Great Lakes Burn Camp: Teaching Kids How to be Comfortable in their Own Skin

Going away to camp is a summer highlight for kids across the country but for a number of kids in Michigan, one camp has taught them something extremely valuable- how to be comfortable in their own skin. The Great Lakes Burn Camp in Mattawan is giving kids with severe burns a safe place to grow, heal and connect with others.

Marcus and Brian Adams are two brothers originally from Manton who were involved in a mote explosion back in 2017 that left them both with severe burns. They have found comfort in knowing they are not alone. “It’s just an amazing feeling to be here. Around everybody. It’s just… you can be yourself,” says Marcus.

Here they are not defined by the degree of their burns. Here at the Great Lakes Burn Camp these kids can focus on just being kids. “Well like I’m just not myself in normal public.  I can wear short sleeve shirts, I don’t usually do that,” says Brian.

This week long camp is providing countless opportunities to push these kids out of their comfort zones. A crowd favorite seems to take place out on the lake! Marcus says, “That’s actually my first time going swimming since I was in the fire so that was a huge accomplishment for me.”

At the end of the week they’re not just leaving with new friendships– they’re leaving proud of who they are. Showing that these kids belong not only at camp but at home, at school and wherever life may take them!

“It’s our second home and it’s our second family.”

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