Some of you are aware that there was a “Good Medicine project” going on at this blog over the last year. Crafty folks from around the world designed “medicine bags” to give to some very special kids. Specifically they were for the 140 campers who would attend Camp Sanguinity, a summer camp for kids with cancer and for their siblings.
Folks sent me beautiful bags they had created, and lucky charms to put inside them. A package was made for each child with a bag from one donor, and three charms from three different people (that’s four people passing along good wishes). It was magnificent, and I wish you could have viewed the bags with me. I swear that I cried at the beauty of them. You can browse through the posts to see them. Some are on the Flickr Page, but I didn’t get them all uploaded. Sorry. I’ll get more posted when I get back from vacation.
At the last minute, I discovered that we wouldn’t be able to deliver those bags in person, and was terribly disappointed. Camp came and went, and I didn’t hear anything. Last week, I called the director to ask if the bags had been delivered to the children. She said indeed they had and the camp counselors had jotted some notes about the delivery. At my request, she sent those reminiscences to me with a note of thanks: “Our campers felt very special at receiving such gifts — you truly made the difference in the lives of some very special children. Thank you.”
I thought you might enjoy reading what the counselors had to say, so here it is.
The girls in Apache cabin were so excited about the medicine bags. They listened intently to the explanation and had some very good ideas and insight into the meaning. They were even more excited when they got to open their bags. They oohed and aahed over each bag, and began sharing with their cabin mates where each of their charms were from. They thought the bags and charms were so cool, and really enjoyed this special treat.
The girls in the Lone Star cabin loved their medicine bags! They were very excited to receive them, and overwhelmed at how all the charms came from all over the world. They carried them everywhere except swimming, and kept them near their pillows when they slept at night. They also added their own personal items as well; like letters from home and jewelry. Great work!
Being in a cabin with 14-year-boys, I was fortunate to see the reaction of the campers when receiving the medicine bags. They were genuinely excited while opening their bags, and seeing the love shown to them from not only all over the country, but all over the world. One camper exclaimed, “This coin is all the way from Israel!” He showed it to the other campers, and couldn’t wait to take it home and explain the medicine bag to his family. This was a great cabin, but I would be challenged to find their enthusiasm matched with any other gift given them during the week.
The Pioneer cabin (6 year old girls) were so very excited to receive the gift of the medicine bags. Of course, since they are 6, many of the girls thought the bags were purses. However, after we shared the history and meaning of medicine bags, they appreciated the kindness of the gifts much more. In particular, the girls enjoyed the charms. Jenna was thrilled to have a cute frog charm. And, Jennifer loved the purple bag. The smiles on their faces fully expressed the joy and excitement they felt for their beautiful bags. On behalf of the Pioneer counselors and campers, thank you for thinking to share your gifts with Camp Sanguinity.
The Dove Creek girls really enjoyed the bags. They sat and talked with each other about their charms, and what they meant. The uniqueness of each bag made them feel special like it was made just for them.
The boys from Fort Fisher are 9 years old, and really got into the Indian lore about medicine bags. When they got their bags, and saw the really cool charms, they began to talk about how each one could bring them good luck. They also talked about other items they had at home, that they could add to the bags. They tucked them away into their pockets to take with them to their next activity, sure that they would make a difference for them in the fun ahead.
Our cabin of boys from Coyote were really excited about receiving their medicine bags. One of the campers knew a lot about them already from a scouting project. They were all amazed at the fact that several of the charms, and some of the bags came from places outside of the U.S. They all showed great appreciate for the gift, and recognized the significance of the hard work put into creating them. Thank you!
We allowed our campers (Quail Creek – 12 year old girls) to choose which bag they thought reflected their personality, and each was very careful in their selection. Amazingly, it worked out just right, and no two campers thought they needed the same bag. Once they had their bags, they spent a lot of time looking at each charm, and the details of the bags, and talked about the fact that they came from all over the world. One camper in particular, treasured a bracelet that had been included, and said she would wear it every day.
It sounds as if the counselors took great care in giving out the bags, and that the children enjoyed the heck out of them. One child wrote a note and said, “They were awesome.” Indeed, they were.