About Burn Camp
In a span of fifteen days, three City of Milwaukee fires took the lives of seventeen children and three adults. One fire resulted in the deaths of 12 people. This had been the worst single residential fire tragedy in Wisconsin's history. The impetus for the Alliance for Fire Safety began during that fifteen day period in 1987.
Then Milwaukee Mayor Henry Maier created a task force to address the fire threat seriousness of Milwaukee's citizens. Representatives from many organizations met to attempt to find a solution. After many months of intense interaction the task force gave its report. Simply, the task force analyzed that fire safety education, especially with the youth of the city, would be the key element to reduce tragic fires. As a state, as a city, and as an organization, the lesson learned was that we needed to educate, from an early age on, the members of our community, in order to prevent a repeat of that tragedy.
After two years of planning, some of the original members of the Fire Safety Task Force were recruited along with several other fire safety minded state personnel to conduct a charter meeting coordinated through the Milwaukee Fire Department. The Wisconsin Alliance for Fire Safety (WAFS) was born that day, June 22, 1991. On March 17, 1992, the Alliance obtained its present 501(c)3 status with the help of U.S. Senator Herb Kohl's office.
Sponsoring such programs as the Summer Camp for Burn Injured Youth, the Burn Center Golf Invitational benefiting local hospitals and education programs, and the Juvenile Fire Setters programs, the Alliance is dedicated to being a fire safety and prevention resource for the State of Wisconsin.
On January 1, 2015 the torch was passed from the Wisconsin Alliance for Fire Safety to the Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin Charitable Foundation, (PFFWCF). The PFFWCF is proud to be selected to carry on the tradition that started back in 1992, and pledges to grow and nurture the programs that WAFS began.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE WEEKLONG SUMMER CAMP FOR BURN INJURED YOUTH?
The week-long summer camp for burn injured youth survivors, which is from August 13th -August 20th this year, is held at Camp Timber-Lee. You can view the grounds layout, location, activities and amenities at www.timber-lee.com
Each year there are groups of volunteers that handle various aspects of our camp. These volunteers consist of Fire Fighters, EMT'S, Nurses, Paramedics, Teachers, Doctors, Mothers, Fathers, Sisters, Brothers, etc.
We expect approximately 70 children at camp this year. We will have three camp directors, fifty counselors, two activities staff members, three nursing staff and four camping coordinators.
Camp Timber-Lee has its own staff, which oversees the grounds, supervises camp activities, and provides life guards for lake activities.
Most of the week-long camp activities take place at Camp Timber-Lee, however, there are a few field trips off site. These field trips typically involve a day trip to Wisconsin Dells, a trip to the Phantom Ranch and a dinner celebration at East Troy Fire House.
Our week starts with the counselors arriving on Saturday to go over rules and procedures, complete all required paperwork, review the camp layout and schedules, and ready the camp for our important guests!
On Sunday the campers arrive in busses from Green Bay, Madison and Milwaukee accompanied by camp volunteers. The campers check-in, have a health screening and a swim test. They attend a welcome back ceremony, go over the week-long events and rules, and get orientated with Camp Timber-Lee.
On Monday the activities include horse back riding, archery and outside group activities provided by groups such as nurses from Columbia St. Mary's or Children's Hospital.
On Tuesday, along with scheduled group activities, weather permitting, various fire fighter motorcycling organizations, travel to camp and offer rides to the children who have appropriate consent waivers signed.
On Wednesday there is a teen trip for the older teens, massage therapists arrive for free massages the children who want them and therapy dogs arrive to work with the campers.
Thursday is a huge day at camp! It is volunteer visitor's day and the camper's families arrive. Representatives from many fire departments arrive with various pieces of apparatus, and have a parade of engines, ambulances, and other emergency response equipment. Campers are allowed to ride inside the fire trucks during the parade. Fund-raising groups present checks in support of the week-long camp and the campers give a performance in appreciation.
Friday is Phantom Ranch Day and the East Troy Fire Department dinner, which is hosted by fire departments.
Saturday the campers have an awesome breakfast, make plans to stay in contact with their camp friends, pack up their belongings and return home by noon. At the end of the day, we are certain every one of these campers is counting the days until camp next year.