Hello AARBF Family. My name is Andrew Mersmann, and I am the Director of Programs and Services.
April—it kicks off for many of us joking around with April Fools’ Day—some good fun I hope will be had by all (and I hope you’re more creative than my third-grade mind going around telling everyone their shoe is untied!)
April is also known as World Autism Awareness Month, which is the perfect time to spotlight one of our great programs, N.I.C.K. for Fire and Burn Safety. NICK stands for Neurotypical/diverse Independent Communication Kit and it is a collection of learning tools and picture cards to bring fire and burn safety education to individuals with autism spectrum disorder, developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and communication challenges. Find out more about this groundbreaking work here: https://www.aarbf.org/burn-prevention/n-i-c-k/
Spring is busting out all over, especially in Wonder Valley where preparations are well underway for Champ Camp! It’s perfect timing since April is also Keep America Beautiful Month and hosts National Wildlife Week—so spending amazing quality time with survivors ages 5-17 at camp is the best way to celebrate. If your camper hasn’t registered yet, be sure to click the link below before the due date of May 22. (Camp dates are June 10-17, 2023)
And even though many of us feel a bit of relief and ease as the weather warms us, April is also Stress Awareness Month, and we know anxiety and stress don’t pay attention to seasons. There are multiple support groups available to you, so you never have to feel alone on your journey. Groups for burn survivors, caregivers and loved ones, Spanish-speaking, and statewide. See what fits nicely into your April here…
If you are a burn survivor or family member and wish to be added to our monthly email, please email email@example.com and indicate your region.
Champ Camp Applications are Now Open!
June 10-17, 2023
Wonder Valley Resort, Sanger
It is time to get excited! We are officially 10 weeks away from Champ Camp 2023!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Champ Camp, it is a week-long summer camp for burn survivor children ages 5-17. Camp is held at Wonder Valley Ranch in Sanger (in the foothills near Fresno).
Click here to check out more about Champ Camp.
Parents/Guardians: If your survivor is interested in attending Champ Camp this year, please use the link below to register. You will sign into your Camp Doc profile or create a new one, click “Register for a New Session”, then select Camper 2023. Once you are there, be sure to fill out all of the questions in the Health Profile tab.
As camp gets closer, we will be in contact regarding pick up locations, what to pack and a bunch of other important details.
If you have any questions regarding Champ Camp, please contact McKenzie “Bubbles” Dern at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Champ Camp - Counselor & CIT Registration
Champ Camp Counselor Dates: June 8-17, 2023
CIT Ages 18-20
Registration for Champ Camp Counselors and Counselors in Training (CIT) will be closing soon.
You can be a part of one of the nation’s largest summer camp for burn injured children! Champ Camp has been running for over 35 years and serves over 100 burn injured children each year. If you are interested in becoming a counselor or if you are a returning counselor, please fill out the application using the link below.
We are also seeking Counselors in Training. If you have aged out of burn camp and are 18-20 years old, you can still be a part of Champ Camp as a CIT! Complete your registration today using the link below.
For questions, please contact McKenzie “Bubbles” Dern at email@example.com or 559-286-0710 ext. 150.
We have made changes to our support group registration process. Please contact Scott Wertz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-495-7223 Ext. 190 for all group registrations, regardless of your region.
Our Zoom rooms have changed. You will need to be registered with Scott to receive the new Zoom links.
We are also working at restoring our regional groups to in-person. Scott will be happy to provide you with more information on this and address any concerns you may have.
Regional Support Groups
Southern California – April 2, 2023 from 1:30pm – 3:30pm. Currently this group is meeting virtually, but will convert back to an in-person group as soon as it is safe to do so. It is available to both survivors and their family members.
Fresno Community Regional Medical Center – April 11, 2023 from 6:30pm – 8:00pm. This is an in-person regional support group open to both survivors and their family members. You may also contact Marissa McCallough at MMuro3@communitymedical.org to register.
Santa Clara Valley Medical Center – April 5, 2023 from 7:00pm – 8:30pm. This is an in-person regional support group open to both survivors and their family members.
East Bay Burn Survivor – April 12, 2023 from 6:30pm – 8:00pm. This is an in-person regional support group open to both survivors and their family members.
Saint Francis – April 27, 2023 from 11:30am – 1:00pm. Currently this group is meeting virtually, but will convert back to an in-person group as soon as it is safe to do so. It is available to both survivors and their family members.
Statewide Online Support Groups
Caregiver – April 6, 2023 from 7:00pm – 8:30pm. This is an online state-wide support group for family members, caregivers, and loved ones of burn survivors. This group is closed to burn survivors.
Spanish Speaking – April 18, 2023 from 6:00pm – 7:30pm. This is an online support group specifically designed for Spanish-speaking burn survivors.
Statewide – April 20, 2023 from 7:00pm – 8:30pm. This is an online support group open to both burn survivors and their loved ones throughout California.
Peer Support – Not everyone is comfortable in a group setting, which is why the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation offers one-on-one Peer Support. Peer Support is a power tool for healing from a burn trauma. There is something magical that happens when one survivor sits and shares their experience and healing process with another. Peer support can relieve the feeling of being all alone in your experience. Peer support can come in many forms; a burn survivor talking to another burn survivor, a parent talking to another parent or loved one. This service is not limited to burn survivors. A burn injury can affect the entire family, caregivers and other loved ones. Contact Scott Wertz at email@example.com to get started today.
Back to School Support (available upon request) – Contact Scott Wertz at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about this program.
AARBF’s Multimedia Resource Library includes tip sheets, videos, stories, and so much more. Video content within the library has been developed by the AARBF Community; including our staff, volunteers, burn survivors and community partners! Below are our featured videos for July!
AARBF Wellness Team members Jamba and Poppy share ways to help you manage stress and anxiety through breathing.
If you want to try yoga but think your body can’t do the yoga poses, then this video is for you. Our yoga team will show you how to modify the poses to suit your body.