Gainesville Fire Rescue is sending off local burn survivors to a children’s burn camp this Sunday, June 24th. The camp, called Camp Amigo, is a one-week event where children from all over north central Florida will be joined by other burn survivors and staff. The president of the camp, Rusty Roberts, describes the camp as a place where these kids can find some relief from their physical and emotional scars due to burn injuries.[audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/Rusty1burncamp.mp3]
Going strong for 12 years, Roberts says Camp Amigo has helped children with burn scars connect with other people who share similar experiences. He says the children are able to meet firefighters and other adults who have been burned and learn how to cope with their injuries.[audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/Rusty2burncamp.mp3]
One of the main goals of Camp Amigo is to help these children forget their differences and burn scars and really feel like they fit in with the other kids, as Roberts says.[audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/Rusty3burncamp.mp3]
Besides the benefit of meeting other children and people who have suffered burns, Roberts says Camp Amigo is free of charge to the campers. Every year Gainesville Fire Rescue, Shands Burn Center, and the Gator Fire Council sponsor the trip from fundraisers held throughout the year. Roberts says they do everything they can to make sure every child goes to the camp for free.[audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/Rusty3aburncamp.mp3]
Roberts says anyone who has suffered a burn injury can contact the camp or Gainesville Fire Rescue for help, and he hopes this year’s campers will have a week of relaxation and fun.