For more than 32 years, The Children’s Hospital Colorado Burn Camps Program has been making a difference for hundreds of burn-injured children. What began as a one-week summer camp is now a continuum of rehabilitative experiences offered throughout the course of a young person’s life designed to guide kids beyond their scars and a life full of opportunity and possiblities.
Camp is a place where we all belong. For each of us in the burn camp community, it becomse a part of your story. There is a circle of support for not only the campers but all who participate. The foundation we build together at camp provides opportunity to recognize the beauty in each of us. And as camp counselor Alec Rhodes reminds us at the start of each day: “Today could quite possibly be the greatest day of your life.”
The program improves the lives of children with a burn injury through the use of enriched curriculum and a path of adventure in a safe environment. We strive to impart
imagination, authentic character, and confidence. We inspire campers to trust in their
abilities and we help them develop the courage to thrive throughout their recovery and
beyond. They start believing in themselves again and in the friendship of others who
know their whole story.
2016 Fly Fishing Outcamp
Campers and staff had a blast on the 3-day fly fishing trip — it was an opportunity for campers to learn a new activity in the mountains and build a firm connection between learning a new skill and taking on new challenges in their lives beyond camp. We started with learning the basics of casting. Campers participated in a lengthy casting clinic that effectively prepared them for independently navigating the difficult waters we were fishing on the North Fork of the Big Thompson River. We focused on being ‘fishing buddies’ at first with the objective of becoming independent ‘anglers’ who build community through shared experiences based on connecting with life and nature through the outlet of fly fishing. Campers knowingly worked towards fishing on their own for our final day, learning the intricate knots, complexities of entomology, and basics of aquatic environs, learning to appreciate the fish’s perspective.
Every camper caught fish, many fish were caught. Campers were challenged by the elements, experiencing fly fishing in serene, thick fog and pushing through tough rain conditions on day two. Campers recognized fishing improved with declining conditions, taking away the invaluable lesson of pushing forward despite conditions changing for the apparent worse, while in actuality the conditions favored our end purpose. Socially, the campers engaged each other well. They created and sustained meaningful conversations around the campfire, sharing their burn stories willingly and spontaneously, without prompt or design by the counselors. They appreciated experiencing genuine interactions with each other in a small community of anglers bound by a common purpose and shared activity. The fly fishing overnight was successful in delivering an organic experience that delivered perspective, strength in purposeful community, and confidence in an ability to master new skills — we look forward to doing it again next year.
All campers 13 and up participate in a 3 day overnight experience. Outcamps include backpacking, horsepacking, flyfishing and mountain biking.