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Burn Center

Pediatric Programs

Burn Center Summer Camp

Burn Camp 2013Healing emotionally is just as important as healing physically. The West Penn Burn Center team takes great pride in the long-standing summer camp program established in 1986 that continues today. The five-day camp is provided free-of-charge for children ages 7 to 17 who have sustained burn injuries. Twenty-seven children attended camp in 2013.

Summer camp is held annually for children who have been treated at West Penn Burn Center. The summer camp provides the environment in which children are able to meet, interact and bond with others who have been through the same experience of a burn injury. With the guidance of skilled professionals, children are encouraged to meet new challenges and to take positive risks by participating in adventures such as rock wall and rope climbing that help to build confidence while building strong bodies.

A camper shared these words after his first camp experience:

I learned a very important thing at my first time West Penn Burn Camp that is my scars are like tattoos and memories. I will grow old with every last one of them. I will remember how they happened. If people say stuff about them I don't care. I just hold my head high and wear them proud. Burn camp was really great because I got to be with people just like me with scars and it was nice because there you don't make fun of each other for what you did.    – James, age 14

Burn Camp 2013The camp counselors are West Penn Burn Center nurses, West Penn Hospital employees, WVU Psychology Graduate students and former burn injury survivors. The goal is to make sure that campers feel comfortable and that they gain the most they can from appropriate activities. Skilled medical staff is present and available for emergencies. Firefighter groups such as the local F.O.O.L.S. and Fire Iron also give of their time, equipment, and expertise to enhance the fun and learning experience for children during Camp.

The Burn Center’s Summer Camp is underwritten by The Western Pennsylvania Hospital Foundation and the generosity of individuals, local corporations, and foundations. Funding is also provided through Aluminum Cans for Burned Children, a non-profit recycling program that helps children who have been burned and helps prevent burns in other children.

For information about Burn Center Summer Camp, contact us.

Become a Camp Counselor


Back-to-School Program

Easing the transition from treatment back to school is an important part of the discharge process for children who have suffered a burn injury.

To facilitate reintegration, West Penn Burn Center’s team developed the Back-to-School Program.  Components of this program include providing information to teachers and students about a child’s hospitalization, the nature of burn injuries and scarring, and any special garments or equipment the child may wear or use when returning to school.

The goals of the program are as follows:

  • To ease the transition into the classroom for the burned student and to alleviate any mutual awkwardness
  • To provide school staff and classmates with basic information about burn care and treatments
  • To offer a forum for the burned student’s classmates to ask questions and express concerns and fears
  • To familiarize staff and classmates with any rehabilitative garments or equipment the burned student may need
  • To teach burn prevention

The West Penn Burn Center team is available to answer questions about easing the back-to-school process for all students with burn injuries.

For more information about the Back-to-School Program, contact us.

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