On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Posts tagged ‘swimming’

Marked for Life | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on June 18, 2019:

our father's childrenI’m home with all bones intact but with a heart that has more marks than I can count. Let me back up a step or two in case you didn’t read my last column. I went to Royal Family Kids Camp last week, a very special place where kids in foster care can spend five days and four nights just being kids and having fun in a safe environment. In 2013 I served as a counselor and came home with a broken ankle and a broken heart. This time I was the camp scribe. I wasn’t as actively involved in the organized games and other strenuous activities – and David was home praying that he would get his wife back in one piece – so I came home physically undamaged. But as I watched and listened with the eyes and ears of a writer, I saw and heard the struggles, heartaches, and triumphs of more children and counselors than before when I was focused on the two campers that were my responsibility. There are more stories than I can write, but here are a few.

“Jane” was so afraid of the water that she brought her own life jacket and continuously Pink wristbandquestioned her counselor about the lifeguard’s ability to save her if she got into trouble. All campers are required to pass a swim test in order to venture into the deeper end of the pool or to go over to the pond. She wanted to take the test, but she was afraid, so she practiced long and hard. By Wednesday, she was ready to try. Everyone in the pool area had seen her struggle, and they all stopped to watch. When she passed, the cheers and applause were deafening. The wrist band she earned became her pink badge of courage, and she showed it to anyone who would look the rest of the week. (more…)

Royal Family Kids Camp: Swimming, Activity Centers, and Issues

Monday Afternoon – Lunch

The first thing on the agenda after meeting our campers was lunch. Meals can be a bonding experience. We sat with Judi, my counselor buddy, and her girls at our assigned places, and as we joined hands to say grace, I felt connections being made.

Food also raises issues. Sandwiches were on the menu, and Jane cleaned her plate, but Sue didn’t want to eat. The server talked her into taking the bread and the sides, but she pushed them around the plate and nibbled at a potato or two. I wondered if she really wasn’t hungry or if she had underlying issues.

Swimming

But I wasn’t there to psychoanalyze. I was there to help provide a safe place where the kids could have fun. We found the girls’ luggage and moved them into the dorm. We were supposed to have quiet time next, but swimming was coming up, and we had to check to see if everyone had swimsuits, flip flops, and beach towels. (more…)

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