There is so much to write about the Camp Agape.  However, the last thing that happened sticks in my mind.  I’d like your response regarding the wisdom of my decision.

We transport most of our campers from Vero Beach back to Melbourne (or Cocoa, Titusville, DeLand, Daytona and Jacksonville).  We meet parents and support staff at a church that is centrally located.  While things happen each year that make us a few minutes late, parents, of course, understand and most support staff also do.  However, there always seem to be a few support staff that get irritated at us because of something that happens. 

Our members were told to stay on the bus until I released them because I’ve learned over the years that I need to keep a handle on who gets off the bus so that members aren’t left behind or taken by people who aren’t the responsbile person.  These restrictions may seem unrealistic.  However, my first year of being the primary responsible people after camp, Suzanne, a helpful and concerned parent decided on her own to take her son’s good friend home with her because she didn’t see the other parent.  Unfortunately, Mark, the other parent came a few minutes late.  He didn’t even know Suzanne or her address.  He was most upset that his son was taken away.  Of course, I was able to get his son home safely within a few minutes.  Yet, this was a good lesson learned.   

After preparation for weeks and four days of camp, I am sometimes less than patient with folks who are paid to pick up people from the bus.  Therefore, when one support person pushed her way to the front of the line to get medications, I found her interesting.  “Give me Mel’s meds.” 

“Mel has no meds.  He was a retreat person and he administered his own meds.”

“Fine.  I’m getting him off the bus and taking him.”

“No, maam, I’ll get him off the bus.”

“I said that I’m taking him.”

“I have his permission for him to stay on the bus until I release him.  No.  You aren’t taking him. He is my responsiblity until I release him.”

“I have people on vacation at my house getting ready to leave and I MUST leave NOW.”

“I’m sorry but you can’t have him yet.  When I give everyone their meds, then I’ll get him off the bus.”  Handing out meds has also been an interesting process.  In past years, I would get people off the bus and then give out the meds.  But someone always would leave the meds with me and I had to take the medication to the person’s home.  Again, parents seem to understand and even appreciate the process.  Yet, this support staff person was pretty huffy by this time.

After meds were handed out, I let Mel off the bus first.  He was quickly whisked away without a thank you or good-bye. 

At the time of camp with 40 people on a bus and parents waiting, I have no time to explain our processes.  Nevertheless, I also understand that I must have a working relationship with support staff because of the tremendous influence they can have over our members.  Yet, support staff is not my primary focus when there is a question about safety. 

What do you think?  Who was out of line, me or support staff?

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