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On June 6, more than 120 burn injured children from all over California traveled to the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation’s 30th Annual Champ Camp — a week long camp for burn injured children. Champ Camp provides a free, safe and fun summer camp environment for children ages 5 to 16 facing one of life’s toughest and most painful challenges: severe burn injuries. More than 2,000 children have been through the program since its inception in 1985, with no cost to them thanks to our generous supporters throughout California. The 30th Annual Champ Camp is happening this week, June 6 – June 13.
“We are proud to hold the 30th Annual Champ Camp for more than 120 burn-injured children this year,” said Jennifer Radics, Executive Director for the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation. “Champ Camp offers burn-injured children an opportunity to meet other children who have been through a similar experience and be part of new and challenging activities together, while feeling confident and having fun.”
Founded in 1985, Champ Camp is the nation’s largest and longest running camp for burn injured children. Champ Camp provides a safe place for burn-injured children to get away from stares and unwanted attention associated with their burn injuries. Champ Camp introduces the children to new and challenging physical activities and allows a burn-injured child to have fun and just be a kid.
“I love going to Champ Camp because I have lots of fun and meet new people,” said sixteen year old Ana Ramirez, a burn survivor who has attended Champ Camp since she was 8 years old. “I also love this camp because it helps me understand that I am not the only person who was burned.”
At Champ Camp, campers enjoy go-kart races, a day at the water park, white water rafting, pool parties, swimming, fishing, a chili cook-off from local fire departments, an ice cream social and more. Campers come from all over California and the world to attend Champ Camp! Additionally, more than 50 Camp Counselors are fire service members from around the state.
The Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation (AARBF) was founded in 1971 after the tragic death of Alisa Ann in a backyard barbeque accident. Its mission is to enhance the quality of life for burn survivors and promote burn prevention education in California. AARBF’s burn survivor services programs engage them in a community of peers and support networks to help build confidence and provide social opportunities, connects them with resources for coping with their injuries, and supports burn survivors’ immediate basic human needs. Currently, AARBF has six survivor services programs (Champ Camp, Young Adult Summit, The Getaway Family Camp, School Re-entry Program, in-hospital support, and support groups), and a comprehensive prevention program (Firefighters in Safety Education). To learn more about the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation or Champ Camp, call (818) 848-0233 or visit the agency’s website,www.aarbf.org.