Things I Wouldn’t Know If I Didn’t Go To Camp: Part 1

What I am going to do today is begin a series of blog posts titled “Things I Wouldn’t Know If I Didn’t Go To Camp”.  I’ll periodically write about some cool facts or stories that have taught me something that I can honestly say I wouldn’t know if I hadn’t gone to camp.

I’ve seen the term nature deficit popping up much more frequently lately.  It is true, we are not spending enough time in nature.  So, I’ll draw from my own knowledge of mother earth to share with you the first thing I wouldn’t know if I didn’t go to camp.

Here’s how the story goes.

At Camp Huronda, a camp for children living with type 1 diabetes, there would be four two week sessions throughout the summer.  Each two week session, one male and one female counsellor would be selected to be the “night nurses”.

The night nurses had a very important role.  For two weeks, these two counsellors would become nocturnal.  Sleep during the day and stay awake all night.  The purpose of this job was to perform blood checks of the diabetic campers whose blood sugar was below a certain level at bedtime.  By having night nurses, our campers were much safer from experiencing overnight low blood sugars.  If the night nurses tested a camper who turned out to be low, they would have juice and cookies to feed the campers in their beds.

I actually took the role of night nurse three different summers.  It was one of my favourite jobs and one of the most unique experiences I’ve ever had in my life.  It’s pretty cool to be the only two people awake at camp for 7 hours.

When our night nursing rounds were done, my night nursing partner and I could do lots of stuff.  Raid the kitchen, go for a paddle on the still lake, write letters home, play pranks, work on programs, etc.

When the morning comes, it is often tough for everyone to get out of their warm beds, because camp mornings can be especially cold.  Often I would be wearing my winter jacket and toque to breakfast, and of course later I’d be in my tank top and board shorts.  Quite the temperature swings.

Well, being awake all night allowed me to realize when the freezing morning temperatures roll in.  Throughout the night, the temperature would remain relatively consistent.  We’d put on our sweaters around 10:00pm and be fine until....


Around 5:30ish when the sun began to rise and daylight was coming back the temperatures would instantly drop by what felt like up to 10 degrees.  Who knew!  Sure, we all knew the temperature changed overnight, but the consistent pattern between sunrise and temperature drops would be something that I never would have figured out.

So that’s it for today.  Stay tuned for next week’s post!  Maybe it will be “Things I Wouldn’t Know If I Didn’t Go To Camp: Part 2!

By the way, I checked the timestamp on the photo I've attached to this post.  The timestamp is 4:41 AM.