The Child Burn Survivors Camp is celebrating 40 years in Wake Forest

WAKE FOREST, NC (WNCN) – Each summer, in partnership with UNC’s Jaycee Burn Center, young burn victims are brought together at Camp Celebrate to network, compete and share their collective experiences.

The camp celebrated its 40th anniversary on Saturday.

“Although I’m still a bit insecure about my burns at times, it’s helped me open up and be a little more confident about them,” said camper Keshira Jones, who is also studying to be a counselor.

As of 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, camp has reduced to just one day per year instead of the usual full overnight weekend experience.

But this year the masks were removed and the consultants-in-training came back for an extra day. They are all small steps towards returning to normality.

“It’s nice to start the transition back to normal,” said Jordan Sadowsky.

This weekend was the hottest so far this year and poses an increased challenge for burn survivors.

“Your sweat glands are gone because they burned out. They can’t sweat anymore,” Sister Natalie Spruill explained.

“First thing in the morning, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen,” said consultant Terrell Watkins.

Watkins has been at Camp Celebrate since his burn accident with a campfire three decades ago.

Watkins said he suffered “75 percent burns on 30 percent of my body from the waist up.”

He said he shares his story so kids can own their own stories.

“They need to hear that story and be comfortable in the skin that they’re in,” Watkins said.

Around 50 campers attended this year’s Camp Celebrate. The Child Burn Survivors Camp is celebrating 40 years in Wake Forest


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