Letters from Campers

Volunteer Mother Proud of What This Camp Can Do For the Children

“I have always been in awe of the folks that have volunteered to help my son…and I have been able to speak to the difference that it has made in Jeff’s life, but this year, I was able to witness what I believe it meant to other campers!  I checked many of them in at the health center “check in” on day one.  Many were returning campers with so much enthusiasm that I could hardly get any information out of them because they were so anxious to get off to what they knew was awaiting them! Other were first year campers that were sometimes quite hesitant and unsure if this was what they really wanted to be doing this week or not! 
By week’s end, I saw so much emotional growth in children that I had only just met…prior to this year, I had just dropped off and picked Jeff up and heard “small bits” of what happened all week and how much fun it was. 

Now I was faced with trying to learn 85+ camper names plus the counselors and support staff, as well as, trying to decipher what this week meant to others!  I witnessed smiles, laughter, tears, insecurity and jubilation, that I am now certain happens for each of these children even if it is not witnessed during the camp week! 
This camp is sooooo important to these kids that even the kids may not realize it until weeks/months later…their guards come down a bit and they begin to look to the future because now they know they have one!  What may begin as only a “glimmer” eventually through the weeks/months or years..becomes a night light in their hearts!  They sincerely do have an added confidence as they enter school and they are “armed” with enormous self confidence as they enter new schools/experiences/situations.  They feel “equipped”…how many of us can say that??? 
I am even more determined as ever to continue to help this camp prosper in any possible way that I can for as long as I have the ability to make a difference for these kids or this cause!  They are sometimes so down trodden and so defeated in life…but; they leave so “changed”  so fulfilled!  This is a cause that needs to be continued for as long as there are children that suffer from burns! 
I thank you for allowing me to participate in the personal growth of so many kids and to witness first hand, my Jeff actually advocating for himself and a goal that he has had in focus for 3 years!  For a child/children that often do not think much about tomorrow…a 3 year goal is astronomical” in life size!  I thank you so much for selecting him and for him to realize that his goals do matter to others and they are worth the work that it takes to make them come true…its life changing!  Sincerely, Jeff is on “his own high”…he has tried out for another school play (with a musical solo) and he has anticipated school this year with overwhelming enthusiasm.  For this I thank you all so much!  There are times that “propping” these kids up is more than a family job…and I thank God every day that Jeff has found his “niche” at burn camp! 
Please continue to do what you can for these kids within your own life’s perimeter and please know that you sincerely do make a difference in the lives of these kids…maybe not day or week one…but in the long run! 
I thank you all so much..there are not enough words.” 
Tina & Jeff /Mother of Camper & Son

"Camp has been a very positive experience for my daughter.  It has helped her to be a compassionate person and has taught her coping skills and how to deal with people. She has even had the opportunity to speak to her peers about her burns in health class."

- Mother of Camper

"Our son was referred by his caregivers at Children’s Health in Milwaukee to participate at the burn camp in East Troy.  I wasn’t so sure it was a good idea but; I followed the advice of the "pros" and guess what!!!...he had a blast!  There was swimming, fishing, crafts and best of all eating!

He made some new friends and saw some old ones from the hospital.  He wants to be a firefighter when he grows up.  He found some independence at camp and for a 7 year old that’s a good thing.  I’m not sure how this works; but, I hope he can go again next year because it was worth his while.  Thanks for all your good work!"

- A Camper’s Family

"This was my first year working as a counselor and heading into it I really didn’t know what to expect.  Well, it was above and beyond my expectations.  The activities that the campers were able to participate in throughout the week were outstanding and I had a lot of fun along with all the campers.  When Saturday rolled around, I didn’t want to leave all the friends I had made.  I still want to go back to see everyone again."

- Camp Counselor

"My camp experience from this year was to me something out of a fairy tale, a little cheese, I know but; that is the only way I know how to say it.  I was a counselor for the first time this year.  Activities staff was amazing to work with, Megan was a great person to learn from and help out.  The kids were also amazing.  I do believe this was one of the best years for all campers.  I know from my friends still in teens that they loved every minute and all the new activities they did.

I am very proud of going to burn camp.  Tome, it is like my second home.  It is a place where I can relax from stress I have back home.  Sure there is always something going on but; that is the best part about it.  I never get bored."

- Heather, Camp Activities

"I liked the wood crafting, art and everything my brother did especially family day where I dunked my dad in the dunk tank.  I also like the golf cart rides and all the candy and donuts."

- Zachary, Camper

"I really like camp!  I thought the dancers at Opening Ceremonies were really good. For me, the hot air balloon ride was the best thing this year!  It was pretty cool.  I’ve been going to this camp since I was seven years old.  Camp means everything to me.  I wouldn’t miss it ever!  I love camp and I love seeing all of my friends."

- Samantha, Camper


"I loved camp.  It was busy morning, noon and night.  I loved horseback riding, pillow fights and arts and crafts.  I really like the people, my counselors and family day."

- Randy, Camper

A Thank You Letter to WAFS - From A Grateful Parent and Camper

I just wanted to send a BIG thank you for the past nine years of camp that my son, Craig Kallian, had been able to attend. You do not realize how much camp meant to him when he was able to attend! WAFS is an awesome organization with a team of people behind the scenes putting together such a meaningful camp for these kids each year. Craig was torn between high school football practices and attending camp this past year. Practices were held the same time that camp was held. He did tell me that he sure did miss not being able to go, but had to make a choice and football practices won over so that he would be able to get a good position on the team. My heart cannot express enough of what your people have done for him and his post growing up after the burns. He is more accepting of what had happened to him, he has accepted the fact that, yeah, I may have scars but I am not any different than my friends who do not have scars. Your camping experience brings to light to these kids that they are not any different than other kids their age. They can achieve anything that they set their minds to do and can become very productive people. The people who donate their time for these kids are angels from heaven. I applaud them and their commitment. They all make the world a brighter place for burn victims and their families. Wishing the WAFS camp many more years of outstanding achievements. May God bless all of you!

Thank you again, 

Cathy Haines 




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