‘Camp Catahoula’ brings together pediatric burn survivors for free summer camp

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A group of 40 pediatric burn survivors are at Baton Rouge General’s Camp Catahoula in Lawrence, Miss.

The camp started Monday. The week-long camp provides some summer fun — swimming, fishing and games – all while sharing their experiences with other burn survivors.

Camp Catahoula is staffed by volunteers from Baton Rouge General — doctors, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, social workers, and even a chef – as well as the Baton Rouge Fire Department, Louisiana State Police, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and Brothers Keepers, a firefighters’ motorcycle club. Parents of young burn survivors and adult burn survivors also volunteer at camp, which is free for the kids to attend.

“It is rewarding to see the campers’ excitement as they interact with other children recovering from burn injuries,” said Dr. Tracee Short, BRG Regional Burn Center Medical Director. “To feel supported and comfortable around other burn survivors who have faced the same trauma and who carry similar scars truly aids in their emotional healing.”

Campers will enjoy an action-packed week, from inflatable obstacle courses and Relay Olympics to fishing and a fair complete with games and a DJ. They’ll have the chance to both ride and groom ponies, do arts and crafts, and join in various small groups for sharing their stories.

The camp’s name is a nod to Louisiana’s state dog.

Several organizations support the BRG Foundation by raising funds to send local children to the camp without any expense to their families. The Baton Rouge State Fair Foundation, Baton Rouge Fire Department, Brother’s Keepers, IBEW, Louisiana State Police, and Synergy Biologics are a few of the camp’s biggest supporters.

BRG’s Regional Burn Center was first established in 1970 and is one of only 68 burn centers in the U.S. verified by the American Burn Association. The rigorous verification process confirms that BRG’s team and facilities are held to the highest quality standards of care management of burns from time of injury through rehabilitation.

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