Lesleah De Frisco, Manager of Residential and Guest Services at the BA, is spending two weeks volunteering as a Christian Science nurse at CedarS Camps in Lebanon, MO. It’s a role that she cherishes and provides ample opportunities to represent Christian Science nursing to Sunday School students from around the world. This is Lesleah’s 20th summer at CedarS.
In the 90’s I started going to CedarS when my kids were younger, but then my kids outgrew camp and I kept going back!
What I’ve loved about CedarS is how there’s just tremendous support for Christian Science nursing, and the understanding of it. The Directors there are very tuned in to what’s going on at camp, and very present metaphysically to support everything. We monitor camp activity on the walkie-talkies. Whenever there’s a special need for a Christian Science practitioner and Christian Science nurse, the Camp Director always comes immediately and is right there. It’s been amazing to have that support and to see the quick and whole healings.
I’ve loved the standard of care at camp. It’s definitely a less formal environment in that you’re maybe wearing shorts, and there’s a flow of activity throughout your day with kids coming and going quite a bit. But you are very much representing the Church Manual By-law “Christian Science Nurse” with the standard of care.
(l. to r.) Patricia Brugioni, Journal-listed Christian Science nurse from Chicago, Linda Luciani, CSNA III from Arden Wood and Lesleah De Frisco, Journal-listed Christian Science nurse and Manager of Residential and Guest Services from the BA
Working with the kids is amazing. And ‘kids’ means anyone from the campers all the way up through the counselors, who are often college-aged and beyond–but still growing in their understanding of Christian Science. They’re given the opportunity to fully rely on Christian Science. And for some of them it’s the first time they might be doing that on their own without a parent present and we see how quickly they get it and apply it.
But I think the whole thing about camp is that you’re living the Bible Lesson, you’re living the things you learn in Sunday School and putting it right into practice. And they’re there to have fun. They are not there for any other reason! So if something tries to creep in, whether it’s an injury or homesickness, or just not feeling well one day, they very quickly are ready to be done with that and jump back into camp activity.
For many campers it might be their first time learning about Christian Science nursing. We just meet them at the Sunday School-level and we right away start talking about God.
Maybe mom and dad have always made the call for help to a Christian Science practitioner. But here at camp they’re meeting one-on-one with Christian Science practitioners who are totally understanding kids, who really connect with them and the same with the Christian Science nurses. The kids see we’re part of the healing team, we’re introduced as part of the Care House* team and they see that relationship and the support that’s there.
While I’m at camp this year I’ll be mentoring two Christian Science nurses from Arden Wood, so it’s a great opportunity for Christian Science nurses to come together and provide support with side-by-side mentoring.
*Care House is the name of the facility at CedarS where the Christian Science practitioner and Christian Science nurse reside and welcome campers and counselors to visit them.