Zak and I recently got back from spending a week at camp working with the Burn Institute and their yearly Camp Beyond The Scars for burn survivor kids aged 5-17. It was a pretty incredible experience to be their photographer and especially to serve alongside my husband for the first time… it was awesome! I’ve always had the camp bug ever since I worked for Hume Lake Christian Camps, who I can also thank for my photography start, so this opportunity felt like a great fit for both Zak and I to do together.
The Burn Institute is heavily dependent on the money that Firefighters in San Diego raise during their boot drives** to send kids to camp, and this year they were able to send about 70 burn survivors go to camp for free and just be a kid for the week. So cool right?? The kids’ families don’t have to pay anything, and if you can imagine what a financial strain they are under already with all of the medical bills and constant doctors appointments, it means a lot.
[**What is a Boot Drive?? Since I didn’t know exactly what this meant before I was a firefighter wife, here’s the skinny! Each year hundreds of firefighters rally each other together all over San Diego County to meet up at intersections in their communities to collect donations in their BOOTS during the morning and evening commutes. So if you are down there and see firefighters asking for money in their boots, would you consider giving? And this is cool too… you can text a $5 donation to BURN at 20222 if you want to help now.]
The cool thing about Camp Beyond the Scars is that the kids can share their experiences in a supportive camp environment. So not only do they get the support they need, but this year they had such a nice facility [Oakbridge in Ramona] that they could play sand volleyball, learn archery, swim and jump off high dives, skate in the skate park, and even take a beach day in Coronado and go sailing, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, and build sand castles. The kids LOVED it. The amount of donations make THE difference in the type of facilities that can be rented, so we are hoping and praying the kids get this sweet venue for next year too.
During the beach day there were a lot of news organizations getting the story on Camp, so there were some photos that the Union Tribute photographer took that I can share with you! Unfortunately I can’t share any of my pictures on here for safety purposes of the kids… sometimes kids have to be relocated and public pictures can’t be posted so I’m stoked I can have a couple photos to share that are already released.
All photos following are from the Union Tribune…
Excerpt from the Tribune: “Marius falls off a rescue board by Crown Cove Aquatic Center during a field day for Camp Beyond the Scars. Marius, who was burned in a house fire in Romania that claimed his parents, lives in Lakeside.”
Hey look its me! We got to take a 20 minute cruise around the harbor thanks to David Flint and his crew who graciously donated their sailboat and time for the afternoon.
Hey look its me and my camera! Surprise. It was time to come in for lunch!
Tribune Excerpt: “Campers got their chance to be on paddleboards to 22-foot sailboats like this one and even two 36 footers too.”
I already can’t wait until next year to do it all over again. Zak said this when we got home and I think it sums everything up perfectly:
“Some advice for you….. Go volunteer for your community, for a charity, at a hospital, etc. You will meet some people that are also volunteers that are a little strange, that help out for the wrong reasons. Then you will meet the people that help out for all the right reasons…and those are the kinds of people you need in your life.”