Health Center Volunteers
By Kristin Marie Bivens
Ozark, IL: Located in the main area of Camp Ondessonk, the Health Center not only contains necessary medical supplies, but “[a] staff member with advanced medical training is on-duty 24 hours a day.” Prominently posted on the white refrigerator in the Health Center’s examination area is its mission:
- To maintain camper’s participation in all camp activities by meeting their routine medical needs and by preventing illness and injury whenever possible.
- To restore ill or injured campers to Camp activities as quickly and as safely as possible.
In addition to the staff are the Health Center volunteers: the registered nurses (RN) and a physician. The caring RN hands this week belong to Cathie Morgan, Liz Alvarez, and Vickie Geistdorfer. Dr. Chris Wangard, Cathie, Liz, and Vickie’s presence in the Health Center make Camp accessible for more campers. Since “[all] camper medications (prescription and over-the-counter) and vitamins [are] kept in the Health Center for the duration of the camper’s stay,” the staff and Health Center volunteers are quite busy organizing medications each morning.
After breakfast each day, the staff and Health Center volunteers prepare the medications for campers. Those medications are distributed at meals in the dining hall. Cathie shared, “kids on [medications] can be here because we’re here.”
Distributing the campers’ medications helps “[meet] their routine medical needs” and keeps campers ready to participate in Camp activities. The Health Center volunteers and staff continue to provide routine care from bug bites to poison ivy and other run-of-the-mill summer camp ailments, too.
Cathie shared working as a Health Center volunteer RN is worthwhile and meets an important need at Camp. Keeping Camp Ondessonk accessible via the Volunteer Program allows campers opportunities. In fact, it provides opportunities for the Health Center volunteers, too. It’s been said that nursing care is not all glamour and high fashion; however, it is always rewarding, especially when it is given freely as a volunteer at Camp Ondessonk.