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Summer camp offered to burn patients creates unity

Summer camp offered to burn patients creates unity

Children from across the world with a very special bond are getting to know each other.

The burn victims are all patients at Shriners Hospital for Children - Cincinnati. All of them are taking part in a summer camp designed just for them.


"There's no judgement whatsoever around the camp,” Joy Miele said. “People are free to be who they want. So, it's just really nice to be around all these people who know what you've been going through and can relate."

Miele, 16, has attended the camp for eight years.

She is joined by more than 30 others who are burn or trauma patients at Shriners Hospital.

"Being included just feels good. No one wants to be left out,” camp counselor Adam Dalton said.

Dalton should know.

He was a Shriner’s patient 20 years ago, when he suffered burns over 40 percent of his body.

"There aren't too many kids out there like us,” Dalton said. “So, the inclusion of it and the safety net of the brother and sisterhood of being with familiar faces."

Five years ago, Dalton created a spa day within the camp, where a team of Paul Mitchell stylists pamper the children.

"We come up and do the hair and makeup for the girls,” Dalton said. “This year is special, we're including the boys in that pampered time. So, we'll be going over a more groomed gentleman for the young men."

Miele and Dalton said the camp is a great way to make new friendships.

"It's a really close community where everyone can share their feelings without anyone judging them,” Miele said.

Shriners patients ages 9 through 16 are invited to attend the free camp.