SAN DIEGO – From July 11 to July 15, 22 children and young adults who have sustained significant burn injuries will come together in an environment where everyone can feel comfortable being themselves. Camp Beyond the Scars is the Burn Institute’s hallmark burn survivor support program, specifically designed for burn-injured children ages 8-17. In addition, survivors ages 18-20 participate in a junior counselor component of the program as Leaders-In-Training.
Camp Beyond the Scars provides a supportive atmosphere where each child can learn how to cope with the emotional and physical hardships they face as a result of their burn trauma. The program allows them to interact with other children who have common experiences, so they can better realize that they are not alone in their injury.
For many, camp is the first time they have the opportunity to meet another child with scars just like them. Held in a safe environment with caring counselors and fellow burn survivors, young campers overcome self-doubt, embrace their true abilities, share coping skills and provide emotional support to one another.
This year’s summer program will take place at Palomar Conference Center-Doane Valley Campus. Survivors will participate in guided hikes, fishing in Doane Pond, archery, swimming, music sessions, and more. Camp activities are led by volunteer counselors who are off-duty firefighters, medical professionals, educators, and adult burn survivors who uniquely understand the needs of this special population. Camp is also equipped with a Wellness Program, composed of trained mental health professionals, as an added measure of support for the children.
“Due to the traumatic nature of a burn injury, they often have a lifelong impact, both physically and emotionally, on a child. Our goal is to show these young campers that they are capable of anything they set their minds to and encourage them to embrace their uniqueness.” said Burn Institute Executive Director Susan Day.
Camp Beyond the Scars offers a circle of support for each child and focuses on providing a safe environment for burn survivors to express themselves and learn how to feel comfortable with their personal burn story. Campers will be participating in a number of support-based activities including art projects, which provide a therapeutic alternative for kids to express themselves through colors and artistic creativity.
The Burn Institute provides Camp Beyond the Scars completely free of charge through private donations and support.
For more information on the Burn Institute, visit http://www.burninstitute.org.
Submitted by the Burn Institute.