We started off our trip with an overnight stay at Grandma's and then travelled on to DeKalb for an overnight stay with our friends, the Olsens. While in DeKalb, we managed to fit in a visit to the skate park. Trevor skated right into the path of an aggressive teen skater and hurt his ankle a bit. I was quite worried he wasn't going to be able to handle all the walking CBLI entails. He did complain from time to time, but it healed enough for him to manage well enough. I was blessed to see several of my old writer's group friends at an Open Mike event held at our old church.
Once we got to camp, we spent most of our free time hanging out with our buddies, the Carr boys, Bram and Jonas.
They went to the zip line with us and went fishing with us for the first three days.
Sadly, after three days of fishing, we didn't fish again, with good reason. The boys caught numerous blue gills and delighted in touching them and tossing them back into the water.
Tuesday morning, Sean woke up with a swollen eye, the size of a golf ball:
At first, we took him to the camp nurse (really shouldn't be called a "nurse" since he was only trained in first aid). He said it looked like a stye and suggested warm compresses. We headed back to the room after breakfast and applied a warm compress. I sent him off to class, hoping it would resolve before the week was out. But, when he returned from class for lunch at noon, the eye looked worse (much redder and hotter). I decided to take him to Urgent Care in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
What a blessing that I didn't just use my typical Mommy refrain of "they'll only say it is a stye and suggest warm compresses, so why bother with the expense of a wasted trip?" It was certainly not a wasted trip. The doctor there diagnosed it as a bacterial infection and said "we don't mess around when it comes to the eye. The infection is at the front of the eye, but if it were to travel to the back of the eye, it could migrate nearby to the brain and then we're talking meningitis and death."
Sean was quite upset because the plan of action included a shot of antibiotic to get the meds into his system more quickly (especially so, after that horrible shot reaction from his kindergarten shots). They gave us prescriptions for an antibiotic and an antihistamine and sent us to see an ophthalmologist in Racine, Wisconsin. The ophthalmologist confirmed that the infection was only at the front of the eye and agreed with the diagnosis. In the end, they all decided that it was probably the result of touching a fish and then rubbing his eye. They had indicated in the camp booklet that it was unwise to swim or wade in the lake water because bacteria levels were quite high this year. While we didn't swim or wade, we still got a feel for how dangerous such bacteria can be.
Thankfully, the medicine began to do its work and by Thursday (after a follow-up appointment back at the ophthalmologist's office on Wednesday afternoon) his eye looked much better and he could once again see out of it. I think the hardest part for him was responding to the public attention. It seemed everywhere we went, his eye was the topic of discussion and he grew tired of the kids in class asking what had happened to his eye. Both Trevor and Sean grasped how serious it could have been and I think it sobered them into better behavior (at least Trevor was handling Sean more gently than usual).
Amazingly, because of fishing the first three days, missing free time both Tuesday and Wednesday, and then a restriction from swimming for Sean in the days following, we didn't go to the pool together once during the whole encampment. The boys did get in some swimming because their class went every morning (and Sean just had to sit it out after the diagnosis).
One of their favorite free time activities this year had to be air hockey:
Every day the boys would board a tram that took them to the other side of camp where their class met (they were both together in the 6-10 year old class this year). They seemed to really enjoy the class and sang quite a few of the songs from class when we were together. I really appreciated all the hard work the staff put in for preparing fun and spiritual nourishment for my boys.
Meanwhile, I was able to attend an Adult Bible Study, led by Colonel Glen Shepherd, and a specific class on the book of Malachi, led by Linda Himes (an excellent Precept Bible teacher). I enjoyed both of these classes. Plus, I enjoyed sitting with Jeff and Valerie Carr during the Malachi class.
The evening programs were outstanding. The first night we were treated to a concert by Sara Groves. In the following nights, we had other dynamic speakers, including Shane Claiborne, Mike Donahue, Ray McElroy, and Bob Stromberg (who was so funny, I thought I might never recover from laughing - oh, how laughter is good medicine for the soul!).
One afternoon, I was invited to join a group of ladies to go in to Antioch, Illinois, for an ice cream shop and thrift store run.
So thankful for Tom Westberg, who kept our kids while we enjoyed fellowship together. It was great fun and I found an old Uncle Arthur's Bedtime Stories book at the thrift store (a wonderful find). While we were gone the boys went to the high ropes course. There were too many boys, so I asked for Sean to sit it out. He was furious with me and sadly accepted that he will have to wait until next year.
This was the second year for the CBLI Book Nook. Cheryl (in white in the photo above) collected 470 books to set out for campers to pick through. We selected five (including some awesome shark books and a Maeve Binchy book for me) and went again on another day for three more. Here's a photo of the Carr boys visiting the Book Nook:
The kids' track made tye-dye shirts and performed a song during the Saturday evening awards program. Thankfully, another camper provided me with these photos of Sean and Trevor: