KERRVILLE, Texas — Texas kids who are burn survivors are being treated to summer fun at a camp in Kerrville. Local First Responders stopped in to help them feel extra special.
The ropes course at Texas Lions Camp in Kerrville can be conquered with focus, determination and one step at a time.
"One of our goals is to have the kids realize how amazing they are and how incredible they are," said Jaclyn White, a board member for the Texas Burn Survivors Society (TBSS).
The campers are the definition of resilient. They're burn survivors or their siblings. This is the 24th year TBSS has offered Camp David. The week of summer fun gives kids a place to feel totally accepted, no matter what brought them there.
"It really is a beautiful thing to come to this camp and watch these kids just get to be themselves and enjoy just being a kid," said Jason Heavyside, a counselor at the camp.
Midway through the week, special visitors helped the kids cool off. Firefighters from Kerrville, San Antonio and Austin rode in on motorcycles or red fire engines. It didn't take long to bust out the fire hoses and give the campers a blast.
"They're heroes,” said White. “Not all heroes wear capes"
Firefighter day is a hit each year. The kids love interacting with First Responders who save lives every day; lives just like theirs.
"They're a person that helps you whenever you need help," said Kennedy Benjamin, an 11-year-old camper from Houston. He survived fourth degree burns when he was 8 years old.
Counselor Heavyside is also a burn survivor. His day-job is with the San Antonio Fire Department. Other firefighters also volunteer as counselors at Camp David each year.
"It makes me feel good to know that they take this whole week off to be with us," said 16-year-old camper Karla Ovalle.
Heavyside says showing the kids there's a lot of life ahead is one of the most rewarding parts of camp.
San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood, members of the Brother's Keepers Motorcycle Club of Waco and Medical personnel and staff from the U.S. Army Institute of Research Burn Unit at San Antonio Military Medical Center also participated in Firefighter Day activities at the camp.
TBSS makes sure costs are covered for each camper. During the year, the organization also provides resources and support for burn survivors.