Camp Cusworth v Camp Wakanda

St George’s, Doncaster, at dusk

I haven’t been to a camp for over 46 years, not unless you count the long weekend my friend & I spent in a teepee near Balmoral.

“Camp Cusworth” refers to the mental health ward I was on from early Feb to when I was discharged (1) earlier today. As for Wakanda, this is where I went for a week back around 1973, to be converted to what I referred to as “Instant Presbyterian”.

Not a happy camper

Wakanda was – I think, it’s a long time ago – the name of the lake where one of my mother’s towels met a waterlogged death. The land was owned by the church: I also went to music camp there. Did I become a Presbyterian? Officially, I was confirmed, along with my fellow campers, into the church. Did it work? Well, for awhile, I guess. These days I’m a Pagan with Quaker tendencies.

I referred to the hospital as “Camp Cusworth” as there were several things in common with Camp Wakanda, not the least of which is the joys of communal living: eating together, using the same washing machine (2), seeing the same people all the time, etc.

The aims of the two places were quite different. In the case of Camp Wakanda, the purpose was to teach us what we needed to know to be confirmed as adult members of the church. Cusworth is all about health, physical as well as mental. The ultimate goal of both (3) adult mental health wards was to get their patients well enough to function as adults.

Did Cusworth succeed on doing that with me? Come back in April 2023, and I’ll let you know.

(1) Also known as the “bless you my child, you may go” interview.

(2) The one machine rule is true about Cusworth, & not Wakanda

(3) There’s another mental health ward named Brodsworth

About Sheila N

Enough about me. Art by Tom Brown.
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