Friday, 26 October 2018

Camping turns colleagues into family

 Happy staff members mean happy residents

Sr Leanie Bessinger, the charge sister at Ron Smith Care Centre’s River Lodge 1, shares details of a camping trip taken by the staff to promote bonding:

After months of saving money and planning our camping trip, the day finally arrived. 
On the morning of 28 September we all woke up at the crack of dawn to get ready for our departure to Weavers Roost in the Hekpoort Area. Everybody was anxious to get into the cars and start the weekend.

On arrival at Weavers Roost, we checked out our camping sites and decided where to pitch our tents and gazebo. The nurses had never camped before, but quickly learned how to pitch a tent after I showed them what to do. It did not take long to get our house in order and get everyone set up in their respective tents.

On our first day, it started raining and we all took cover under the gazebo, chatting and laughing when we had to run in the rain to get to the ablution facilities. Despite the rain, we managed to have a braai, complete with mielie pap, for dinner. Everyone was exhausted from all the hard work pitching their tents and went to bed early on Friday night.

Most of us were up early on Saturday morning, eager to explore. After breakfast we went for a hike and explored the mountain. After that everybody went swimming to cool off a bit. The brave ones went up to the mountain a second time on Saturday afternoon while the rest of us had snooze or helped prepare the chicken potjie and freshly made pot bread we were to tuck into that night. We even braaied marshmallows on the fire and made smores. It was a busy but exciting Saturday.

Sunday we all woke up with heavy hearts as we realised our little getaway was coming to an end. We indulged in some wishful thinking by imagining phoning our mentor and to telling her we were sick and unable to be at work the next day.

What this meant to each person:

We connected with each on a level other than just work. This weekend created a sense of belonging in each of us, that we are part of a family. It created trust in each other. We were all just happy friends having a good time together. It gave us time to catch our breath and enjoy the beauty of nature. We learned new life skills (pitching tents) and came back feeling refreshed and positive. We are already planning next year’s camping trip.

River Lodge 1 Care Partners.

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