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West Penn Burn Center Summer Camp

West Penn Burn Center Summer Camp at Camp Kon-O-Kwee in Fombell, PA 

West Penn Burn Center conducts numerous outreach programs with the goals of burn prevention, education and helping pediatric burn patients gain the confidence to return to normal activities. Summer Camp for Burned Children is a cornerstone component of this last goal. West Penn Hospital’s Summer Camp for Burned Children, held each June at Camp Kon-O-Kwee outside Zelienople, PA, is a program of West Penn’s Burn Center. Burn Camp, began in 1986, is an overnight camp that provides a safe, fun environment where children ages 7-17 who have been burned can enjoy the friendship and support of other children who share their experiences. Through the generosity of donors, Burn Camp has been offered free of charge to all children who have been patients in West Penn’s Burn Center.

Summer Camp for Burned Children meets a number of needs for the well-being and continued physical and emotional recovery of children who have been burned. First and foremost, following a serious injury, a long and sometimes painful recovery and ongoing physical therapy, it gives campers the opportunity to have a fun, carefree week. They enjoy the friendship and support of other children who share their experience of sustaining and being treated for a burn injury.

Second, the fun, supportive environment of camp boosts campers’ self-esteem and helps to counteract the social stigma that burn victims often suffer because of scars, the need to wear compression garments or other clues that they are different from other children.

Third, it offers therapeutic services, including the support and guidance of adult camp counselors and open discussion groups led by Burn Center staff.

Finally, it offers parents the opportunity to give their children a positive, independent experience, which helps to counteract parents’ natural urge to overprotect their children following a serious and traumatic injury.

With the help of volunteer camp staff from local fire and rescue companies and volunteer counselors from the Burn Center, the campers swim, hike, do crafts and take field trips. The combination of fun, friends and support helps give burned children both confidence and spirit.

Photos from Camp

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