Our leadership team is employed at Children’s Hospital Colorado, working primarily with our Burn Program, and works year-round to support our Burn Camps and aftercare programs.
Trudy Boulter, OTH CHT is Program Director for the Children’s Hospital Colorado Burn Camps Program. Trudy is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist specializing in burn care, upper extremity trauma and congenital anomalies for over 20 years. She has worked in the burn camps program since 1991 under the tutelage of Marion Doctor, a pioneer in the establishment of Burn Camps Nationwide. Trudy is an active member of the American Burn Association, International Association of Burn Camps and the American Camping Association. She is a certified burn therapist on the burn team at Children’s Hospital Colorado and is dedicated to the development of standards and programs that enhance the growth and development of young people and their families throughout their development into adulthood.
Trudy has been Camp Director since 2011 and actively involved in the CHCOBCP since 1990 when she first began seeing a few burn patients on her caseload as an Occupational Therapist. Trudy held the position of Chair of the International Association of Burn Camps (IABC) for 10 years, recently completing her commitment.
Our Camp programs are staffed with a multidisciplinary medical team to support all aspects of our campers needs at all phases of their injury, recovery, and aftercare. Our medical team consists of occupational and physical therapists, nurses, social workers, psychologists, child life specialists, and even art therapists. This team supports our staff, families, and campers. Every effort is made to address a camper’s individual medical and therapy needs. The campers with the greatest needs are generally seen on a daily basis for range of motion or scar massage, as well as to help them with pressure or splinting needs.
Referring Burn Centers
Our Camp program is affiliated with several referring burn centers around the US as well as Internationally (see Referring Burn Centers tab). We bring in medical professionals (often nurses or therapists) from these burn centers to participate as counselors during our camp programs. It is important for these medical professionals to see our camps, and their campers, in progress. These professionals are then able to return to their centers to share about the magic and healing of camp to their teams and other families.
Firefighters have long been part of our Camps program. The Denver Fire Fighters Charitable Foundation has been a longtime supporter of and generous donor to our program. Often, fire fighters are the first responders on the scene of a fire and get our kids to safety. These first responders then send them on to the hospital and never know the outcome of the situation. By providing the opportunity for firefighters to come to camp as counselors, and to see the progress and healing of our young burn survivors, it is often equally as healing and impactful to them.
As outlined above, our Burn Camps programs are intentionally staffed with medical providers from our referring burn centers that accompany their campers and act as camp counselors and professional camp staff from Cheley Colorado Camps. Our summer camp program has two counselors positions available each year for burn survivors, as well as one to two positions open for someone within the community that brings a special talent to our camps program. These positions are filled on a case by case basis by our Burn Camps Director.
The CHCO Burn Camps Program was the first residential, rehabilitative, multidisciplinary, camp exclusively for Burn Survivors and is the only camp program of its kind in the Rocky Mountain region. Our camp model provides quality camp programming that integrates medical and psychosocial care in a camp atmosphere. Programming incorporates intentional activities that foster natural interactions and discussions between campers about living with a burn injury. For summer Burn Camp, we partner with Cheley Colorado Camps in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, a world class summer adventure camp continually running since 1921.
A Social Worker at Children’s Hospital Colorado had a vision to create a place where burn survivors could come together and continue to heal. She didn’t have any examples. Programs like this didn’t exist, but she found people who believed in her dream. And so in 1983 Marion Doctor started the first residential burn camp in the United States.
Thank you, Marion. Thank you for being a dreamer. Thank you for being a believer. Thank you for never giving up. Thank you for impacting all our lives. Marion’s vision lives on through the memories of all who loved her and all who have been changed or inspired by burn camp.