It was with great excitement and anticipation that we held our 21st camp in February 2023. A new record of 52 ANIQUEM patients attended including 6 junior leaders. Among the adult leaders were four ex campers, who are particularly important as role models. This was our first camp in 3 years and many kids were first timers.
It is a sad fact that many of the young burn survivors who attend the ANIQUEM clinic suffer from shame at their appearance and low self-esteem. Our three day burn camps are specifically designed to counteract these negative feelings. The kids learn that they are not alone, that the scars are not their fault and that scars do not define who they are. Even more importantly they make friends, giving them the chance to have fun, share their feelings and feel understood and appreciated for who they are.
Camp has an important impact on the psychological recovery of the ANIQUEM patients. They are coordinated by the ANIQUEM psychologist and CAFA social worker, assisted by ANIQUEM staff and many volunteers.
Juan was very happy to return to camp in February and especially to be able to meet up with his friends from previous camps. He was not disappointed as the three days were filled with fun and challenging activities. His favorite activities were playing ‘futbol‘ (soccer) and free time in the swimming pool. In his thank you letter, he also noted that he enjoyed the camp food.
We sometimes forget to mention camp meals, which are carefully planned to provide plenty of wholesome and delicious food to the young campers. Along with the swimming pool, food is most frequently mentioned as ‘my favorite thing about camp.’