My Summer At Camp; A Story About Being “Straight” In a “Gay” Situation

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Camp Ten Oaks Registration Page <click on image>

Did you know that I was the medic for a kid’s camp one summer back about 8 – 9 years ago now? It was a special camp for kids of LGBTQ families. Do you know what those letter mean? The letters stand for Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Trans, and Queer.

I brought my so called “straight kids” to a camp for kids raised in “gay” or “queer” families. I wanted to ensure that my babes heard other’s stories of struggle, joys and adversity so that they would develop a firsthand empathy and compassion for folks living life in different circumstances than their own.

I felt it part of my role as a parent to not just teach “tolerance” but fall in love with others on their terms, blurring the lines of any perceived differences by showing up myself. To them, of course, it was just camp with lots of jello, camp fires, swimming, silly songs, and new friends … as it should be.

It is fair to say that I, too, fell in love with those kids. They’d hang with me at my cabin making beaded hemp bracelets, we’d go swimming, sing at the top of our lungs, eat junk food, make meals, do dishes and create crafts together. I also treated lots of bumps, bruises, bee-stings, homesickness and fever with homeopathic remedies and forehead kisses.

You see I was a “different” kind of medic that had to be scrutinized by each parent to discern if I was acceptable to look after their kid’s health 45 minutes away from the nearest hospital. They totally embraced me even though I was also a “minority.” I was different in the field of so called “traditional” medicine. It was awesome the way 100 families said “yes” to me, entrusting me with their “pride” and joy!

We all learned from each other and I got to test out what I know about chronic disease in an acute setting. One girl got rid of her headaches for the first time in her life that week and another kid asked for my help emotionally to be able to “come out” to the others in a safe, loving environment. It was so cool and just perfect and I so cherish those memories.

So the bottom line is, if you know of someone who does not feel wholly regarded by their Physician or feels fear of being themselves due to their sexual orientation, there is a safe place to BE here at Arcanum. Don’t worry, we’re a little “queer” too in a so called “straight” kind of way.

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