International Burn Camp campers and counselors continued their whirlwind tour of the nation’s capital with a daylong visit to historic Annapolis.
Hosted by National Capital Fire Fighters Local F-121, dozens of campers and their fire fighter mentors visited the beautiful U.S. Naval Academy campus, getting a taste of what young people can accomplish with hard work and a dedication to service.
Snaking through the campus in four groups, campers peppered their retired-Navy tour guides with questions about the physical and mental challenges needed to go from first-year plebe to graduate, then serve the required five years in the U.S. Navy.
Later, the campers toured the Annapolis waterfront, took a boat tour of the Chesapeake Bay, then tucked into a seafood dinner at Buddy’s Crab Shack. Both events were hosted by the Anne Arundel Professional Firefighters Burn Foundation and Anne Arundel County Professional Firefighters Local 1563.
Fire fighter counselors say the campers are having fun and enjoying connecting with other teen burn survivors from different communities.
“These kids are bonding particularly well, supporting each other and lifting each other up, and learning to lean on each other when they need to,” said Andy Sheehan, Burn Camp counselor and member of Bettendorf Professional Fire Fighters Local 3190, in Bettendorf, Iowa.
Sheehan was paired with camper Joe Brune, whom he met several years ago as a counselor at Miracle Burn Camp in Lake Okoboji, Iowa. “I have watched Joe grow up and emerge from a shy kid to a real leader. He is really focusing this week on reaching out to and supporting the other campers. I am super proud of the young man he is becoming.”
Tomorrow (Wednesday), Burn campers and counselors will tour Fort Myer across the Potomac River in Arlington, Virginia, and then visit Arlington National Cemetery. There, four campers will be selected to participate in an official wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.