(Leif Bergseth / 2019 Burn Camp)

Summer camp is something that every kid looks forward to.

And for 10-year-old Leif Bergseth, it’s not much different; though his camp is pretty special.

Leif attends Burn Camp, an incredible opportunity hosted by the B.C. Professional Fire Fighters Burn Fund each July.

Over one thousand children from across B.C. between the ages of 6 to 18 have attended the camp since 1994, and Leif himself has spent a part of his summer there for the past four years – this year, virtually.

Each year, an estimated 9,000 children in Canada visit hospital emergency room for burns and close to 1,000 are hospitalized as a result of these injuries; at only 18 months old, Leif was one of them.

Leif’s mother, Lara Bergseth, tells Victoria Buzz that he was being watched by someone else when he sustained his burns. His caregiver was boiling a pot of vegetables on the stove, and he was riding around on his Plasma car when he reached for the pot and ended up pulling the the scalding water onto himself, burning his back, arms and legs.

In total, Leif burned about 30 percent of his body.

Statistically, toddlers sustain the highest number of burns, and burns remain the third leading cause of hospital admission for children.

(Leif Bergseth, young burn survivor)

Thankfully, Burn Camp exists for children like Leif – providing an opportunity for survivors to just be themselves, and to share their experiences with their peers.

The Burn Fund welcomed 74 campers from across the province in 2019, all who were burn survivors.

Campers and their counselors participate in group activities such as swimming, hiking, kayaking, rafting, waterskiing, skit night, and arts & crafts.

Doctors, nurses, therapists, adult burn survivors and firefighters also donate their time as counselors for the camp, building close connections with the children who attend.

The camp is purely volunteer-based, and free for young burn survivors to attend. The cost to the Burn Fund for each camper to attend is approximately $2,900.

Thanks to Firefighter fundraising and some of the Burn Fund’s biggest annual events like the Hometown Heroes Lottery, the campers’ travel, accommodation and the cost of coordinating and operating the camp are fully covered.

The Hometown Heroes Lottery was an early sell-out this year thanks to overwhelming support.

“I remember at the time, being told that because of his burns, Leif will be able to go to Burn Camp when he was older,” says Lara, Leif’s mother.

“Now I realize just how special Burn Camp is and how lucky Leif is able to go to such an amazing camp with such fantastic people.”

When you donate to the B.C. Professional Fire Fighters Burn Fund, you help kids just like Leif get back to what’s important – being kids.

Donate today and make a difference in the lives of young burn survivors all across the province.

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