Kids with burn injuries attend Camp Courage - Fox 2 News Headlines

Kids with burn injuries attend Camp Courage

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PHOENIX -

For more than twenty years, valley children, who are also burn victims, have headed up north to Camp Courage.

It's a week long adventure that helps them forget the pain they have endured.

Bright and early Sunday morning another group of campers set off on yet another adventure.

Their bags were packed and the anticipation of what was too come created an air of excitement outside Maricopa Medical Center Sunday morning.

The scars are visible, but the pain many of these children feel is hidden.

A week at camp courage is an opportunity to forget.

"I get made fun of. They'll help me because they've been through all that too and they'll feel like you can tell them actually how you felt," said Venecia Cortes.

The campers will spend their time at the Pine Summit Campground participating in horseback riding, painting, canoeing, some will try their hand at archery and most all will make life long friends.

The severity of their burns vary, according to executive director of the Arizona Burn Foundation, Mike Merucci.

"We've got some burns that you wouldn't really see, they're hidden by clothing. We've got some burns that are over 90 percent of total body surface...we've got some children with amputated limbs," said Merucci.

68 valley kids boarded the bus Sunday morning from ages 6 to 12. Some are first time campers, others have been going for years.

"When I first got burned, I felt really different. There are times now when people asked me what happened or they don't understand what this scar is," said Adisen Hennessey

18-year-old Hennessey has been attending camp courage since she was 8.

Both of her arms were burned when a Halloween costume caught fire.

She's going back this year as a junior counselor.

"When I went as a camper, it helped me a lot because it made me feel normal. I feel like now I can help them do that," said Hennessey.

As soon as they boarded the bus, it seems the pain started to fade and the smiles got bigger.

Even the goodbyes were easier with the help of a little courage.

A total of 89 kids will attend camp this year, including two from Mexico and four from Canada.

The children return home from camp next Saturday.

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