Camp Builds Self-Esteem, Friendship Among Burned Kids

Camp Builds Self-Esteem, Friendship Among Burned Kids

Camp Sunshine closes it's 24th summer camp, hosting burn victims for fun, team-building activities.
LITTLE ROCK, AR--Sunday volunteers and nurses from ACH Burn Center closed out the 24th season of Camp Sunshine.

Year after year, firefighters help burn survivors build self esteem and friendships through fun activities.

During a gymnastics activity Saturday, 9-year-old Carson Eddy showed he could have fun while he and his friends learned to overcome obstacles after surviving devastating fires.

"I think it changes my life, making new friends and seeing people just like me, having burns," says Eddy.

Eddy is one of 50 kids and young adults getting away at Camp Sunshine.

"When they go back to school, they're ridiculed they're bullied, they live a life of poor self- esteemm few friends," says Camp Director Gretta Wilkinson.

Firefighters created the camp as a safe haven and place to show burn victims their scars don't define them.

"I hope they leave with the courage they feel like they can do anything with the right people behind them," says counselor Quentavious Wilson.

Burned in an outdoor fire at 2-years-old, Wilson came to Camp Sunshine as a 3-year-old. Now, the camper turned counselor and college graduate now sits on the board.

"Coming to Camp Sunshine, everyone is the same, there is no reason to be afraid of your scars. If you do have scars you should be proud of them cause it's you," says Wilson.

Along with new friends, it's one of many lessons Eddy is taking home from his first year at camp.

"I think all of the people here with burns are are my family, we all have scars. I imagine them as battle scars," says Eddy.

He's learning lives change when survivors stick together.

Camp Sunshine ends Sunday but thanks to social media campers can stay in touch year round in a private Facebook group. The camps are fully funded by Arkansas firefighters. Learn more about Camp Sunshine here.
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