Firefighters Help With the Scarring

By: Jennifer Rogers
By: Jennifer Rogers

Dozens of young burn survivors are spending the week at South Lake Tahoe for a very special camp.

Every year for the past decade the Firefighters Burn Institute hosts the "Firefighters Kids Camp" to help youngsters through the recovery process.

Ask any of the 70 kids and that's exactly what they'll tell you, since each one has been burned. Some are dealing the bandages, while other just have emotional scars.

Thirteen-year old Alvin Crisp from Tonopah remembers the day when his leg was burned. "Me and my friends were playing with gasoline. We had a fire next to us and my friend poured gas on my leg," he says.

After four years of treatments he is now looking forward to playing sports in his first year of high school.

He says he owes positive his attitude to the Firefighters Kids Camp. "My first year when I came I didn't like to show my scars. But once I left I realized it's no big deal."

These kids learn not to be ashamed of their burns. Some girls are wearing shorts for the first time since coming home from the hospital. And others are able to forget for a moment they are still patients who are recovering.

"Counselors say while many of the kids here are on a strict regiment of physical therapy..the activities here at camp make up for it," Crisp says.

And that's not all . . . at the camp there is: "tie-dye shirt, archery, then the rocknasism," says one camper.

It's a experience campers and counselors say change their lives forever.

Firefighters raise money all year to provide the free camp for burn survivors - ages seven to 17.

If you're interested in going to the camp, or volunteering, the firefighters burn Institute web site is www.ffburn.org.


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