'Camp I'm Still Me' still going strong after 27 years

Camp helps give back what burned youths think fire may have taken away

SCOTTSVILLE, TX (KSLA) - For the past 27 years, "Camp I'm Still Me" has welcomed child survivors of burn injuries.

For one week every summer, kids from Louisiana and East Texas come to Scottsville to swim and play with others who share the bond of the burn, healing and becoming more comfortable with their injuries along the way.

Rachel Childs was burned by hot tea when she was young. She started coming to the camp 18 years ago and now returns as a volunteer counselor every year.

"I was never afraid of my burns, but it helped me get used to seeing people with burns and talking about it and not being afraid to talk about it," she said.

It's the same for brothers Cheoveon Beechum and Antione Morrow who escaped a house fire 20 years ago.

"Just because your outside exterior is different, you are still the same inside," said Morrow.

"It allows them to have the comfort level of getting back into the mainstream of society. They can do it in a comfort zone," said Dr. Kevin Sittig, who heads the Burn Center at University Health in Shreveport.

The camp is free for the kids and made possible by donations.

On Tuesday, several chapters of the Brother's Keepers Motorcycle Club (BKMC) presented a check for $92,000 dollars to the camp along with donations from other organizations as well. BKMC is made up mostly of active and retired firefighters who hold fundraisers for the camp.

"It allows us to know that we can offer it immediately for next year and however many years thereafter," said Sittig.

The theme this year was one of unity honoring police, firefighters and chaplains. Sittig says those three people have a big impact on the survival and recovery of those kids.

The group also honored Durell Tuberbille, a longtime law enforcement chaplain in the ArkLaTex, by giving a quilt to his family. He died from cancer last year but was a big supporter of the camp.

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