Clinic Blog: 2012 Fishkill Clinic Blog
July 14, 2012
Today we were back at Camp Hidden Valley with the younger girls and boys of all the camps. We truly love these kids because they do and say the funniest things. So we had the pre-screening area set up in the infirmary where beds were located for the kids to lie down on just in case they weren't feeling well. We obviously had to push the beds to one side of the room to make room for our equipment. Well, the lines for the auto-refractor was located next to the beds and one of the kids waiting for his turn on the auto-refractor decided to take his shoes off, climb in the bed, and pull the covers up while he waited. I could not stop laughing because it was cute and funny. There were also some triplet boys today that proved to be a bit of a handful for the counselors but one of the three really had Dr. Maithreyi cracking up. As Dr. Maithreyi was examining one of the brothers, he told her he was only going to read one more line because he had to get to the pool...he really got up and tried to walk out because pool time is very important. We had another kid that was so impressed with the NCT, he begged Mike to do the test again. Most kids hate that test! See we are entertained all day, everyday by little comedians, singers and politicians!! Today the fabulous Dr. Maithreyi completed 129 exams...I would not be surprised if she had an S on her chest because she truly is a superwoman;-)
July 13, 2012
Thursday was Day 5 for us and we had the pleasure of working with the young and talented kids at Camp Mariah. We had such a great day with 151 screens, 10 no rx's, 99 glasses, and 11 shuttle jobs....that's team Fishkill!! What we loved about Camp Mariah (yes Mariah as in Mariah Carey) is the kids have to commit to four years at the camp. Camp Mariah focuses on developing the talents and careers of the kids, and getting them prepared for college. We learned that all the kids were preparing for mock interviews for their career focus and the best interview from each catergory would get hired. We also learned Camp Mariah helps the kids prepare for their ACT's and SAT's, so all-in-all these kids are getting prepared for college and life after college...now that's amazing!
After having two days off and being away from the kids, I felt we were ready to run back to them because we missed them so much. We couldn't wait to get back to them and tell them about our adventures in their big city, and as the clinic is gets closer and closer to the finish line we can't help but feel a little sad.
Yesterday, we were back at Camp ABC (Anita Bliss Coler) the all girls camp and what a time we had. It was the second night for the new group of girls and they were so much fun. We hung out with the ladies while they waited to see the doctors and talked, sung songs, danced, and played double dutch (I was very rusty). All the young ladies I came across were very well mannered and thankful for us being there and I was very proud of them all. The girls seemed so mature for their ages and very confident. I really don't think I had half the confidence these girls have when I was their age. I was outside the van talking, chatting and taking pictures with the girls while they waited to see the doctors. I started taking pictures of the scenery and one of the girls outright told me how she knew how to pose for the camera because she was cute! This cracked me up so I we decided to have a mini photo shoot so she could show off her modeling talent....I think I found our future Next Top Model!!
Over the past week we have been very lucky to have some of the most amazing volunteers helping us out and helping the day to go smoother. So thank you to all the volunteers for your hardwork and for taking time out of your busy schedules to help add to the success of the clinic! We love you all!!!!
After camp the team did this high ropes course and it was very fun but we are all sore and exhausted from it. Try stepping out of your comfort zone 30 ft. off the ground, while trying to keep yourself balanced on a wire. I was so proud of my team and what we accomplished today. What I took away from the high ropes was the only person that could keep you from accomplishing your task/goals is yourself. But when you have a team there to cheer you on it makes it that much easier to get it done and exceed your expectations because you're not alone. Kudos to my team!!!
July 9, 2012
Yesterday we had the privilege of working with the young ladies at Camp ABC aka Anita Bliss Coler. All-in-all we were able to complete 200 screens and 134 exams. There were 119 rx's, 14 non-rx's, 27 shuttle jobs and 1 referral equaling a very successful day!! The young ladies at the camp were amazing and made the day go by way to fast. Some of the girls were shy but Juan was amazing with them and got them to open up. The voices on some the girls would've brought tears to your eyes.
We were very lucky to have some extra help yesterday from the two camp counselors for Hidden Valley Camp. This experience has just been amazing and I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to share this experience with. I have really appreciated our leadership team (Leona, Mike, Maria, Terrence, and Jim) for their guidance, wisdom, and passion.
The bond we have created with the kids is priceless, and when its time to pack up and go home our hearts will be heavy but our mission will be completed!!!
From the doctor: (Dr. Maithreyi)- my last few days here have been beyond imaginable. I have become oblivious to the rest of the world- in many which has been great- to not hear the long lasting crisis of middle east, or the politics or the health care crisis etc... there is something so serine in working with children and that too in camp grounds. I wish i could capture their innocence forever and just keep them on camp grounds because they were so happy to be there - three meals a day, fun activities etc... though i worked with each child for a brief period of time, their strength, courage, intelligence and individuality was shining....i always wondered after having completed optometry school- uh-oh am i really just going to flip lenses and say 1 or 2 for ever??? Well, the last few days have convinced me, NOPE... i have found my way of reaching out to children and many others thanks to One Sight :-) I couldn't be happier saying 1 or 2. Looking forward another week of camp!
July 8, 2012
Yesterday was a great day all around! The buzz and energy from the camp was contagious, and the entire place was rockin. Camp Hayden-Marks (the all boys camp) was the place to be and the kids were excited to have us. Let me just say thank you to Dr. Maithreyi for the amazing work she did as the solo doctor, and for the hardwork from the rest of Team Fishkill. We saw over 150 kids and amongst the kids was our future President of the United States. This kid was wise beyond his years and was ready to debate anyone brave enough on the subject of politics. Although this kid was serious about his political views, he also wanted to make sure that we knew how much he appreciated us. He actually told one of us he was writing a letter to the CEO of our company to say thank you...amazing! We had the privilege of ending our day at the camp's talent show and seeing our future super-stars!
The process of making a full set of glasses from screening to the exam, then fitting, then cutting the lens, is so intricate and precise. I feel, after this experience, that everyone should have a tour and observe that whole process, including the employees who don’t sell eyewear. Understanding how a pair of glasses is made will instantly increase how much care you would give to the product and how much value you place in the item as well. When you realize how many hands it takes to make one pair of glasses, you then realize how special giving the gift of sight really is.
Today can't seem to get started fast enough so we can meet more kids....I know we are helping to change their lives but they have no idea how much they are changing ours.
July 6, 2012
As we saw kids throughout the day the mission was all the same. Our goal, outside of vision care, was to simply make them smile, make them laugh, and have an enjoyable day. What I realized as people came together all day long, from all over the world, we all quickly became a team. It was so interesting to see the reaction of new people entering the circle as they asked us how did we know each other. Reality is we didn’t know each other at all. This was a living example of the reality and truth of life, no matter who you are, where you come from, and what you brought in your suit case, we are all more alike than we are different.
The children were all so full of life and completely engaged in the entire process. They did not hesitate to ask questions and fully understand what it was we were doing. Throughout the whole day we all rotated through different stations and got a look at the entire process of testing, screening, fitting, selecting glasses, and the creation of the actual glasses too.
Kids definitely have no concept of the use of a filter and would make us all laugh as they would say exactly what they were thinking at any given point. So much in-fact, that we decided to make a column of sorts to share our favorite outbursts of the day. Each pair of glasses given meant more than just a step towards our goal. Each pair of glasses symbolized progress, change, and a hope for a better future. We take so much for granted as adults in this world that we forget to realize just how amazing life actually is. If you have even worn a pair of corrective lenses you know just how important they are. I could not, for one, imagine not having my glasses for 5 minutes. Some of these kids said they broke their glasses 2 years prior to seeing us.
We did also want to take a moment to thank everyone at the camp for being so gracious and open to helping us all day long. Hidden Valley Camp was full of life and even took the time to create an experience that worked for all of us. They catered to the fact that some of the participants in our group are vegetarians and they made it smooth for every member of the team. A BIG THANKS to everyone involved.
On day 1 we saw 117 kids to be fully checked for vision care needs at Camp Tommy. Today on day 2 we saw 139 kids at camp Hidden Valley.
We ended the day with a team building experience. As scared as some of us were to enter the woods and be attacked by insects and wild bears (not literally), it turned out to be the highlight of many of our day. We did a variety of events including swinging from a rope that was hanging off of a tree, pretended to be animals and we were unable to speak in order to accomplish a goal, and finally had to rely on each other to accomplish tasks. We learned many lessons through this including being observant and helpful in every situation. We also found ways to help each other through non-verbal communication. The experience was comical and enjoyable for us all and a perfect ending to the evening. The lesson that resonated with us all is that “we limit our abilities based on our belief system.”
We are giving these children tools to a better future while connecting with them and changing their life forever. We are connecting with each other and making bonds that will last for years to come. Our One-Sight clinic has just begun but we all have begun to understand just how life changing this experience can be, for them, for us, and for us all collectively. Stay tuned…….
~Team Fiskill !
July 5, 2012
My name is Chauna, I am the media captain for Fishkill, NY clinic and looking forward to sharing the team's experiences. I haven't even been here 24 hours yet and I've almost cried twice listening to the team introductions and journeys with the Fishkill clinic over the years. OneSight has joined forces with the Fresh Air fund forming a wonderful team to work with underprivileged youth around the local community. I know the next two weeks are shaping up to be one of the most memorable and amazing experiences of my life, and for some of the other newbies like me. We have a wonderful team from all aross the United States, like Juan from Miami, Nalini from California, Sheila from Boston, Leona (the head honcho) who's originally from Upper State New York, and me (your lovely media captain) from Ohio/N. Kentucky. Tomorrow is the official start of our clinic, so I welcome you all to join us on this two week journey as it unfolds!
About the Clinic
2012 Fishkill Clinic Blog Clinic
A team of OneSight volunteers and doctors will provide free vision care and eyewear to local children in need.