Our History

The first burn camp

Each year CHCO provides quality burn care to over 350 patients. With the current model of healthcare and reimbursement many of these children receive only a fraction of the psychosocial and rehabilitative care they need. We know these children need different support at the various developmental stages of their life. We offer a suite of programs including summer camp, winter camp, family camp and a young adult retreat. We help campers improve their own lives using an enriched curriculum alongside physical and social challenges. The camp program provides comprehensive medical intervention from a staff that specializes in the care of the child with a burn injury, in both an acute care setting and the camp environment.

The CHCO Burn Camps Program was the first residential, rehabilitative, camp exclusively for Burn Survivors and is the only multidisciplinary, rehabilitative, residential camp program in the Rocky Mountain region. Our camp model provides quality camp programming which integrates medical and psychosocial care in a camp atmosphere, as well as, incorporates focused activities that foster natural interactions and discussions between campers about living with a burn injury. We provide a quality camp program integrating medical and psychosocial community in a camp atmosphere. We have become a model for burn camps around the world and have partnerships with referring hospitals across the country and around the world.

Our program

Children’s Hospital Colorado Burn Camps Program meets the psychological and rehabilitation needs of a child and their family following a burn injury. They receive excellent care in hospitals and clinics. At the time of discharge, because rehabilitative stays are limited and reintegration opportunities are limited for young burn survivors, some of these patients need additional support. They need a place to re-process the traumatic pathways that a burn injury can cause. They need an opportunity to connect with other survivors, to be in a supported environment where they are encouraged to challenge themselves and create a full life.

A history of healing

Since 1983, Children’s Hospital Colorado Burn Camp has been providing an opportunity for young burn survivors to recover together in community. Through partnerships with 8 hospitals nationwide, camp connects survivors within a camp setting. The intentional and individualized programming is created to address each child’s goals while working collaboratively with families and referring burn units. A growth plan is created based on each individual’s needs. This program meets each child where they are in the recovery process and helps them heal from the trauma experienced by a burn injury.

Since 1983, The Children’s Hospital Colorado Burn Camps Program has been a place of healing and inspiration for hundreds of burn-injured children. It began as a one-week summer camp program serving 20 survivors and has evolved into a continuum of rehabilitative experiences offered throughout the development of a young person’s life. The programs are designed to guide kids beyond their scars and a life full of opportunity and possibilities.

Camp is a place where we all belong. For each of us in the burn camp community, it becomes 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.

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