Hammocks, umbilicals, summer camp..
Bob Nix (boomerang@MINDSPRING.COM)
Wed, 1 Jul 1998 23:17:22 -0400
Several thoughts, having returned from summer camp - all week - 39 Scouts, 3
leaders, up to 6 leaders later in the week..
1- Marion, NC was too hot last week.. 95+ every day. My son almost went
down with dehydration on Sunday (4 hours after arrival), so I got two
glasses of bug juice/ milk into each Scout and leader in our troop at EVERY
meal.. The boys figured out that headaches, stomach aches, weakness were
treatable with fluids. You must tell the boys that if they are not peeing
every 2 hours, or if the pee is very yellow, they MUST have more fluids.
Same with BM - once per day, or increase fluids. The boys don;t want to
hear it, but they must know, and must be responsible for themselves.. some
things we can't do for them. Water the neck, water the t-shirt, works
wonders - but don't start a water fight - ask permission first. Set the
standard. Wet bandana around the neck. Be careful of hats which are not
mesh; in 90+ degree heat, they become ovens. Canvas / denim hat, soaked in
water once per hour is wonderful.
2- A smart camp director understands that using the scoutmasters / adults in
camp at every activity will truly enhance the program; to neglect them is to
weaken the program. By the way, doctors, dentists, nurses - let the First
Aid staff know you are in camp. Your services are occasionally critical to
the wellness of the program. Adults get sick, and occasionally die, in
camp; not just the boys. The EMT on staff (at many camps) cannot discuss
any medicines, even over the counter stuff; and may have limited experience
with offsite medical treatment.
3- Hammock - How about a used fishing net? I'm talking deep sea net, here.
Try New River Nets, Sneads Ferry, NC, 910-327-1231. I am promoting these
guys; I get nothing in return. A fellow Scouter told me about them. I got
22 LB of net, about 50x13 feet, for $2 / LB - for a hammock, a soccer goal,
and a golfball net. I cut a 6' width (should have been about 8'); tied a
couple of clove hitches; (some adjustment necessary), and had a GREAT
hammock. Next morning, I realized that one rope had pinched a 1/2" strand
of poison oak vine; threw that rope away; ran out of rope. Try again next
4- Mother hens.. as a follow-up on WHAT A MESS, the ongoing saga of over
protective parents.. We all get them, apparently at the rate of one every
three to five years. Accept her as is; your attempts to change her or
fight her off will be taken as a threat to her child, which was what started
all of this, anyway. Be cool, run the remainder of your program, and offer
gentle advice - "we don't do it that way, but here's the Baden Powell,
Scouting way, which has worked for 80 years".. Attempt to find an adult who
can gradually build a relationship with this child, to help wean the child.
The parent will not readily wean. You may be facing a year or more of
weaning, but the boy will grow up, regardless of Mom's plans. Don't damage
the boy by fighting with the Mom. Get her something to do; load her up. By
the way, perhaps it's time to separate the adults from the youth on camping
trips, and form an old goat patrol to serve as standard bearers,
storytellers, pioneering and cooking, hiking examples? Get Mom to teach
someone else's children?
5- I probably picked up a non-toxic spider or other bug in my sleeping bag;
came home with 5 quarter-sized liquid filled blisters on my feet and ankles;
never identified the cause, even after 2 visits to the local emergency
room.. No pain, no indications, just itching and swelling; now, a week after
onset, I'm healing pretty well. If you see a fluid filled blister in a
non-abrasive area perhaps you should think spider or other bug, clean with
peroxide, add cortisone, band-aid, watch for excessive redness, pain,
otherwise keep clean, see local doc. An EMT cannot help. After the first
bite, change the boy's shoes, socks, shorts, beat out the sleeping bag and
any other piece of clothing / sleepwear. By the way, these things don't
start to scab up and really heal until the fluid is drained. Sorry for the
additional unpleasant thought.
6- I built a two-bucket washing machine - pierced toilet plunger, two
plastic 5-gallon buckets - washer and rinser. We ran two loads per water
cycle, probably ran 20 loads of wash. A wonderful invention. Used 2
capfuls of Woollite per run, worked great. Cold water. Thanks for the idea
from someone in last year's Jambo discussions.
I'll quit now. You would not believe how much stuff I left out.. unless you
have spent a week at summer camp..
Bob Nix, ASM, Chaplain, Troop 316, Greensboro, NC ..twice as effective as a
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City