At the 1997 National Scout Jamboree, Teesie King, Craig Brasher and Brenda Hanson Smith met while serving on medical staff in Base Camp Charlie. Little did the three know that they would go from being complete strangers to closest friends: As of this summer, they have worked together on six jamborees in the same base camp across 20 years.
“We keep coming back because we know the others are thinking the same,” said King, who is from Silverado Council in California is the medical staff’s chief nurse. “If I didn’t come back to jamboree, then we wouldn’t all see each other, so there’s never a doubt of if we’ll ever go our separate ways.” Says King.
They’ve been through many trials, including lightning storms, food poisoning cases, sunburns and many, many cuts and scrapes. “You bring a group of people together who don’t know each other, and you have to come together in such a short period of time,” said Hanson Smith, a jack-of-all-trades from the Garden Empire Council, in California. ”So much of this is about relationships. It’s all about the quality of care for the Scouts, and the three of us know each other’s best strengths and we play off of that to get the best job done. “
Brasher, the camp’s chief medical officer, is a pediatrician in Sandy, Utah. King is a retired nurse who worked in three hospitals, in trauma and intensive care, among other areas. Hanson Smith is a clinical professor of nursing at California State University at Sacramento. “We think this is what Scouting is about. At the adult level it’s that coming together of shared interests. You get a sense of trust and a sense of belonging that we didn’t know we needed to have,” Hanson Smith said.
The team likes to have fun in their work, so they have had many themes and activities through the years. This year they are having a Disney theme. In years past they’ve had a luau theme that included roasting a pig; another time they had a Motel 6/Charlie 6 theme
“We have fun while working hard and we recognize the skills of each other,” Brasher said. “Our example of how we work, our organization and schedules, have gone out to the other medical camps.”