Stories from the infirmary

Our best memories from the infirmary

Of all the places to spend time while at camp, the last place you wanted to end up was in the infirmary.  Just the name of the building stirs up unpleasant thoughts and memories, so why would you want to even walk by the ominous structure sitting atop the hill overlooking the council ring?  Nobody wanted to go there, but some of us ended up there regardless.

Broken bones, poison ivy, cuts and scrapes would usually be enough to get to see the nurse. If your illness was serious enough, it may have warranted a call home or possibly an overnight stay.  Worse than that and you were off to South County Hospital for some serious medical treatment.  

If the truth be told, there were times we all wanted to go to the infirmary just to catch a break from the hustle and bustle of daily activities or to avoid having to go swimming on a cold day. It was a place to be invisible for a short time, catch your breath and get back into the game. Sometimes you just needed a sympathetic ear to listen to your troubles or tell the nurse you were homesick.  It was a respite for many and a place to avoid for others.  Either way, the infirmary was a cornerstone of camp life.

1960's Checking in with the nurse

We asked for your stories and memories of going to the infirmary.  Here are some excerpts from social media posts:

“Is there really such a thing as impetigo?”  - Eliot Greenspan

“Broke my ankle playing soccer the summer of ’74 (Charlie missed the ball and got my ankle).  Dr. S. put it in a cast that was so thick they had trouble cutting it when it was time to take it off.”   - Jeff Loeb

“Broke my wrist in the early-mid 70’s playing some crazy ball game on the field between Sherman and Junior.  The last time that game was played a couple of years earlier, someone else broke a bone and the game was banned.  Then they brought it back and I break my wrist. One positive was the director’s daughter drove me to SC Hospital.  I ended up working in the Store for the rest of the summer and take over from Paul D’Andrea as the head of the Store for the next couple years and that leads me to get a degree and career in Accounting.”

- Joe Shapiro

1960s Delivering comic books to the sick

“I ended up in the infirmary for one whole week of my 2-week session because of poison sumac.  It was all over my face.  I looked like the elephant man.  I don’t remember how I got it.  It was horrible.  I think it was my first session at camp.  Surprised I ever went back.”

  • Kristie Wronski Stark

“I remember having to gargle with Cepacol if you had a sore throat.  I also remember a virus going around camp in the early 80’s.  We each had an old Cisco juice bottle next to our bed.  I guess I drank mine right before the nurse came around to take temperatures.  I got scolded for drinking mine.  My temp reading would not be accurate right after drinking the water.”

  • Hillary Fifer

Also from Hillary… “As a parent, my kid told me a few years after it happened that his first time at camp he was really sick for several days but afraid to go to the nurse.”

1970s View of the infirmary from the soccer field

“Nurse Sue drove me to Kent Hospital after a broken collar bone on the skate park.”

  • Instagram name: tiodahveed

“Nurse Sue!  May she rest easy.  I had a 102-degree fever in there for 4 days beginning of Session 2.  Got it from Session 1.”

  • Ruby Scott
1970s Looking up at the infirmary from road to Junior Division

"Friends can be good medicine." -Charles Roppel c1981