July 2007

Calgary Youth Find Camaraderie At Camp Courage

By Misty Cisneros

Two young Calgary burn survivors have just experienced a special June vacation at the Arizona Burn and Trauma Foundation's Camp Courage in the mountains of Prescott , Arizona .

This all-inclusive vacation included travel expenses, meals, room and board came through a partnership between the Phoenix Sister Cities Commission (PSCC) and the Arizona Burn and Trauma Foundation and the cooperative efforts of the Phoenix and Calgary Sister City Committees and Calgary Economic Development (CED).

The youth enjoyed a number of recreational activities including horse back riding, hiking, swimming, archery, rock climbing, and crafts designed to give them a renewed sense of independence and accomplishment.

Various members of the Calgary committee served as host families to the Calgary youth, taking them into their homes overnight, greeting them at the airport, and treating them to a pizza, ice cream, and bowling party in their honor.

Later in the week after the youth departed for camp, members of the Calgary committee took their annual visit to the camp where they visited with the campers, staff, and toured the site to learn more about all the amazing memories and experiences that always take place at camp.

“This is a great program that I am extremely impressed with; what better way to bond two cities ( Calgary and Phoenix ) than through helping kids,” says Ken Brown, immediate past chair of the Phoenix Sister Cities Calgary Committee. The local Calgary committee fundraises year ‘round to sponsor the airline tickets and evening of hospitality for the kids from Calgary each year.

Camp Courage has a volunteer staff of physicians, nurses, physical therapists, and paramedics. Many of the counselors are firefighters and adult burn survivors.

The youth gain a sense of belonging and an opportunity to share the trials and triumphs of their burn injuries with others. Most importantly, at Camp Courage the campers experience freedom from the rejection, isolation, loneliness, and frustration regularly experienced by burn survivors.

To learn more about Camp Courage please visit them on the web: http://www.azburn.org/Programs/CampCourage