Children's Harbor and Camp BRIDGES

Children's Harbor and Camp Conquest

Volunteer Spotlight: Leah Dennis

How Children’s Harbor Helps Give Encouragement to Pediatric Burn Victims

Camp Conquest is a summer camp program designed to respond to the needs of pediatric burn survivors. Since 2001, Children’s Harbor has been able to provide our Lake Martin facility free of charge to Camp Conquest - that’s 13 summer camps full of swimming, arts and crafts, boating, canoeing, and many other outdoor activities that we’ve been able to provide for these courageous burn survivors.

When a child leaves the hospital after physically recovering from their burns, they return to their schools, friends, and families where they are often the only burn survivor. They must contend with many difficult psychological, physical, and emotional issues. Consequently, we understand the importance for children and teens to be with other kids who have experienced the same injuries and painful rehabilitation. We are so thankful for our generous donors and their continued support so that we can continue to share our facilities with such life-changing organizations as Camp Conquest.

This year Camp Conquest was held June 15th - 20th in the Mariners' Camp section of our Lake Martin campus. Seventy-one pediatric burn victims attended this special and unforgettable summer camp experience where fun was the focus and friendships formed quickly. After camp, the children will continue on with their lives, but it will be different – they will have new friends and realize they are not the only one with a burn injury. Here are some of the campers' quotes:

Best camp ever. Had so much fun! —Reese

Color Relay was so much fun and buying prizes at the store was a blast —Brady

I loved dancing with my friends! —Lilly

Loved tubing! —Ashley

I never get to swim at night time. It was fun swimming at night at the "The Dive In" swim party. —Lovely

One more day, can we stay one more day? —All Camp Conquest Campers

One of the best parts of Camp Conquest is the firefighters who come from across the states of Alabama and Florida to volunteer as counselors. Here’s a special story that gives you a glimpse of the camper-firefighter bond:

Branston & Josh's Special Friendship

Branston and Firefighter Joshua, from Lincoln, have an unbreakable bond. The two first met when Branston was three years and Joshua came to his Head Start pre-school class to talk about fire safety instructions. A couple of months later, Branston's house caught on fire and almost took his life. The first thing Branston said when he got to Children's Hospital was, "I did exactly what Joshua told me to do." By following Joshua's instructions - to cover yourself with a blanket and roll to try and extinguish the flames - Branston was able to make it out of his house once his cousin found him. While in the hospital Joshua visited Branston, and since then they have been best friends seeing each other every summer at Camp Conquest. You can see Josh and Branston at Camp Conquest in this video news story video clip from WIAT 42 News.

Kid's Camp Favorite Activity – The Color Relay

The campers, counselors, volunteers and firefighters had an awesome time participating in the Color Relay. Take a sneak peak at the colorful celebration at the end of the Color Relay in the video clip.

Here’s how the relay was set up for the campers:

  • 4 times down and a different color each time; team names were Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force
  • 1st run around cones and halfway down run backwards
  • 2nd run down and jump rope 5 times
  • 3rd run with balloon held between 2 people
  • 4th run down dressed as a hula girl

This is a great activity to try at home with your kids or grandkids this summer! (The edible color powder was made of cornstarch, water and food coloring.)

Learn more about all of Children's Harbor camp partners.

How Can You Help?

The assistance Children’s Harbor receives from generous donors and active volunteers is central to carrying out our mission. Learn more about getting involved.