Since its inception in 1987, Camp Beyond the Scars has made a difference in the lives of hundreds of burned injured children.
Burn injury, whether accidental or inflicted remains one of the leading causes of childhood death and disfigurement in the United States. For those children who survive a serious burn injury, permanent scarring, physical deformity, social isolation and emotional trauma linger well beyond the initial tragedy.
Burn survivor support programs are a vital component of the Burn Institute’s program activities and Camp Beyond the Scars represents one of the Institute’s most successful on-going efforts. Camp Beyond the Scars is available for burn-injured children between the ages of 5 and 17.
This special camp for children was established in 1987 and San Diego’s local Camp Beyond the Scars was established in 1994. Today, Camp Beyond the Scars serves as the Burn Institute’s hallmark program. Each year, approximately 50 children, ages 5-17, attend a 3-day winter camp and a weeklong summer camp held in the foothills of San Diego County.
Both camps provide a relaxed social setting, which offers burn-injured children the support and counseling needed to establish and enhance their self-esteem. Campers learn that there are other children who have had the same unfortunate experience. Camp has proved to be a positive, special experience for young burn survivors. Campers also get to do what kids do best – have fun! Camp activities include swimming, basketball, volleyball, archery, overnight camping, golf, arts and crafts and more. For many children, this special camp is the first time they have seen another child with burn injuries. Campers learn to feel better about themselves and are better able to face their injuries with new coping skills and a renewed sense of self-esteem. Camp is a remarkable healing experience, which helps transform burn victims into burn survivors. Many of the camp volunteers are off-duty firefighters and adult burn survivors, who are uniquely familiar with the challenges these children face.
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