Camp allows kids with blood disorders to have summer fun - - Columbia, South Carolina

Camp allows kids with blood disorders to have summer fun


The pool at Camp Burnt Gin in Sumter County looks like one you'd find at any summer camp. And so do the campers.

That's the idea.

"It's just a great place for people like me who have blood disorders," said Caleb Browder,  who has hemophilia, a condition that keeps him from most other summer camps.

But at Camp Burnt Gin, he's just one of 75 who needs infusions and a little extra monitoring.

"It's all fun activities for all of us, and not ones that could get us hurt," he said. "It's all fun and games."

Camp Burnt Gin caters to kids with disabilities. This week they're holding a special session. Camp administrator Marie Aimone partnered with Palmetto Health to offer this free weeklong session just for kids with blood disorders.

"Children with blood disorders would have a hard time going to another summer camp because of their special medical needs," she said.
Campers get all of the fun of a camp experience there, with some helpful education and instruction on how to deal with their respective issues.

"They want to get us as close as we can to being self infused," said Browder.

"I think everyone recognizes the value in this camp," said Amione. "It serves an unmet need in South Carolina, but it's also more than just going out and playing. It's developing life skills for these kids. There's just so much value in going to camp."

For Browder, it's about the fun and inclusion. And the simple pleasure of being just another camper.

"It's nice to know I'm not the only one here who has a disorder or disease," said Browder. "It's nice to know that."

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