Official Newspaper of Eddy County since 1883

BumbleBee Babysitting

Local girls start babysitting club

When a young girl is officially old enough to babysit, she typically just lets her friends and family know she's available, and they start calling when they need a sitter.

A group of New Rockford girls have taken things a bit further, and they've actually organized themselves as a club reminiscent of the 1980s Baby-Sitters Club. It's not Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia and Stacey, and we're not in the fictional suburban town of Stoneybrook, Connecticut. Rather, Abigail Nystrom, Addysen Fandrich, Ava Bullinger, Bailey Baumbach, Kaylynn Chamberlain and Bailey Jacobson have started Bumblebee Babysitting, a babysitting service for families in the area, right here in New Rockford. Need a babysitter? Make one phone call to 701-695-5888, and they'll let you know if any one of their members are free to babysit for your Friday date night, or to cover if your daycare provider needs a day off.

The idea, plan and action came together in less than two weeks, according to co-founder Abigail Nystrom, known as "Abby" throughout the neighborhood. She was on a trip to Bismarck, texting her friend Bailey Baumbach, when she came up with the idea. Bailey B. happens to have read all the "Baby-Sitter's Club" books, so she was definitely interested. A short while later, Abby visited her grandma, Lori Keller, a paramedic who lives on a farm near Selz, N.D., northeast of Harvey.

"She's been wanting to get me and my friends together to do training for a long time," Abby said. In under two hours, the training was scheduled.

On Wednesday, June 30, Abby and five of her friends settled in at Abby's house for five hours of learning. In that short time, grandma Lori got them certified in CPR and First Aid, and she helped them walk through a number of scary scenarios so they'd know what to do in an emergency.

"I lost my tooth in one scenario," Abby said. She recalled that her friends put her missing tooth in a cup, put gauze in her mouth to soak up the blood, and placed an ice pack on her jaw to reduce swelling. Other scenarios included an overdose, broken leg and choking.

Kaylynn, the youngest of the group, had a knack for a particular skill. "She was probably the most enthusiastic during CPR," Abby said. "She loved the breathing bag." Kaylynn was always right there whenever they needed to deliver oxygen to a patient. Bailey J. found she was most effective at doing chest compressions, and Bailey B. and Abby used their communication skills to talk to, and soothe, the patient.

The skills they've learned will be useful throughout life. In fact, they already know their next step. Almost all of them want to pursue EMR certification, and become members of Community Ambulance Service of New Rockford (CASNR) when they turn 16. From there, they can become EMTs at the age of 18.

Abby has fantastic teachers. "We are a family of EMTs," she said. Her mom, Dusty, is a registered nurse at Lutheran Home of the Good Shepherd, and an EMT for CASNR. Grandma Lori has been active in emergency medical services in the area for decades, as an EMT, paramedic and instructor. She has taken calls for Harvey Ambulance Service, Maddock Ambulance, Esmond Ambulance and Lake Region Ambulance Service, among others. She has also taught many CPR, First Aid, EMR and EMT classes over the course of her career.

For the rest of the summer, the members of Bumblebee Babysitting will be available for both daytime and night-time shifts. Their rates are dependent on the number of children in the family and the amount of time they are needed. Most of the girls carry their CPR/First Aid certification cards with them and are happy to show them upon arrival. Once school starts, their hours will be limited to evenings and weekends.

New members are welcome, Abby said. They are seeking members who do not play volleyball, so that they can have more babysitters available during the fall sports season. Club dues are set at 5% of the total collected from each job, which Abby's mom is depositing into a bank account. They plan to raise enough money through dues to purchase first aid kits for each girl to bring to her babysitting jobs, and hold a Christmas party in December. Abby said they also think it would be fun to get together and binge watch the new television series, "The Baby-Sitters Club," which was released on Netflix in July 2020, and renewed for a second season in October 2020. Popcorn, Netflix and five of your besties-- sounds like the perfect night!

Need a babysitter? Give Bumblebee Babysitting a buzz at 701-695-5888, and scheduler Hannah Chamberlain will send one of their busy bees right over!