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Camp Oo-U-La hosts 74 burn victims for a week of "fun with a purpose"

POSTED: June 11, 2014 3:31 p.m.
Bonny Harper/Barrow County News

Scenes from Camp Oo-U-La

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Last week 74 burn injured children ages 7-17 participated in the 22nd year of Camp Oo-U-La, a one-week summer camp hosted by Camp Twin Lakes at Fort Yargo State Park in Winder.

The camp, a program of the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation, is for Georgia children who sustained a burn injury which required treatment or hospitalization in a Burn Center.

Camp Twin Lakes first began hosting it in 2009.

The cost for the week of camp is $800 for each camper and volunteer; however, Camp Twin Lakes subsidizes 80 percent of this cost so that GFBF can offer the camp for free for both campers and volunteers, said GFBF Children’s Services Coordinator and Development Director McKenzy Bailey. A major portion of the camp staff are fire service, burn survivors and allied health volunteers.

The mission of GFBF, as stated by their website, is "to partner with the fire service and burn care community to provide fire safety and prevention education, support medical facilities and assist burn survivors in their recovery."

Camp Oo-U-La, in Bailey’s words, is "a piece of support on their (burn injured children’s) journey to recovery."

The camp provides a safe place for these children to have fun and learn life skills in the process.

Along this line of thinking, Bailey said Camp Oo-U-La is about "fun with a purpose."

"There’s nothing a kid can do at camp that they can’t do at home," Bailey said. "Camp is a magic place, but it’s just one week of the year. We want them to be able to take something away."

An example of this concept is the AirLife helicopter which visits the camp each year and did so this past Friday.

The campers, many of whom may have been transported via one of these helicopters when they were burned and thus have a negative association with it, are permitted to look at and even climb inside the chopper to learn more about the way it functions.

More information about Camp Oo-U-La and the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation can be found at gfbf.org and camptwinlakes.org.

 

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