Special Kids Summer Camp Gives Burn Survivors a Week of Normal
(CINCINNATI; June 2, 2017) – Shriners Hospitals for Children — Cincinnati will hold its 28th annual Camp Ytiliba [ya-TIL-eh-bah; “ability” spelled backward!], a very special week-long overnight camp for children being treated at the hospital for burns, other traumas or conditions. Camp takes place this year at Camp Ernst in Burlington, Kentucky, June 4th through 9th.
The week gives these kids, aged 9 to 16, a chance to be around other children who understand their experience, to make new friends and take part in outdoor activities like horseback riding, fishing, swimming or just having fun. The camp is designed to help build self-esteem and confidence without worrying about their appearance, scrutiny or even bullying by others.
Cincinnati Shriners Hospital employees work at Camp Ytiliba, including staying with the children overnight. There is no cost to the children or their families.
Media is encouraged to visit the camp Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, June 6th and 7th. Tuesday boys and girls are separated for activities, with girls having “Pamper Time” courtesy of Paul Mitchell salons, plus University of Cincinnati cheerleaders and a professional photo shoot, while boys enjoy “Man Camp” with members of FC Cincinnati, martial arts demonstrations and even neck and bow tying instruction! Wednesday at 4:30, the camp will hold an early 4th of July Parade, with food trucks, Shrine Clowns and car units, Fire trucks from the Burlington Fire Department and members of Brother’s Keepers, a motorcycle club for firefighters that fundraises for the camp.
The Junior Counselor staff is made up of current patients aged 18 and up, and trained in SOAR, the peer-counseling program in which older patients and “graduates” help new and younger children through issues related to their injuries, including bullying.
Lauren Lind is a Junior Counselor spending her third and final summer at Camp Ytibila; she attended once as a camper before becoming a counselor. Lauren was burned over 40% of her body when she was 5 or 6; a large dispenser of hot chocolate in route to sell at her brothers’ football game tipped over into her car seat. She is now a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, and beginning her final turn as Junior Counselor. “Kids might be missing fingers or toes, but no one makes fun; they aren’t out of place,” said Lauren, explaining why she volunteers. “I love seeing them do things they might otherwise not be able to do. Last year, one girl with no fingers climbed the rock wall; another who has lost both arms was able to ride a horse. People cheered; it’s rewarding for me to be a part of that.”
Shriner’s Hospitals for Children – Cincinnati provides services for burns and pediatric plastic surgery, including cleft lip and palate, abnormal breast development in boys and girls, hemangioma, congenital hairy nevus, hand malformations, ear deformities, complex wound and skin disorders, and trauma and reconstructive conditions. Shriners Hospital for Children – Cincinnati is verified by the American Burn Association and the American College of Surgeons and recognized as a Cleft Lip and Palate Team by the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association and Cleft Palate Foundation. The hospital has had Magnet™ designation since 2008 and is fully accredited by the Joint Commission. All services are provided regardless of a family’s ability to pay. For more information visit shrinershospitalcincinnati.org.