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Friday, July 08, 2016

Kodiak Daily Mirror Article: Ouchy deals big and little

Kodiak Daily Mirror
Published June 17th 2016

Woody Island, June 4, Day 2 of Girl Scout camp.
“Ms. Zoya. This bug bite hurts.” Scout Donavyn pulls up her sleeve to show me her red skin and small, white bug bite on her elbow. I can see that Donavyn has been trying hard to not itch, as it isn’t yet scratched raw.

A painful bug bite. Ahhh yes. I can fully relate. Those suckers enjoy me for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. The bugs have been particularly thick this spring.

Donavyn is a newer scout to our troop and this is my first camp on a camping trip with her. I adore her scout enthusiasm, as she wears her green bandana proudly over her head the entire weekend on Woody Island. A fellow leader showed her how to put it on all by herself and I smile when I see her wearing it.

“Lets do something to help cool that bite off.” I open my first aid kit and she stands and watches as I look for a remedy. At Safeway the night before I stocked my emergency kit with some anti-itch lotion for bug bites, as I knew the bugs could be rich on Woody Island.

Lsat fall I took a wilderness first aid class. During the weekend course, fellow attendees and I learned about how to put injuries into two categories: Is it a big deal or little deal? I’ll admit to not being the most instinctively calm person in an emergency situations, just ask my kids and husband. The sight of blood on my loved ones has a history of sending me into slight panic. My hope was that a little education and training could help water down some of that panic.

The class helped me think more methodically in emergent medical situations. Classmates and I learned how “big deals” are injury to the organ systems, the brain, situations where emergency help needs to be activated soon. “Little deals” include things such as more minor injuries to the skeletal system. This made total sense to me. Light bulbs went on. I could do this.

On Woody Island with Donavyn, out comes the Campho-phenique. A piece of tissue paper and onto her elbow I apply it. Dab, dab. Pour on a little more. Do a full circle around the bite to cool that red area. A faint smile of relief comes over her face.

These little deals are big deals for trust, understanding. They are the chance for scouts to let leaders know what ails them, and for us to listen and respond and help if needed. A Mother Theresa quote that has always spoken to me is, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

“Come back if it still bugs you.”

Donavyn nods and looks at her elbow, seemingly pleased with the results. I’m glad. And so grateful that Band-aids and anti-itch bug care are the only first aid skills I have to employ with the scouts at Woody Island.

Kodiak resident Zoya Saltonstall is a mother of two and a physical therapist. She loves Labrador retrievers and chocolate.

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