Champ Camp helps child burn survivors

June 13, 2013 12:17:45 AM PDT
Children with burn injuries from across California are finding joy and healing at the annual Champ Camp in Central California.

It's a summer camp aimed at having fun. And for more than 130 California kids, it's a time when they can put their worries aside, embrace their scars and enjoy being a kid.

12-year-old Megan Mckeon of Fresno is a burn survivor. She's been going to Champ Camp since she was five and says she always looks forward to reuniting with friends, during the week long camp, children play mud pit games, swim and even go horseback riding.

"These kids are complete troopers it doesn't matter how severe their burns are or not, they just want to get out here and try new things," said Foundation President Chris Bridger. "We have kids that don't have legs or arms and they're swimming they're riding mini bikes."

Chris Bridger is a Clovis firefighter and the president of the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation, which runs the camp. Bridger says he is humbled by the strength of these survivors. Every child gets to go to camp for free, paid for by donations.

Firefighters throughout the state also fundraise for the foundation. And Central Valley firefighters even got to come out, experience the camp and meet burn survivors.

Bridger said, "We run the incidents and see the kids that right there in the emergency are freshly burned and then we get to see them through the process and see them here and continue to heal and grow."

And while society may see their scars, camp volunteers say these burn survivors are proving there are no limits to what they can do.


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