Burn Camp

During the EBA congress in 2013 the decision was made to merge the PAM and Burn Camp committees. The Burn Camp Committee achieved its many goals during the last years (see below) and it was decided to close the Burn Camp committee but have 2 members represent burn camp issues on the PAM committee. These 2 members are Anita Boekelaar (already on the Burn Camp Committee) and a new co-opted PAM member, Diane Derwael.

The emphasis is still on sharing the knowledge and experience, with the EBA acting in an advisory and supportive capacity.

Diana Derwael has many years experience in coordinating burn camps for children in Belgium.  (NPO Pinocchio).  Pinocchio has an annual, one week Eastern camp, with ± 65 children between 5 and 19 years old and ± 30 animators. There is also a Cure Camp held at a Spa with 14 children between 5 and 16 years old and a “16+” burn camp for young adults between 16 and 25 years old. Diana’s job is to coordinate those different events together with the help of a lot of volunteers.

Anita Boekelaar organises burn camps for adults in the Netherlands on behalf of the Dutch Burns Foundation. She was member of the Burn Camp Committee for several years.  A nation-wide peer contact day is held once a year In the Netherlands. There is a survival weekend for young adults and a 4 days holiday for adult burn survivors. The Dutch foundation “Kind en brandwond” also offers burn camps for children in three age groups.

What are Burn Camps?

Specialised camps for children have been in existence for many years. The move to establish camps for burn-injured children began in the 1980’s with a week-long camp created by Burn Centre staff at The Children’s Hospital, Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.  It is now a concept that has spread across the globe and is widely considered to be an important component of rehabilitation services designed to facilitate the successful adaptation of burn-injured children. In short, burn camps aim to provide activities designed to help children face the challenges of a major burn injury in an atmosphere of fun, support and rehabilitation.  The European Burn Camp Committee was formed in 1998 with the aim of encouraging burn centres from European countries to take part in multi-national camp experiences. A number of international camps have been held, but the trend has been towards the setting up of a number of successful national camps. There are also many burn camps specifically for adults.

Work of Burn Camp Committee until 2013

The Committee was made up of people who had many years experience of organizing and participating in burn camps and it was proud to have achieved the following:

> Production of the guide “How to organise a burn camp” – a professionally produced booklet outlining the basic principles of organising a camp.  It includes topics such as selection of the children / obtaining sponsorship / arranging insurance / setting evaluation criteria.A review and update of this guide was done in 2008. The booklet was renamed: “How to organise burn camps and other support programmes for burn survivors”. It also contains suggestions for young adult camps and activities for peer contact for adults. It is still available on CD and electronically.(To get a CD, please send an email to aboekelaar@rkz.nl with your name and address.) CD-EBA-Booklet
> Organisation of a teaching course at the 2001 congress in Lyon. This was aimed particularly at those interested in establishing burn camps in their region / country
> Organisation of a burn camp round table session at the 2003 congress in Bergen
> Establishment of a ‘European Association of Burn Camps’. This was launched at the 2005 congress in Estoril, and membership invited
> Development of guidelines for running burn camp activities in Europe. These were presented at the 2005 congress in Estoril
> Development of guidelines for burn camp leader exchanges. These were presented at the 2007 congress in Budapest
> Development of an inventory of burn camps / individuals interested in establishing burn camps throughout Europe.
> Development of simple evaluation tools to gain qualitative feedback from children, parents and leaders regarding their burn camp experiences. A number of established burn camps have now participated in a pan-European evaluation study
> An inventory of burn camps and other support groups throughout Europe. A presentation of this inventory was given on the congress in Vienna, 2013