Revamped Hospital Playroom Gives a “Camp Bronson” Experience
Being in the hospital is never fun, but it can be especially tough for a kid. Bronson Hospital is trying to make a kid’s stay just a little bit better. A newly unveiled playroom at Bronson Children’s Hospital brings the outdoors in for patients and families, giving them a one-of-a-kind experience.
The playroom was remodeled to make better use of the space which now includes more natural light and a Michigan camping theme. “Camp Bronson” includes a camper or “Camp-glance” for kids to play in, a campfire scene with toadstools, a tent, and several real trees that have been preserved to make the setting come to life under a canopy of painted leaves.
The space is designed so each age group – from babies to toddlers to teens – will have something to keep them occupied and give them time away from their rooms. There are even outlets that can be pulled down from the ceiling so medical equipment that needs to be plugged in doesn’t interfere with patients moving around the camp.
“There is something special that happens when you take a patient out of their hospital room and bring them into a child-friendly environment like our new playroom,” says Wendy Kellogg, child life specialist. “It’s truly an immersive experience. When children and families enter the room we often hear ‘Wow! Check this place out!’ Then the real magic happens and they get to be a child.”
The opening of the playroom was delayed due to COVID-19. Now, an appointment system has been established so families can set a time to safely visit the room, and staff can fully clean between patient visits.
The playroom was funded through donations to Bronson Health Foundation including those raised from the annual Bronson Children’s Hospital Run & Walk.
“It is a delight to see the playroom in use and to know these children have a place to go while in the hospital where they can just have fun,” says Liz Semaan, executive director of Bronson Health Foundation. “This is truly a community-sponsored space, and it shows what a big heart our donors have by coming together to make sure children who are in the hospital are cared for beyond their medical needs. It’s all part of the healing process.”