July 03, 2006

Camp for burned children set for July 16-21

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. - Young burn survivors are eligible to attend a free weeklong summer camp July 16-21 at Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Touch of Nature Environmental Center.

The Southern Illinois Camp for Burned Children – also called Camp Adventure – is open to boys and girls ages 8 to 18. There are spaces for 30 campers and registration is sure to fill up fast. There is no cost to the participant.

Burned children from Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky and Indiana are eligible to attend. Go to www.siburncamp.org to register or for more information. Enrollment is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Those who register by July 7 receive free prizes.

Campers will get to try their skills and have fun caving, rock climbing, swimming, making crafts, learning outdoor team building activities, along with primitive camping at Jackson Falls in the Shawnee National Forest.

Boys and girls bunk in separate air-conditioned cabins and enjoy a mix of hot meals, cookouts and sack lunches.

Firefighters from Southern Illinois and the St. Louis Metro East areas raise money year round to cover the cost of the camp. First offered in 1996, the camp is the only one of its kind in the region.

The camp is a great experience for children marked by physical and emotional scars, said Carbondale firefighter Dana MacCrimmon, who is helping organize the event.

"It's a great experience for kids who have survived many physical obstacles resulting from burns and consequential medical treatment," she said. "At Camp Adventure, they can meet others who have faced similar challenges and join together to celebrate their strengths."

The camp also presents a chance for the children to make the most of their summers with a week full of "fun and exciting, new personal experiences," she said.

Anyone who knows a child who might benefit from the camp should refer them to the SIUC Touch of Nature Environmental Center at 618/453-1121. Individual and corporate donations, all tax-deductible, may be sent to Southern Illinois Camp for Burned Children, P.O. Box 2851, Carbondale, IL 62902.

Touch of Nature is about seven miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road. SIUC operates the center and has been providing continuous summer camping programs since 1952.

Serving others and providing outreach activities are among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.