Burn camp offers 2nd home

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Rachel Faulkner writes, Around Colorado, Cheley summer camp, up in Estas park,is known as one of the brightest, best camps for kids.

Around Colorado, Cheley summer camp, up in Estas park,is known as one of the brightest, best camps for kids. It offers a gigantic property with fun activities for childrenall summer long such as horseback riding, hiking, etc. For four weeks in summer, kids of all shapes and sizes are invited to attend. Yet the last week of summer plays host to a different group of kids. Oh, they’re normal kids like you and me. What makes them special? Every kid during this last, one-week session has suffered extensive burns somewhere on their bodies. Some children have horrendous stories to go hand in hand with their burns, and those are the stories that the camp wants the children to work through. For privacy’s sake, I will not go into details. Sponsored by the Children’s Hospital, this session is equipped with the finest counselorsto make the children comfortable in their surroundings. They eat delicious food at the dining hall, host a Talent Nite, ride horses and go for sunrise hikes, and just get a chance to not stand out nearly as much. The last full day of camp is open to families and friends as well. As both my uncle and grandmother were counselors, I was priveledged enough tobe included.It starts with a chapel service, in which little religous influence was mentioned but inspirational stories were rampant. “Camp is like my home away from home,” said one choked-up teenager. “This experience has proved to me that its ok to look different,” said another. As songs began, hands wrapped around waists as the whole group of eighty kids swayed back and forth in one ongoing hug. The rest of the day was Game Day. The theme, oddly enough for a 90 degree day, was “Winter Wonderland”. Christmas music blared and snowball fights littered the ground – though the “snow” was made of corn starch. Campers made a snowman by smothering a team member in shaving cream. Finally, the whole camp participated in a massive water ballon fight, followed by a group barbecue. Camp can be a wonderful experience for kids who just want to spend time in the mountains this summer, but for kids who have been through the hardest instances imaginable, burn camp is a pretty good way to go. Burn camp will continue next summer. Go to www.cheley.com for details

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