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Camp Celebrate


Camp Celebrate is the annual weekend camping experience for the children who are former and current patients of the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at the University of North Carolina Hospitals. Camp Celebrate allows the burned child an opportunity to learn, grow and experience success. Camp provides a therapeutic, educational and recreational adventure through which the child can learn new and necessary skills while having fun in the process.

The overall purpose of Camp Celebrate is to provide a supportive, therapeutic environment in which each child's concept of himself/herself as an individual, a member of a group, a learner and a worker can be assisted in a positive direction.

Burned children, like all children, are curious, adventuresome human beings.

They are constantly seeking approval, are eager to learn, enjoy life and want to be able to accept themselves and be accepted by others. They want to be accepted and Camp Celebrate can help a child meet these basic needs through the special activities and attention he/she receives at Camp.


Camp Celebrate began in 1981 as the Very First camp for burned children in the United States and it continues to expand and grow every year. From it's very first year when 14 campers took to the woods, the camp has grown to over 70 campers and well over 100 volunteers. It is a truism that once a child comes to Camp, he/she will return the following year!  Camp Celebrate is a year round project which involved the efforts of many different people. The planning committee consists of professional in Recreation Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Nursing, Dietetics, Social Work, Education, and other related fields. They are responsible for developing and implementing the Camp's many educational and recreational experiences. These experiences include swimming, canoeing, arts and crafts, horseback riding, fishing, sports, team games, adventure games, field day, movies, outdoor education, cooking activities, and the annual Sunday afternoon Family

Picnic!  The campers are all assigned to a cabin and grouped with cabin mates according to age and sex. Each cabin has a Lead Counselor who oversees the cabin group. Each child has their own individual counselor who is responsible for the well-being of the camper throughout the weekend. This on-to-one relationship has proven to be therapeutic for the campers and hugely rewarding for the counselors. Camp Celebrate provides the members of the Burn Center staff the opportunity to be involved with the children as not just medical care providers, but as friends; friends sharing play, laughter and the excitement of being in the out-of-doors! This is a very special environment, an environment where campers can share their thoughts, feelings and experiences.

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