A local teenager was hospitalized yesterday evening after telling camp stories to his friends for 38 consecutive hours. Jim Stokes apparently wanted to relive his experience by giving his friends a play-by-play of the entire summer — in one long, unbroken sentence. Jim, who was set to be a high school senior this fall, mistook his mother for a camp counselor, prompting his parents to seek help.
When he arrived at Children’s Hospital, he was feverish and delirious. “He was mumbling something about some fat kid,” said the doctor who attended to him in the ER. “We had to put him under before treating him.”
Jim is in stable condition, and is receiving care for dehydration, malnutrition, and caffeine overdose.
Recent research indicates that Jim’s case is not an isolated incident. Symptoms of such strange behavior, dubbed Post-Isolation Stress Disorder (PISD), appeared in nearly 80% of campers returning from summer camp participating in a recent study by Harvard Medical School. The American Camp Association refused comment.
“What we found is downright creepy,” said John Hinkleton, the lead researcher. He explained that “when kids go to camp, particularly camps that are secluded from civilization, it’s as if they’re in their own little world. When they return, the shock of adjusting to the real world can be overwhelming.”
Hinkleton went on to explain that PISD is in a category of psychological disorders that includes Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, common in soldiers who fought in places like Vietnam. He went on to stress the need for awareness of PISD, saying “Something must be done. The citizens of this country must be made PISD aware — for the safety of our children and our future.”
While Stokes's case was an extreme one, Hinkleton advises parents to keep a watchful eye on their kids returning from camp, especially full-summer campers who haven't been in contact with the real world for seven or eight weeks. When any camper returns, they should be exposed to civilization as quickly as possible.
Several common behavior patterns include urges to roast marshmallows on the stove, hesitation before opening doors, constant swatting of nonexistent mosquitoes, and general disorientation or confusion.
“This just shows that we need to monitor the behavior of our children with more care. These camps destroy our youth, leading them down the wrong paths in life,” commented Hillary Clinton, unexpectedly. She continued, saying, “Education is the key. Parents have a responsibility to learn about the dangers of PISD — if not for the sake of their own kids, then for the sake of their country.”
Clinton then stuffed a jelly donut in her mouth and stormed away.