BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Campfires are synonymous with summer fun, storytelling, laughs shared over s’mores, and new life-long friendships, but for some people who have experienced traumatic injuries, those campfires can conjure up other memories.
However, Baton Rouge General (BRG) is looking to change that.
In addition to enjoying an action-packed week filled with inflatable obstacle courses, Relay Olympics, and fishing, campers at BRG’s Camp Catahoula are interacting and sharing their experiences with other burn survivors. The group consist of 40 children ages 5 through 17 who have survived the physical and emotional trauma of burn injuries.
“It is rewarding to see the campers’ excitement as they interact with other children recovering from burn injuries,” said Dr. Tracee Short, BRG Regional Burn Center Medical Director. “To feel supported and comfortable around other burn survivors who have faced the same trauma and who carry similar scars truly aids in their emotional healing.”
The camp is voluntarily staffed by doctors, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, occupational therapists, teachers, social workers, firefighters, parents of young burn survivors, and adult burn survivors who provide additional support for the children.
Representatives from the Baton Rouge Fire Department, Louisiana State Police, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and Brothers Keepers, a firefighters’ motorcycle club, also make appearances. Kids attend Camp Catahoula without any expense to their families, thanks to funds raised through the generosity of several organizations.