Children burn survivors given the time of their life at Fresno County camp

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At a ranch tucked away in Wonder Valley you can find children splashing in the pool, riding horses, and racing go-kart. (KFSN)

At a ranch tucked away in Wonder Valley you can find children splashing in the pool, riding horses, and racing go-kart. Glowing with pure joy on their faces campers are getting a week long adventure, but it is what they have in common that makes time at Champ Camp so special-- each has a story of survival.

"To know that they're not alone but they're just like any other kid-- they can run, play, have fun, it's just an amazing experience for the burn survivors as well as the counselors and staff that are here," said Jennifer Radics-Johnson, Executive Director.

"It's all one big family," said Christian Pine from Visalia.

Pradnya Bergdahl said Champ Camp takes fun to new heights.

"You can't take all of this amazing greatness from camp and put it into one little box to share with your friends. It's just a truly amazing experience, I will never ever forget."

Camp and Bergdahl's time being treated in the hospital has inspired a new career path. The now aspiring nurse said she can't wait to come back to camp as a counselor.

"You don't get the stares, you don't get the looks, you don't get questions, it's like everyone's the same and everyone has something really great in common."

This year more than 140 child burn survivors are getting a summer of fun. When they are not shooting at the range or taking an archery lesson they are jumping off of the coolest feature at camp-- they call it Atlantis.

The free camp, hosted by the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation, is celebrating 32 years. Making them one of the largest and longest running burn camps in the world.

"I can't be a firefighter any more, but this is a way for me to give back and makes me feel good," said Andy Isolano, Clovis Fire Department.

"We're here to tell them you can do anything and everything you want to do," said Radics-Johnson.

Related Topics:
societyburn injuriesfresno countycampingFresno County
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