CAMP Bids Farewell to Nurse Judy

On August 19, CAMP bid a fond farewell to Director of Health and Wellness/Head Nurse Judy Foster.  “Well almost, but not quite” said Nurse Judy, “My new job intersects with CAMP.”

Nurse Judy is joining the faculty at the Martha Fessler School of Nursing at Hallmark College in San Antonio.  “I will be teaching first year nursing students at Hallmark College,” said Judy. “That first semester they will pretty muchly belong to me.”

This is not the first time that Nurse Judy has had the opportunity to work with nursing students from Hallmark.  “There are several groups of nursing students that come out to CAMP  for training from Hallmark as well as other local colleges,”  said Nurse Judy.

Providing educational experiences for nursing students is a fundamental component in achieving CAMP’s mission to strengthen and inspire individuals with special needs —and those who care for them—through Recreation, Respite, and Education.

“I have worked really hard in my capacity as the Director of Health and Wellness and Head Nurse to increase the number of nursing students who volunteer at CAMP,” said Nurse Judy. “Because the reality is, in the medical field, it is a nurse who will  spend the most time with our CAMPers.  For this reason, it is important for nurses to start their careers with a good foundation in care for people in the special needs community.”  

There are many similarities between being a Head Nurse at CAMP and a Foundations of Nursing instructor at the college level. “Foundations of nursing has to do with patient care; things like changing a brief, giving a bath, and doing a physical assessment.  And a big piece of it is training students to maintain the dignity of the patient in every interaction.  CAMP has prepared me well for this new phase in my career.”

And if you think that this is the last CAMP will see of Nurse Judy, well….think again.  She is turning over her Center Point Camp CAMP responsibilities to Nurse Dee Evans who will function as Head Nurse for all overnight camping programs, but Nurse Judy plans to continue in her relationship with CAMP as a volunteer.

How does Nurse Judy feel about leaving CAMP in the hands of Nurse Dee?  “Absolutely totally confident.”  Nurse Dee comes to CAMP with 10 years experience as a Registered Nurse and an additional 10 years experience as a Masters Level Nurse, during which time she ran a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.  According to Judy, “Nurse Dee has far more nursing experience than I do.   All she had to do was learn the CAMP piece. And she’s the parent of a child with special needs and has been a volunteer here at CAMP since 2005.  So yes, I am exceedingly confident in her!”

That’s high praise from someone who has been involved with CAMP for over two decades.  But when it comes to respect, Nurse Dee and Nurse Judy are in a society of mutual admiration.   “Nurse Judy leaves behind big shoes to fill, but she has been training me for this job since I started volunteering,” said Nurse Dee.  And while the position of Head Nurse at CAMP is a big task, Nurse Dee acknowledges that Nurse Judy has left the CAMP organization in a place that has made the transition of leadership a smooth process.  “She has established policies and procedures that have streamlined the check-in process and made day to day patient care  accurate and efficient.”

“Nurse Judy came to CAMP full-time at a time of transition and ensured we continued the tradition of putting the safety of our CAMPers first,” said Executive Director Susan Osborne.  “She has been such a big part of our CAMP family and we will truly miss her enthusiasm and passion she brought to work every day.”

This is the beginning of an exciting new journey for Nurse Judy and she will take CAMP with her in her heart,  “I will be a part of the CAMP family as long as I live and after I’m gone…I’ll come back and haunt the place,” she said with a playful grin.

And so CAMP bids farewell to Nurse Judy, until we meet again.