Camp ‘I Am Me’ for Young Burn Victims Opens Sunday in Ingleside

Young burn survivors enjoy their time at Illinois’ burn camp in Ingleside. – Illinois Fire Safety Alliance

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by Tina Johansson

Seventy burn-injured children, ages 8 to 16, are expected to attend “I Am Me,” the 27th annual weeklong camp, June 18-24, hosted by the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance at YMCA Camp Duncan in Ingleside.

The free camp features a wide array of camp activities as well as special programs tailored to meet the special needs of burn survivors.

“Camp ‘I Am Me’ is a truly unique camp that allows young children who have been burned by scalding water, chemicals, fire or electricity to be in a judgement-free environment with others who have shared similar experience,” said Philip Zaleski, executive director of the alliance.

“Through our work with hospital burn units, the State Fire Marshal’s Office and fire departments statewide, we hope to reach all burn-injured children so they can benefit from the free camp,” he added.

Activities include horseback riding, swimming, archery, emotional healing, character development and therapeutic sessions.

The camp is funded by donations which would otherwise cost about $2,400 per camper.

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