28 March 2017 In the community

Burns patients set off to Camp Oz

Camp Oz is a very special camp, where a small group of children affected by burns can come together to share their stories, have fun, and most importantly – make new friends. Camp Oz originally began in 1987 and is now an initiative of the Queensland Children’s Hospital burns unit, delivered in partnership with Bornhoffen PCYC. Camp Oz is proudly made possible by the Children’s Hospital Foundation. This year, Camp Oz also welcomed their first group of ‘mentors in training’ for future Camp Oz programs.

Camp leader Megan Simons said the children leave the camp with increased confidence about their burn injuries and a shared understanding of responding to public interest in their burn scars. Nursing and allied health staff attend the camp so children who still have active burn wounds can be properly cared and catered for.

“Challenge by choice is our philosophy – some of the activities at the camp may include abseiling, high ropes, hiking, or even exploring caves,” she said.

The goal of the state-wide program is to provide a safe and supportive environment for young people with burn scars to develop resilience their self-esteem and self-awareness. It also provides access to peer support, allows children to challenge themselves in physical and social situations and shows the kids how to deal with and manage personal frustrations and fears.Megan said the camp was recognised as a treatment intervention that supports a young person with a burn injury to move along the recovery trajectory – “to strive then thrive.”

“We’ve received so much positive feedback since Camp Oz began – a lot of parents tell us they see a significant increase in their child’s self-confidence and social responsiveness after attending our camp,” she said.

“The kids love it too – they feel like a normal kid again, and they realise that having burns scars can’t stop them from having fun.”

The Children’s Hospital Foundation are proud to make Camp Oz possible each year. Everything we do is made possible by the generosity and support of our partners and the community.