‘You’re just another kid:’ Annual camp brings together kids who suffer from life-changing burn injuries

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EAST TROY -- FOX6 News on Thursday, Aug. 15 stopped by Camp Timber-lee in East Troy, during the 25th annual summer camp for children who have suffered life-changing burn injuries.

Tanya Bolchen

"They may stare, but they only know part of the story," said Tanya Bolchen, camp counselor.

Bolchen was burned in a house fire when she was 4 months old. She came to camp when she was only 8 years old.

"It was the first time I had been around other people who had been burned; who had scars, who understood," Bolchen said.

The camp changed Bolchen's life. Twenty-five years later, she was paying it forward as a counselor.

Camp for burn injured children in East Troy

"You're just another kid," said Bolchen. "You're not that kid with the scars."

Camp for burn injured children in East Troy

Bolchen, along with other burn camp counselors, worked to help children ages 7 to 17 who have survived life-changing burns feel comfortable in their own skin. This year's theme was, "Show Your Inner Glow."

"Making sure that they know it's not just their burn; that it's everything else, and what's inside that matters," said Melissa Kersten, burn camp director.

Melissa Kersten

Thursday was Visitors Day -- when families and organizations took park in summer activities, free of charge.

Camp for burn injured children in East Troy

Favorites like the Slip 'n Slide and bouncy slides helped campers bond over what they have gone through.

"It's great to have like, a big community of everybody who understands you," said Christiana Davis, a burn survivor.

"We hope they leave with their hearts full of encouragement and positive attitude," Kersten said.

The week-long camp was set to end on Saturday, Aug. 17. CLICK HERE for more information about Burn Camp -- and to learn how you can make a generous donation.

Camp for burn injured children in East Troy

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