Camp Nurse: My Adventures at Summer Camp By Tilda Shalof

I enjoyed this book for a change. I picked it up after reading a blurb form it in a magazine. It was interesting to read about how many different camps there are out there. It is a Canadian book too so that helped. I went to camp as a child so I related to alot of it. I liked that she didnt warm up to camp right away until she found the right one. The first two sounded pretty horrendous to me. Anyway, it was a good read and well written. Her kids growing up so fast and finding out that her little boy was popular with the girls made me sad and terrified that this will come all too soon for me and my own boys. But it is unavoidable I imagine. I would read another book by this author. Tilda Shalof I was a camp nurse last summer and bought this to see what I was getting myself into. Some of her stories are heartbreaking and others are too outrageous to believe! Enjoyed reading it though. Tilda Shalof Three stars may be generous for this book. I feel she may have exaggerated a lot of situations for the sake of sensationalism. It was an entertaining read, but with so many amazing books out there why waste your time? Tilda Shalof Actual Rating is 1.5, but I didn't want to put a 1 and bring down her rating just because I didn't 'feel' it.

Most people seemed to really like this book. So I thought it would be an excellent reading, like Erma Bombeck's books, full of funny short stories centering around a particular subject. In this case it was being a camp nurse. Only I didn't find it too amusing or engaging. In fact, the first couple of pages had me frowning.

Maybe my parents were old fashioned, but when they hauled me about the country I didn't get gadgets to occupy my mind. I was told to look out the window and enjoy the scenery. Even now when being hauled about the place by them or anyone else, even with a phone in my pocket and an ipod on my lap, I still enjoy staring out the window as the world whips by. Shalof has places her kids in the back of her vehicle steadfast in ignoring her as she tells them to take in the view and breathe the fresh air because or their electronic gaming devices. Perhaps that's the way of the world, but really...

Anyhow, the start obviously annoyed me and just kept going by calling the campy director a young man who looked like an acne faced teenager, but I decided to reserve judgment and give the book a proper go. After all, it was supposed to be good and it IS Canadian. So I did continue to slug my way through it, but maybe it's because I only ever went to one summer camp in my childhood and absolutely hated it, but this book just didn't do it for me. It was pretty much just a bunch of stories about a nurse treating everything from homesickness to heat stroke to broken bones while lamenting about how her kids are growing up and her son is becoming popular with the girls. All while hopping a total of 3 camps until she finds the one that loosely suits her religion, age, and temperament.

The Short of It

While I did not enjoy the book I'm pretty sure I might know at least one person who would, simply because it would probably remind her of her own camp nurse experiences.

This book would probably do well with an older age group than my own...people with kids...nurses, etc.

Unfortunately it did not go over well with me, but it was still a decent book that I'm sure other people will love. Tilda Shalof I've already been laughing out loud at page 50.

My second favourite book of Tilda's, after A Nurse's Story. And I can say that conclusively as I have read all of her books, even the latest. As always I love her stories and motherly nature, her honesty and keen observations, the way she brings all her experiences into the larger picture of nursing care and how it can improve. As I am about to enter nursing school this fall, Tilda excited me once again about my chosen career and got me all revved up to begin.

Read this book in the spring or summer. It's a perfect book for sitting on your lawn and imagining yourself at the cottage. The sounds of children and nature come alive while Tilda will regal you her experiences at several very different summer camps for children. You will feel like you are there, you will wish your kids could be there, you will see what true compassion is. Tilda Shalof


characters Camp Nurse: My Adventures at Summer Camp

Ah, summer camp. It’s an experience we remember vividly; a time of food fights and cabin raids, first kisses and bittersweet heartbreaks, endless days of sun and fun away from parents. But there’s one person who has a take on camp unlike anyone else: the camp nurse.

Camp Nurse reveals what it’s like to be the person kids turn to for help, comfort, and advice. Throughout nurse Tilda Shalof’s six summers at camp, kids troop through the infirmary with a variety of ordinary—as well as some extraordinary—complaints, questions, and ailments, including the symptom endemic to every summer camp: homesickness. Along the way she discovers it’s often the emotional boo-boos that need more attention than the bug bites, poison ivy, and scrapes and scratches that come with the territory.

Camp Nurse is funny, entertaining, insightful, and above all heartwarming. It’s filled with all the twinges of nostalgia one expects to get when remembering long-ago summers at camp.

Praise for Tilda Shalof’s other books:

“A cracking good read.”

– Quill & Quire

“The best-seller no one can put down.”

– Montreal Gazette

Camp Nurse: My Adventures at Summer Camp

I loved this book about camp nursing. She has such a great narrative that is informative and funny and yet respectful. I am glad I did not read this book prior to my first camp nurse stint otherwise I would have been so anxious. I loved how she went over the three different camps she worked at. inspired me to go back for another summer. Tilda Shalof I picked this book up at a used book store over the weekend and it was the perfect accompaniment to the unofficial beginning to Summer 2011.
Shalof excellently compares and contrasts her experiences of the 3 camps where she served as 'Camp Nurse' to date. As she says while searching for the 3rd camp, it was a 'Goldilocks' experience. She first serves the role at an ultra-liberal 'youth revolution' camp for one season then goes to a more structured camp that caters to the elite but has too much of a 'country club' feel fo Shalouf's tastes. Finally she ends up at a Jewish-centric camp, which she'd been avoiding due to her lack of active practice of her religion but chose almost by default when she couldn't find a suitable alternative camp for her sons that would entertain them but be like neither of her first two experiences.
The situations she faced as camp nurse ranged from as simple to treat as letting a kid cool off by sleeping in the air conditioned first-aid center to burns and broken bones requiring immediate attention at a hospital in town. Add into the mix homesickness experienced by children of all ages and the fact that camp often brings out the emergence of sexual knowledge and experience, and Shalof sees a broad cross-section of the youth of today.
There are also personal battles that Shalof delves into in this book. Shalof never went to camp as a kid, so when her sons were old enough for camp, she wanted to make sure they didn't miss out, and potentially realize her own dream of doing camp, even if as the nurse and not as a camper. As one of the oldest people at the first two camps, she never feels truly integrated into camp life and leaves both after her scheduled time feeling unfufilled and unsure if she was meant to do this. Also, seeing how some of the parent-child relationships seemed to have reached a truly dysfunctional state, she tries to keep an eye on her own kids despite knowing they neither want nor need mom's supervision.
All in all a great book, though I found that she focused a lot on those first two camps, and while giving equal time to the 3rd camp, it wasn't proportional to the time she spent there. Definitely the perfect early summer read. Tilda Shalof So I’m convinced I could be a better camp nurse and I just have basic first aid. Seriously, it took her till her second summer to learn the RICE method? Ohhh nooo. Tilda Shalof This woman is a liar.

How do I know? I attended and currently work at the first camp she describes in her book. Not only is everything she writes either a fantastical exaggeration or an outright lie she also has the gall to paint herself as the hero of the story.

Here's what actually happened, as best as I can remember: She arrived totally unprepared for the task at hand. Any time a kid had a problem she would freak out, completely unable to deal with it. This culminated in a memorable instance in which she locked herself in her office and cried when a kid came to her with a fairly basic issue.

She then left the camp only halfway through the session leaving all the kids with zero medical support. It was one of the most irresponsible things I've ever heard of a medical professional doing. If memory serves, a former friend of hers (a far more qualified nurse who has worked at the camp for many, many years) had to be called in to finish the job.

She was the worst nurse we ever had, bar none. Only read this book if you're interested in understanding the sorts of mental gymnastics a pathological liar can do. Tilda Shalof I just didn’t find this funny. And the author has a real talent for throwing herself into weird situations - she’s straight laced and detail orientated and yet signs herself up for a hippie camp, then bombs straight off for a much more regimented camp run for new age children, where she finds plenty of details. Unfortunately, new age kids mean new age remedies, which she goes on for pages about.... Tilda Shalof