HNC Teen Retreat
Presidents' Day Weekend
February 19-21, 2011
For anyone age 13-18 who has either a bleeding disorder or a sister, brother or parent with a bleeding disorder. – Friends welcome!
Teen Group Reaches for the Sky
Hemophilia of North Carolina hosted a terrific group of teens from NC, SC and VA who got together over Presidents' Day weekend for a Winter Retreat held at Camp Rockfish & Conference Center in Parkton, NC. The venue was a wonderful mix of rustic camping with all the modern appliances needed to accommodate our group. It was well attended by a group of 32 people including teens ages 13-18 along with counselors, nurses and facilitators.
Our thanks to a wonderful staff at Rockfish for conducting some fun games and team building exercises with our group. Who knew you could make a giant "marble" maze out of a sheet with holes and rubber ball! We won't even mention how much we all accomplished blindfolded. All in good fun with a great message about working together.
A self-infusion session was conducted by Jennifer Meldau, MSRN, CPNP, Hemophilia Treatment Center Coordinator at Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Clinic, Palmetto Health Richland in Columbia, SC. Jennifer covered all aspects of self-infusion from sterilization, proper techniques and safety. Several teens who attended and already self-infuse helped guide the discussions and share their insight, which was a wonderful addition to the session.
Facilitators Joby Robinson, PhD, also of Palmetto Health, and Mike Gogan did a terrific job with skits on taking responsibility for managing your own health care. We had no idea there were such great actors in our group! The teens broke into groups and shared a negative and positive outcome scenario to a variety of situations including being offered a car but not having taken responsibility in the past for things like infusion schedules, going to see a doctor about their health care but losing the note their mother gave them on questions to ask, discussing their bleeding disorder with friends and working with their teacher and a 504 plan. This was a terrific session where the teens got to exchange thoughts and ideas while critiquing acting styles in good humor! Awards were given for the most creative styles in a number of categories – congratulations to everyone.
On Sunday, we visited the Paraclete XP SkyVenture facility to try our hand at indoor skydiving. After a thorough lesson by their expert instructors, each person suited up with their safety gear and had a chance to experience flying on a column of air inside a vertical wind tunnel with an instructor. SkyVenture is a world leader and the most experienced company when it comes to vertical wind tunnels that are used mostly for purposes of recreation, but also serves as a valuable training device for skydivers and the military. During our visit we were treated to a demonstration by the French National Skydiving Team who was onsite to practice their routine – very impressive!
We also had a chance to enjoy the camping experience with smores at an evening campfire and other activities including canoeing and archery.
Our many thanks to all those who helped put this great retreat together and share time with our teens over the weekend as counselors and facilitators – Joby Robinson, PhD, Jennifer Meldau, MSRN, CPNP, Abby Meldau, Mike Gogan, Matt Igelman, Charlene Cowell and Mauldin Heffington.
This retreat was made possible through a grant from Baxter's Camp SuperFly program that has proudly supported chapters by providing resources to encourage healthy behaviors and a Bayer HealthCare charitable contribution to support programs that improve patient lives. We thank them for their continued support of the bleeding disorders community and our chapter initiatives.