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Kids Begin Burn Camp Among Peers

Kids Begin Burn Camp Among Peers

Posted - Aug. 15, 2004 at 5:00 p.m.



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Tonya Papanikolas ReportingVolunteers and medical professionals are creating an unforgettable experience for a group of young burn survivors. The children come from all over the west to attend burn camp.

The Intermountain Burn Center treated thousands of patients last year -- kids and adults. But sometimes the kids can have lasting emotional scars along with the physical ones. Today, children between six and 12 got to spend the day with other burn patients in the mountains instead of the hospital.

Twenty-nine children started their four-day burn camp at Camp Tracy. They began with arts and crafts, pounding shapes into leather and making dream-catchers. Some of the children have bad dreams about their burn traumas. This craft was meant to focus on catching their positive dreams.

The kids love to come up to Burn Camp because it's a chance to be with other children who know what they've been through.

Tyler Everton: “People don’t stare because they have burns like everybody else.”

Kia Wilkes: “I just makes me feel good inside that I have people who love me and care about me.”

Brad Wiggins, Burn Camp Director: “I think the biggest thing we try to teach is that inner beauty is really important, and just because you have a scar on your body, it doesn’t mean you’re not a beautiful person.”

Today the kids were looking forward to going horse-back riding. And over the next few days they'll get a chance to canoe and climb a rock wall.

The camp director says some of these children have been in intensive care and they think they won't be able to do many activities ever again. So the staff encourages them to try new things and realize they can get out there and ride a horse or climb a rock wall.

They also have a lot of counselors on hand who lead group discussions so the kids can share their feelings about going through burn traumas. Some of the counselors are burn survivors too. It's great for the kids to see they can live a normal life.

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