Reporting Ian Schwartz
LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) — Kids who have suffered severe burns are getting special treatment this week at a firefighters’ burn camps along the shores of Lake Tahoe.
Camp is a great way for kids to get away from the city and be around nature. But at this camp, it’s a chance for kids to get away from the questions, the stares and be around fellow burn survivors who know what it’s like.
These kids have gone through a lot, physically scarred by fire. But in many cases, the pain didn’t stop there.
“Everybody will just look at me weirdly, and I’d just be like, ‘Who cares?’”
That’s what growing up has been like for girls like Kindsey Woodrow. But at this camp, none of that matters.
“You get to share your story and be yourself, and nobody makes fun of you for your scars.”
Kids get to hike, rock climb, fish, and more all for free. The girls will laugh, play and swap stories about what they’ve been through.
Twelve-year-old Emily who was burned as a baby has gone through more than 100 surgeries.
“I think I’m getting one in a couple of weeks after here.”
She says this camp is great because some counselors are just like her.
“I look up to them, I can relate. I feel better because I’m not the only one.”
Counselors like Tommy Keenan who was burned in a car accident.
“I hit a wall and spun around, and I woke up a month and a half later.”
When he woke up, his leg was gone, amputated at the hospital. But here, the kids look up to him.
“Wow, he’s 21. If he got through it, he can do anything.
Tommy wants these young burn survivors to know they can do and be whatever they want, and know most of all that these scars won’t hold them back.
The camp runs through this weekend and is put on each year by the Firefighters Institute, which was started by a group of Sacramento firefighters.