Articles Posted in Burn Camps

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In our last post on Wednesday, October 26, we talked about the many services offered at the new Grossman Burn Center in Phoenix, Arizona. But once a burn victim is released from a burn center like Grossman, there are still many challenges to deal with for the rest of their lives. But burn survivors can gain the confidence to move forward in their lives with the help of burn camps. In fact, every state in the U.S. has a burn camp.

Here is one example: In August 2011 a 10-year-old named Elizabeth Watson attended a burn camp in Utah, and came home feeling energized and able to better handle the complications in her life. When Elizabeth was younger, she hated the burn scars that wrapped around her legs, arms, feet and part of her head, thinking that they were so ugly. But over time, Elizabeth learned that the burn scars suffered from a propane accident when she was just 5 months old do not define who she is or how she looks. They are simply, as she says, “a part of who I am.”

Elizabeth attended the annual University Health Care Burn Camp at Camp Tracy in Mill Creek Canyon in Utah, along with 40 other young burn victims. They rode horses, went swimming, made music, and created arts and crafts over four days. All of this helped them build confidence that they can do whatever they want, and that their burn injury and scars won’t hold them back..

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Over this past summer in Kalamazoo, Michigan, a celebration for guests at the Great Lakes Burn Camp showed the huge amount of camaraderie shared by victims of severe burns and their families. This was the 17th annual camp, which lasts six days and is set alongside a beautiful lake.

Mike Longenecker, camp director and one of about 90 staff members and counselors overseeing this year’s 52 campers, said that it is very moving to see the joy this burn camp gives so many kids. “You’ve got to remember that these are kids with burn (scars) and they’re at an age where peers put image and looks under a microscope,” he said. “Burn camp gives these kids a week where they can look any way they want without having to worry [about exposing their scars], and be themselves.” Even with a skin graft to repair damaged skin, burn victims rarely look the same as before they were burned, so the psychological effects of burns are almost as serious as the physical effects.

Longenecker said he’s missed wedding anniversaries and his wife’s birthdays to run the burn camp, but he adds that she knew when they married that the annual camp visit means so much to him.

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A recent article in the Myrtle Beach Sun newspaper discussed a topic that is very helpful to families who have a burn survivor among them.

In Raleigh, NC, yoga instructor Blake Tedder knows how difficult it is for children with burn injuries to face the world. In 2001, Tedder was 17 when he lost 35 percent of his skin in a plane crash.

Tedder was not prepared for the stares and comments after he regained health. Because of his burns, not only did his face stay bright red for a long time, but he also had to wear pantyhose-like garment on his arms. “I felt that I looked like a mummy,” said Tedder, now 26 years old. The idea of possibly not being able to play guitar or catch the eye of a girl was devastating, he added.

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In October 2006, Camryn Higgins suffered second- and third-degree burns to 65 percent of his body in an accidental backyard explosion at his Bastrop, Texas home. It was a Sunday morning, and he and his family was cleaning up after a seventh birthday party for Camryn the day before. His father was getting ready to light the grill for some outdoor cooking. Camryn, carrying a few chairs, also grabbed a lighter to take to his dad. But he tripped on a sidewalk and fell, and somehow the lighter emitted a spark. This ignited fumes from a nearby gas can.

“The backyard was full of smoke and I started hollering, ‘Where’s my baby, where’s my baby?'” recalled Carl Higgins. “Finally he ran in front of me, and I noticed that he was on fire.”

Emergency crews blocked traffic on a nearby highway and a medical helicopter landed to get the child to the Burn Center at Shriners Hospital for Children, in Galveston. Camryn was put on life support and doctors worried he would not survive. But several days later, the boy awoke to his astonished and deeply worried parents. Then the recovery had to begin–which included very painful baths to keep him from getting life-threatening infections.

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445 E 69th St #319 New York, NY 10021, U.S.A.


The mission of Camp Phoenix is to help pediatric burn survivors and their siblings. In this camp the campers will share their experiences and stories and will have a network of support that can help one and other. It’s a safe exciting and a memorable experience that will not soon be forgotten.

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Tulsa Firefighters Educational Clowns Burn Camp:


This is a 5 day camp for burned children and children who have any disfiguring type of injuries. More than 100 counselors and volunteers participate in this camp ranging from firefighters, burn nurses and many other volunteers. Camp activities include western town theme, go cart track, petting zoo, team building games and much more. Children in this camp have fun, learn and have an experience that they won’t forget. Every year there is a different theme and each child will receive many things including a burn camp shirt, hat, camp packet, toys and much more.

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Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation: Camp Oo-U-La


This camp is sponsored entirely by the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation and is totally free of charge. It’s the first and only camp serving children who survived a burn injury. In this camp survivors will have the opportunity to face social and physical challenges among their peers in a friendly, family type setting. The camp has goals, in this camp an atmosphere of conditionless love and acceptance is provided. Many activities will be provided that give the survivors a sense of accomplishment. Survivors will share their similar experiences and will form a social network that will help building self-esteem. In this camp the child will be seen on the inside not just the scars on the outside. The staff is dedicated to do their best to help and support these children and many of them are burn survivors themselves.

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Illinois Fire Safety Alliance Burn Camp:


This Camp is open to children ages 8-16 that have experienced a burn injury requiring hospitalization in Illinois. A safe environment will be provided for these children were they will enjoy various activities including swimming, row boating, canoeing, fishing, archery, crafts and much more. Survivors will make new friends, built their self-esteem and share their experience with other survivors.

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Missouri Children’s Burn Camp:


This camp is for children ages 6-17 who have been hospitalized for burns. In this weeklong camp, campers will participate in biking, boating, swimming, horseback riding and many other outdoor activities. Survivors will have fun, learn, share their experience with others and know that they are not the only ones with the burn injury. Survivors will develop new skill, make new friends and will have an experience that will not be forgotten as their lives will be different after this camp.