Long-running summer camp for youth burn survivors looking for a new home

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An extended-running summer time camp for youth burn survivors in Wisconsin is on the lookout for a brand new residence.

The Skilled Fireplace Fighters of Wisconsin’s annual Summer time Camp for Burn Injured Youth has been held at Camp Timber-lee in East Troy for the final 28 years. Generally known as “Burn Camp,” the week-long, in a single day summer time camp is free for teenagers who’ve skilled life-changing burn accidents.

Earlier this month, Camp Timber-lee proprietor Trinity Worldwide College introduced it could be closing the property on March 5, citing monetary issues and the detrimental impression of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michael Wos, government director of the Skilled Fireplace Fighters of Wisconsin, mentioned he was saddened to listen to of the property’s closure. 

“Now we have such a novel alternative at Camp Timber-lee,” he mentioned. “It is actually exhausting to think about going anyplace else and another person permitting us to do every thing that we have completed there, from bringing in our personal workers and our personal meals and our personal actions to bringing in 50 fireplace vans for a parade and 200 bikes on bike night time.”

However Wos mentioned his group is “100% dedicated” to persevering with Burn Camp and so they’ve already been approached by greater than 20 different camps providing to host this system. 

He mentioned 60 to 100 children between the ages of seven and 17 attend the camp every summer time. However hospitalization information signifies that there are a lot of extra children within the state who’re eligible.

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“There are greater than a thousand children that might profit from Burn Camp in the event that they solely knew about it,” Wos mentioned. “So our focus currently has been reaching these children so we will deliver them to Burn Camp and share these experiences with them, in addition to increasing our programming for present campers to go from the week-long summer time camp to extra year-round engagement.”

Caileigh Tatalovich is an intern for the Skilled Fireplace Fighters of Wisconsin and is a former Burn Camp participant. After being burned on the age of six, Tatalovich mentioned she was a goal of bullying and did not know another burn survivors.

“I needed to learn to advocate for myself and get up for myself … and camp taught me how to do this,” she mentioned.

Tatalovich mentioned this system is like many out of doors summer time camps, the place individuals get to attempt archery, horseback using, swimming and zip-lining. However she mentioned it is the camaraderie that units this system aside.

“You do not have to fret about being judged or being stared at as a result of there are different children which are such as you,” she mentioned.

She’s assured that is one factor that will not change about Burn Camp, even because it faces the closure of Camp Timber-lee and appears for a brand new location.

“I feel that with change, higher alternatives and higher issues can happen due to it,” Tatalovich mentioned. “It is a huge one, however so long as we’re all collectively, I feel that is what issues probably the most.”

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