the end of the first session, I received a note that offered the most heart-warming explanation for the healthy kids in the infirmary. A camper wrote, "There is no other time I felt more loved than when I was in the infirmary."

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