AUGUST 22, 1949
HYDE PARK, Sunday—Friday morning, bright and early, I set out to find the Sprout Lake Camp for cardiac children. It is at Verbank, New York, in the eastern part of Dutchess County, and is the only camp of its kind, I am told, in this part of the country.
The building and grounds were purchased last winter by the Associated Cardiac Leagues. Five New York City, Long Island and Westchester volunteer groups organized themselves about three years ago into the Associated Cardiac Leagues for the purpose of establishing a camp for cardiac children, and they hope other camps will be established elsewhere in the country.
Mrs. Samuel Shapiro is president of the association, and this experimental camp is being advised by a steering committee appointed by the New York Heart Association. Some of the counselors are medical students, and there is a resident physician, a registered nurse and a practical nurse.
The children are selected for the camp by doctors and social workers in New York City clinics without regard to race, creed or color. Instead of competitive sports, they have very carefully planned, normal activities—nature study, pottery work, woodworking, swimming, archery and other games which can be engaged in under supervision and where competition is not too keen. It gives the children an out-of-door life for a month with other children who are all under the same restrictions, so that there is no sense of being "different" or inferior to any other child.
I thought the children seemed free and happy and busy, and, in spite of the obvious difficulties, I think it must work out as a helpful and beneficial treatment for every child judged able to be in camp.
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I got home in time to greet my luncheon guest, Mrs. Dorothy Lewis, who is the Coordinator, U.S. Station Relations, Radio Division of the United Nations. She has been working very hard on getting more radio information to the people of the country about the work done through U.N. agencies, and I think she has done an outstanding piece of work.
Saturday I had a series of visitors, including the annual party held by the Roosevelt Home Club on my picnic grounds, and again today we are having quite a large group of people at our daily picnic lunch. I don't know what I should do if it were to rain on these days when a great many people are lunching with me, for it would certainly be harder to feed them indoors. In the last day or two it has been quite cold in the house or, in fact, anywhere out of the sun, so that the only pleasant place has been by the pool where the sun can shine right down on us.