Tuesday, Jun. 25, 2002 || Camp Tales

Nicole feels The current mood of nacwolin at

I just know you all have been waiting impatiently to hear all about our week at camp.

OK, so humor me.

For the most part, the week was rather calm. Suprisingly so. I guess you could say we were front-loaded with challenges.

At first we thought we might head up Sunday afternoon and just hang out a day early. Rob didn't have to be there until 7 PM on Monday for his first speaking engagement. But alas, Sundays are generally very tiring for us, so we decided to leave Monday morning around 10 AM.

Of course, 10 AM turned into 11:30 AM. We hit good 'ole Micky D's on the way out (hey, their chicken caeser salad only has 100 calories without the dressing, and it even tastes good!), and we were finally on our way by noon. It took about 3.5 hours to get there. The camp is in the Ozark mountains, about 45 minutes from Osage Beach. The last few miles of the trek is a winding, gravel road up the side of a mountain, complete with scenic overlooks and deadly drop-offs. I just don't look out the side windows at that point.

We made it to the camp intact and headed to the building we were staying in, which is at the far end of the camp. Actually, that was fine with me...I was looking forward to the walks up and back in lieu of my usual treadmill action. We had the whole building to ourselves and started to unload. The kids asked if they could go up to the rope swing; no problem, it would actually make the unloading a bit smoother, if you know what I mean!

Rob and I finished up and started out toward the swing. Rob let out a yelp, jumped about a foot off the ground, and then proceeded to push me up the gravel road, exclaiming...


"What?! You're kidding, right?"


I think at that point I let out a yelp. I do know that I took off at a run up the road as well.

Once the initial shock wore off, curiosity set in, and Rob went back to see what kind it was. Let me just say that we know next to nothing about snakes except that they slither about. This one was black, and from my vantage point, looked to be of the harmless, rodent-eating variety, not a cottonmouth or copperhead that also inhabits the Ozark area.

Wouldn't you know that our children chose that particular time to come running down the road from the swing? What is it with kids and timing?

"STOP! STOP! THERE'S A SNAKE!" I yelled. They finally stopped and then began to walk slowly toward us. I set off toward them in time to see Parker, who had slowed to a gentle lope as well, slide on the gravel and go down on one knee.

The last time we were at the camp, Parker hit the ground and ended up with a black eye thanks to the lovely Ozark rocks. This time he stood up with a bloody knee. And he started to cry. Loudly.

"Oh, boy, he scraped his knee already," I thought, kind of exasperated. I mean, we had been there maybe 15 minutes.

"It's OK, buddy," I said as I hurried up to him.

One look and it was blatantly obvious.

Stitches. This kid was going to need stitches.

I am not a medical professional by any means, but I knew that this gash was more than just a bandaid away from healing. Wide open and gushing.

"HE'S GONNA NEED STITCHES!!" I yelled to Rob.

It is by now about 4:00 PM and Rob is to speak in 3 hours. We hopped in the van, as I held together the wound and began to apply pressure to his knee. Once the bleeding stopped, Parker calmed, though he whimpered now and again that it hurt.

On our way out, we saw the camp director, who is also an EMT, up by the rock climbing wall. "Oh yeah, he's going to need stitches," he said, and sent for his wife to ride with us to the hospital 45 minutes away in Osage Beach. An hour later we were in the ER and they were cleaning it up and preparing for the sewing job.

I have to say here just how amazed I was at our little guy. Parker is four. Not once did he utter a sound. He lay perfectly still the entire time, save a wince or two as they gave him lidocaine shots. The doctor and nurses were amazed by his composure. "Usually, at this age we have to papoose them," they each said at varying times. What a trooper the little guy was.

Amazingly, we were back at the camp by 6:30. Time enough to even eat dinner before the service began.

Parker continued his trooper-esque behavior throughout the week. He couldn't swim because of the sutures, and when we explained to him why, he just said, "OK." Wow, this kid really made mommy and daddy proud!

They put him on Augmentin in case of infection and the poor little guy had an upset stomach for several days. Yet despite all, he rarely complained and was the "pet" of the camp, especially among the teen girls.

Once we were back at the camp that night and eating dinner, that verse popped into my mind again. "In everything give thanks." It could have been so much worse. If nothing else, this mom was able to see what an incredibly strong, brave little boy we have.

Kudos to you, Parker!

~ ~ ~

test - Saturday, Oct. 01, 2016
Just a reminder - Friday, Aug. 10, 2007
Rockin' Girl Blogger - Wednesday, Jul. 18, 2007
A good end - Friday, Jun. 01, 2007
Moving on? Yes and no. - Monday, May. 07, 2007

All entries (c) Nacwolin 2001-2006. These are my words. Use your own, m'kay?