Camp 'Can Do' helps kids heal from tragedy

Camp 'Can Do' helps kids heal from tragedy

Memories from summer camp can last a lifetime. But for the kids the kids we met Sunday, their summer camp, helps them heal from a tragedy.

Jamar McFadden is 9. He looks forward to this week every year He's one of 36 campers, all with a story.

"I got burned on my stomach, it was four years ago. My mom was in the shower. She was cooking corn with hot water. I just pulled it out and it just spilled down my stomach," McFadden said.

Ryan Howard is activities director at camp. Howard was also one of the nurses that worked with McFadden when he was burned.

"I take care of the patients from the beginning to the end. I see them in the ER in the ICU, I go to the operating room. I coordinate all their care, all their dressing changes," Howard said.

The camp is the place, Howard said, where children who have had traumatic experiences, can forget the bad.

Casi Smith and Andrew Brewington say it's a place that makes them feel normal.

"Then we come here and we're like, 'oh wow all these other people they understand what I've been through.' It's like we have a connection," Smith said.

"They can share what we went through," said Brewington.

Smith says being able to share her story and hear from others is part of a healing process. It's also a chance to get away and make lifelong friends.

"They're my best friends, that I only see for five days every year," McFadden said. "It's like I've never had friends like this before."

Camp Can Do is completely free for the kids. It's funded by the South Carolina Burned Children's Fund and other donations.

All of the counselors are volunteers. Some are nurses from MUSC others are firefighters.

Participating children come from all over the state.

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