Sunday, June 25, 2006

The campers arrive and I meet Daniel

We were awakened at around 630 am Sunday morning and I showered and then got dressed and headed to the Bless All Mess Hall to meet my B-8 cabin crew. We ate breakfast then headed out to the Basketball and tennis courts to have an outdoor praise and worship service with a short message from the Word. We then got together by assigned cabins and prayed for and with each other and for our campers. Then the campers came in to a huge fanfare greeting, kind of like when a football team takes the field. The announcer would announce the campers name and they would walk through a tunnel of people lined up on both sides with their counselor at the end to greet them. From there the counselor would be introduced to the camper and take him to the cabin where they would meet the parents or guardians. It was very interesting to see the campers arriving. Some were very excited, some were shy and quiet, some were scared to death. But I think that I can say honestly that a lot of us that were serving at this camp that had not done this before were very scared and nervous also.

The only counselor in my cabin from our church was Kyle, who will be a Senior in High School. I greeted his camper with him and we walked him down the trail towards cabin B-8. His name was Daniel and he had Downs Syndrome and did not talk at all. He would just grunt and use his hands a lot but did understand most of what we would say. I think he was 13 years old. After the first couple of days we were able to understand his personality and could understand most of the time what he was trying to communicate to us. It got easier as the week went on. Daniel was a very friendly guy and was happy ALL the time and really enjoyed himself. He loved going to the pool. He was very leary of going down the water slides but finally did on about the next to last day, then we couldn't keep him off of the slides. He did not wear diapers like some of the kids and could tell you when he had to go to the bathroom. Well by about the 3rd day, he had still not had a bowel movement so the nurse had given him some Milk of Magnesia. Still nothing so she doubled the dose the next day at breakfast. Nothing by lunch so she then gave him a laxative in pill form. Still nothing so he got prune juice at dinnertime. The next day, STILL NOTHING! I think you know where this is going now (YUCK!). So he got the "silver bullet". That's camp speak for a rectal suppository. And can you believe still nothing? Still nothing! So before lunch he recieved another "silver bullet". Kyle then sent someone out from the restroom to get me after he had taken Daniel there. Let's just say that it was not pretty. He had completely messed himself and used his socks to try and clean it up and rubbed it all over his stomach and chest. Kyle and I almost threw up and we were both gagging. But we finally got him to the showers to clean him up and dress him.

I probably enjoyed Daniel the most because he was such a loving kid and was just ALWAYS happy ALL the time. This kid was very special. How many of us walk around all day long grinning from ear to ear on a daily basis and we are not disabled? I was glad to be able to serve Daniel. May the Lord bless and protect you Daniel. You are a very special person and a gift from God.


Blogger Hannah said...

Is he the one that pooped out the green plastic spoon too?

10:55 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

No, that was a different camper from a different cabin. But I was there when it happened because it was in the shower at showertime. The funny thing about the spoon incident was that the spoon was totally intact. Incredible! What a week!

11:22 AM  

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