The Life-Changing Bonds of Camp Susquehanna 

Posted on Dec 13, 2022 in Camp

Camp Susquehanna, a free sleepaway summer camp for children ages 7-17 who have had a burn injury, is made possible by our generous donors and sponsors each year.  Campers of all ability and function levels can have fun, learn life skills, and meet other burn survivors. Our camp session from the summer of 2022 forged many special connections, one of the most special being between counselor Sam and camper Austin.

Sam is an adult burn survivor, a double amputee, a veteran of several burn camps, and a national advocate for amputees. His YouTube channel, The No-Handed Bandit, has thousands of followers, many of them burn survivors who use his videos to learn life skills, like accepting what you cannot change, fly fishing with adaptive equipment, and eating tacos without hands. With the help of Burn Prevention Network donors and supporters, we brought Sam to Camp Susquehanna as a counselor this summer.

Austin attended our in-person camp for the first time this year. In a freak accident, he suffered his traumatic injuries a little over a year ago. Austin was playing on old railroad tracks when his life changed in a second. He was electrocuted. He suffered severe burns over 73% of his body and went through unimaginable pain. The accident resulted in the amputation of both of Austin’s arms and one of his legs.

Together at Camp Susquehanna, Sam and Austin formed a special bond. Although Austin received information about adaptive devices in the hospital, seeing Sam in action was a completely different experience – playing ball, shaving, eating popcorn and using his cell phone to check text messages. As his camp counselor, Sam understood what Austin was going through in this critical time and encouraged him to take the courageous steps of learning how to adapt to his new life.

Burn Prevention Network empowers burn survivors and stops burns from happening in the first place. From programs with new mothers in the hospital to our Home Safe Home Young Adventurers program with preschoolers, we prevent incalculable injuries and deaths. We have never needed to turn away a youth burn survivor from Camp Susquehanna and with generous gifts from donors, we will never need to. Please consider donating here to join our vital mission and make it possible to change more lives.