Camp Helps Kids Overcome Tragedy

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KEEZLETOWN, Va. (WHSV) -- It's every parent's nightmare to have a child pull a hot pot off the stove and get burned, but it happens way too often.

Some of the survivors of these accidents are attending a camp in the Valley. It's a place to have fun and learn some meaningful lessons.

Maybeline Vidal was burned in 2006. Since then, she has been attending the Mid-Atlantic Burn Camp in Rockingham County.

"Away from here, I'm usually stared at, and I feel safe here because nobody's staring at me. They'll ask questions, but I'll be comfortable because I can ask them back, like how did you get burned too?," explained Vidal.

The camp has become both a safe place for burn survivors and a place to grow confidence.

"Sometimes you get the phone call later in the week that says you know we go swimming every year at the ocean and my kid wouldn't take his shirt off and this year he showed up and he takes his shirt off and we don't know why and so maybe they've learned to be comfortable in their own skin," explained Linda French, the co-director of Mid-Atlantic Burn Camp.

Vidal has made some of her closest friends at camp. Her burn scars came from an accident in the kitchen after a pan with hot oil flipped over.

Most of the 2.4 million burns per year in the United States occur in homes. And of those burns, 50 percent happen in kitchens.

That's why the camp has a special cooking lesson on kitchen safety.

"We do have a few at first especially since we are in a new kitchen who saw the stove as very similar to where they got their burn and we deal with a little bit of post traumatic stress, but we also try to just create a safe place," said Robin Skulrak, who runs the cooking program.

A safe place both now and forever.
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