Clinic Blog: 2011 Fishkill 2 Clinic Blog
August 13, 2011
Days 10-13 were filled with many more kids. We revisited Hidden Valley, Hayden Marks, ABC, and Tommy, in that order. Tuesday and Wednesday were almost 12 hour days- we saw over 500 kids!!! We were reunited with Maria late Thursday night! We all terribly missed her and continuously repeated her New York accent (that she claims she doesn't have) by saying the New Yorker's "go ahead" = ga'head! That's how much we missed you Maria!!! Tommy was our last day on Friday and we ended this smallest camp early, around 2:30-3. We had to deep clean Eyeleen and get her ready for her trip to Atlanta! All of the equipment had to be cleaned, as well as all the frames sorted and restocked to get ready for the next set of kids Eyeleen is destined to help. Dawn pinned Scott and Jennifer pinned Dr. Bill as we had to say goodbye to them early in the day. :( It was a very emotional day for all of us.
Our Last Night Together... After a batch of cookies as big as your head from the 84 Diner from Dawn, we all headed back to the hotel to refresh before dinner. We all ate dinner at the same diner (so scrumptious!) and then quickly headed up a dirt road up the mountain behind Camp Tommy. We had to get there before sunset! Dawn reserved this spot in January. At the end of the dirt road there was a little shelter called Perkin Mountain Shelter. We knew there was a big rock that overlooked the Hudson River Valley, but we didn't know exactly what we'd be in for. We didn't see much around the shelter and had to head up a small hill to get to the rock. The view as we got to the top was breathtaking! It was a perfect picture opportunity and we took about an hour watching the sunset and snapping our last photos with each other. As the darkness fell we stoked the fire. We had to make sure it was bright. Tom from the reservation left us some firewood with a picture of a mountain lion they had spotted that week with a note on the back that said, "Vision Van Crew, Keep the fire burning! It will keep the mountain lion in the dark! Enjoy!" We all settled in around the campfire and Dawn made some closing remarks. She gave us some final numbers. In our two weeks in Fishkill, we saw 1605 patients, did 835 exams, and made 792 pairs of glasses!!! There were still about 40 pairs to be made with lenses we didn't have in stock that the LC people split among them to take back to their own labs. Dawn congratulated us on the work we did and again reiterated how unique this clinic is. It has one of the smallest teams (we had 13) but it has the best opportunity to form close bonds with our clinic members. We all fell into a routine quickly. We knew what needed to get done and stepped in where we were needed, no matter what our assigned job might have been that day. Fishkill 2 was a well-oiled machine!!! Some of us made a few comments about how much we enjoyed ourselves and giving the gift of sight to all these kids in need. We ended by giving each other our clinic pins and saying our last goodbyes. We wouldn't have much time in the morning as we were leaving for the airport at 4:20 am!!! Most of our flights left around 6am. We all went back to our homes, in Edmonton, Seattle, all over Ohio, San Antonio, Tampa, Richmond, Knoxville, Toronto, Mississippi... with memories of each other and these kids from all over NYC that we will never forget.
August 9, 2011
Today was a long day! We saw 202 patients today and 102 saw the doctors! Tara got out of her “fishbowl” (Eyevan) and actually got to interact with the kids today. She had been on Eyevan every day since we came to camp. Now I would like to introduce you to Jennifer B.! :)
Hi, my name is Jennifer Bishop and I work at the CSC in the Asset Protection department. One of my jobs here in Fishkill is the Fundraising Captain. Without the help of donations, clinics such as Fishkill would not be possible. Sunday night our team had a silent auction to help add money to our cause. It was a huge success, raising over $1000!!! There were lots of items to bid on (tshirts, sunglasses, a homemade picture frame from Michael, jewelry, etc.) and we all had a great time bidding against each other.
Before the auction, we all decided to have a potluck dinner. We all had $25 per room to spend and a designated buyer to go shopping with the “shopping team”. It was pretty crazy trying to get around the grocery store in our allotted 20 minute shopping time and with a certain amount to spend! (I would love to see the camera system at that store! Haha!) We all created awesome dishes and it was so much fun to share them with everyone. Be careful eating Redd’s queso as it has a little “Mexican flair”. LOL! As Dawn said, “I just got bit in the mouth!” We had so much food left over, we’re enjoying it all over again tonight for dinner!
One of my highlights of this trip happened yesterday while working on Eyeleen in frame styling. A 12 year old boy asked me if he was going to be able to keep his current frames, as he had been sharing his prescription glasses with his mom! He said that he did not buy her anything for her birthday and would love to give them to her. Of course I told him yes, through tears of realization that we are not only touching the lives of the children here at camp, but also to family members that we have never met! It’s clear that the gift of sight is a gift that keeps on giving!
With love from NY,
You can help out and donate to our clinic at OneSight.org and look for our Fishkill 2 Team Page!
August 9, 2011
Camp Mariah is a beautiful camp! It has a huge dining hall overlooking a lake. Camp Mariah is a 3 week program and requires a 3 year commitment. They take classes like filmmaking and chess, and even have a Career Center where they do mock interviews and learn how to apply for jobs. We switched up jobs after lunch and I got to learn how to run surface jobs on Eyevan! Mariah is the only camp where we get to actually dispense glasses. The rest of the campers get their glasses on the day they leave. Nissa, Dr. Bill, and I got to run the dispensing table and make any adjustments any of the kids needed. It was so great to see the look on their faces when they could finally see! The kids were so grateful that we were there and that they received the gift of sight!
August 9, 2011
Crazy week! This week we saw about 750 campers and counselors and did about 25 exams!!! Saturday and Sunday were our days off from clinic, but they flew by! Most of the team went to NYC to do some touristy sightseeing on Saturday. Scott and I went to FDR State Park to play a round of Frisbee golf!! Everyone except Jennifer B., Steph, and Debbie got back around 8:30. Redd, Tara, Teresa, Michael, and I went to the Brass Rail lounge at the Ramada for appetizers and some dancing! Jennifer B., Steph, and Debbie ended up taking a somewhat rainy but fun sunset boat tour of the city and got home around 3am! Sunday was more of a relaxing day, everyone mostly did their own thing until our potluck dinner and silent auction! We also got new team members midday Sunday, Nissa, Kris, Bob, and Dr. Bill!
August 5, 2011
Our pictures are slowly starting to trickle on to this website:
We have most pictures up through day 3, but the rest will be added tomorrow. Enjoy!
August 5, 2011
Today was another short but work-filled day. Today was production day, which means that allllll we did was make lenses! There were surface jobs to still be completed from this past week on Eyevan. Surface jobs are jobs we don't have stock lenses for, and lenses need to actually be physically made. A group of us also cut chabellas, which are a generically-shaped lens used for global clinics, all with the same frame. We cut several different strengths for a total of about 1700 lenses! Crazy busy! Between Eyevan, Eyeleen, and a makeshift lab set up in a barn, we had 9 edgers running! Today was also an emotional day. Before we started work, we all gathered in Eyeleen for a debrief. John, Steve, and Amber left us today. We had an emotional pinning ceremony where they received their pins for being on this OneSight mission. They each said a little piece about our Fishkill 2 family and their experiences this past week. Steve made a particularly heartfelt speech. He has been on numerous missions and wore a hat today with all of his pins. He talked about how he basically works for OneSight (although he is from LensCrafters) and talked about how these missions were so important to him because he got to not only help these kids see, but study and learn and be more successful later on in life. Steve also said how great it was to just be able to spend some time with people who were just as passionate about OneSight as he was. He took PTO to volunteer for this mission because he had been selected for a global mission later on in the year to South Africa. His passion almost brought a few of us to tears. It was sad to see them leave. We will be having 3 more members join us on Sunday, so we're looking forward to that, but we'll miss those who have already become family in such a short period of time.
August 5, 2011
Whew! This week has been crazy!! Thursday we went to Camp Tommy. It's a smaller camp for older boys, age 12-17. It's a very structured camp and they have stricter rules. We all had to file into the dining hall in silence and the boys were very well behaved. A cool thing about this camp is that all of us got to mingle with the boys at meal time. All the boys went in first and held up their hands if they had a free seat at their table. Us OneSight-ers would then go fill in those empty seats. How cool! I had a cool experience with my table. I was talking to one of the counselors, Jackson. Turns out he's from Richmond, VA as well and we grew up about 20 minutes from each other! The pretests and exams went fairly quickly since it was a smaller camp. The boys were very well behaved and a lot seemed genuinely grateful for the Vision Van coming to see them.
Here's a great story from Michael:
At the beginning of lunch everyone remained standing. The camp director told all the young men how much money OneSight had invested in supplying screenings and eyewear at the camp the past year. He started with lower $ figures and kept building and building until he got to $250,000. He also explained how the new van (Eyeleen) cost over $800,000 and that there are people who care about them. He expressed direction to give back later in life. I was at a fun lunch table of boys from the Bronx and counselors from Morocco and Spain. The boy to my left had attended camp Hidden Valley, Hayden Marks and Tommy in the past four years. He said that he had helped OneSight. He explained that he had recycled some glasses at one of our resource centers and he was so proud to share that. What a blessing it was to know he took to heart the message of giving back and doing so directly for OneSight, who he had seen helping him and his friends at camp for years. He got it!
What an awesome story! By the time we were packed up and ready to leave, there was a group of boys with a slip and slide on the nearby hill as well as a group playing volleyball. As our caravan of vehicles was leaving, led by Eyeleen, we all honked our horns and all the boys smiled and waved. :)
August 3, 2011
Whew! After seeing over 200 boys with ages ranging from 8-12, we have completed all of Fishkill 1's jobs, the jobs from our previous days' camps, and the 60-ish jobs we had from today's camp!!!!! We are completely caught up with our normal jobs! Today was a great day! A camp full of boys is definitely rowdier than a camp full of girls! Today we switched up the jobs a little bit and some of us who were in pretesting before got to work in the lab on Eyeleen and vice versa. I finally got a chance to get away from the edger and see some kids! :) Amber and I sat together most of the day and ran the autorefractor and tonometer. For those of you who don't know, the tonometer is a machine that sends a puff of air into the eye to test eye pressure. It is also the most feared piece of machinery when it comes to testing kids. 99% of kids hate the machine and will not stay still while you attempt to get a reading. My highlight of the day was one boy, about 10, who giggled like crazy every time the machine puffed his eye. We would have to get him to calm down so we could get a good reading! It was hilarious. I've never seen a child get so much joy out of the tonometer. Overall it was a pretty quick day. Camp Hayden Marks consists of 6 villages, and we saw all 6 villages and even started packing up some of the equipment before dinner time at 6pm. We had a lot of help from Sunglass Hut again today, with a few people staying overnight to help us again tomorrow!!! We are so blessed to have so many people want to come out and volunteer their time to help us on this clinic. We can't thank you enough and can't do it without volunteers!
Tomorrow we are headed to Camp Tommy, also an all boys camp but for older boys. Friday is solely a production day, where Eyeleen will hook up with Eyevan and we will pound out some glasses! Lots of surface jobs still left as well as chabellas from global missions.
Still working on ways to get all these wonderful pictures up for everyone to see! It will be very soon!
August 3, 2011
Hello World!!! My Name is Stephanie C. AKA "Redd" and I'm from San Antonio, TX and I will be your flight director for the evening. Today was a very full, very fun day at clinic (big shock, which day isn't totally amazing? ha ha)!!! We were at Camp ABC today, which is an all girls camp. All the girls were pre-teens and teens so a few freak outs at the tonometer which is never unusual but always good for a laugh or two. HeeHee...We saw a total of 210 girls and they put on a show for us at lunch time and it was also nerd day in honor of our team being there to give the gift of sight to the campers. There was an awesome lake that we could all see from Eyeleen and the pre-test area and it was so tempting to jump into the water in the heat we were working in. One of the things that makes this experience so amazing for all of us is that you have the chance to give back to those in need and these kids are so amazing. The past two days have been so much fun and busy and crazy and amazing that these memories are memories that you will remember till forever and ever. The stories we tell to our friends and family are always going to be stories that will make us smile and think of the times we had giving back to those in need and are very deserving of this amazing program that puts so many smiles on so many faces all around the world. The team we have assembled here starting from our fearless leaders to our lab peeps, we run like a very well oiled machine and i do believe the days to come will be without a doubt awesome and we have a big day ahead of us tomorrow, another 200 kiddos. Another gigantic shout-out to those who came out from Top Con, SGH and everywhere else for all your help and dedication!!! You all rock!!!!! See y'all later! Bye for now. More stuff to come in the coming days. Whoop Whoop!!!
August 1, 2011
But first, a recap of tonight's events from Amber, Sunglass Hut RT from Raleigh, NC: "Tonight we may have faced our toughest challenge yet during our clinic. After a strenuous day laboring in the 90 degree weather, we did some team building exercises. These activities ranged from balancing our entire team of 14 on a teeter totter while singing “Row Row Row Your Boat” to choosing an animal and rearranging ourselves by animal size using only their noises. After these activities, we realized we aren’t gymnasts or ninjas, but we learned we could work together as a team if we have a common vision."
Today was a crazy day! The newbies learned how to use all the optical instruments on Eyeleen. We had to finish up jobs from the first Fishkill clinic, about 70 pairs. Debbie, Steph S., Teresa, Jen M. and Amber ran all the jobs while the others assisted campers with registration and pretests. Special shout outs to the volunteers that came from Seiko and Sunglass Hut to help us out today! We saw 132 kids! Tomorrow we’re headed to the all girls camp and will see more than 200. WHEW! Things are fast and furious here in Fishkill. The posting of pictures might be delayed due to a slow uploading process but we promise you will see some smiling faces very soon!
August 1, 2011
We have all arrived in Fishkill!!!! Our clinic team consists of 13 members, from all over the country and 2 from Canada, eh?!
Dawn - clinic manager - Tampa, FL
Maria - clinic coordinator - NY
Scott - clinic manager - Mississippi
Steph S. - Knoxville, TN
Jennifer B. - fundraising captain - Cincinnati
Jen M. - communications captain - Richmond, VA
Steph C. (Redd) - fundraising captain - San Antonio, TX
John - all we know is that he fixes broken stuff :) and that's it. (just kidding, he's from Cincinnati! I just liked his intro speech.)
Teresa - inventory captain - Seattle, WA
Amber - Raleigh, NC
Debbie - production captain - Canada
Michael - Cincinnati
Tara - Canada
After all the flight delays and travels, we all finally got together for some NY style pizza and some laughs! Our team has some clinic veterans, as well as some newbies, and we're all eager to get this clinic started and experience new things. One new experience came when Michael sent his first text at dinner!!! Maria assigned us each our duties for the first day of camp. The "camp" is actually 5 camps on the Sharpe Reservation, run by the Fresh Air Fund. The FAF aims to get inner city kids from NYC out to experience the outdoors. Each day we will be taking Eyeleen, the Vision Van, to a different camp. Each camp has different kids- for example, the one we're going to tomorrow is for special needs kids. There's also an all boys camp, etc. Our first week will be hectic, as we will also be finishing up the manufacturing from Fishkill 1, which took place a couple weeks ago. We also have some team members that will only be with us one week, but we will have some more joining us for the 2nd week! Lots of new faces and new friends to make! Dawn wants us to leave at 7:30am, sharp, so we've got to rest up for a hectic first day of clinic tomorrow! Everyone is so excited!! Thanks for following along with us on our journey!
July 29, 2011
Less than 48 hours and our clinic team will finally be united in Fishkill! So excited to meet everyone and start our clinic. Get your bags packed and get ready for new experiences, new friendships, and new sight for those in need :)
July 29, 2011
Welcome to the official blog for OneSight’s 2011 Regional Clinic #2 in Fishkill, NY! We are all excited to get started on our mission and help 1500 needy kids receive the gift of sight!
About the Clinic
2011 Fishkill 2 Clinic Blog Clinic
A team of 40 trained volunteers and doctors from across North America will come together to provide much needed vision care and eyewear to students attending Fresh Air Fund camps.