Beyond the burn – Cheley Colorado Camps hosts camp exclusively for burn survivors.

According to an article published by Live Science Magazine, less than five percent of people worldwide had no health issues in 2013. That includes information on 300 diseases and conditions ranging from acne to chronic ailments such as diabetes. And as you can imagine, age pays a large role – 99.7 percent of adults age 80 or older have health issues, yet what is more surprising is that 64 percent of kids under the age of five also had health issues. So where are we going with this? The point is that a large percentage of us suffer or know someone who suffers from some sort of ailment – even amongst children. The difference is, many of these health conditions can be concealed, and those that cannot can create a whole slew of social, emotional, and physical challenges. Burn survivors are among those who are most at risk of facing these challenges, that’s why for over 30 years Cheley Colorado Camps and Children’s Hospital have teamed up to create a camp specifically for burn survivors.

This year’s camp finished up last week, and the 8-day extravaganza welcomed burn survivors from all over the world to give them the confidence and perspective they need to live life to the fullest despite the social, emotional, and physical challenges they face. And like last year, there was lots of laughter, as campers created memorable moments, attended dance parties, went horseback riding, and among other activities, woke up early to catch a Colorado sunrise on the trail.

For many, Cheley/Children’s Hospital burn camp is a life-changing chance to reflect, build camaraderie, share experiences, and gain confidence. “Settle for more, there is more in us than we know. Once we see it we will be unwilling to settle for less” wrote Cheley alumni Kurt Hahn.

When asked about the camp’s origin Brooke Cheley-Klebe said “Over thirty years ago we teamed up with the hospital because we wanted to serve a different population and use our facility to offer camp after our regular season.”

Firefighters from Denver, the Children’s Hospital team, and burn nurses from around the country joined Cheley staff (as they do every year!) to help support the needs of the campers.

Best of all, all campers attend on scholarship provided by the fundraising efforts of the many groups, including The Burn Foundation, Rotary Club, Firefighters, Cheley parents, Cheley alumni, and the Tahara Mountain Lodge. However, if you’d like to help, anyone can make a donation here.

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