IL Survivors Head West for Young Adult Summit

Four young adult burn survivors had the opportunity to attend the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation’s Young Adult Summit.  This long weekend retreat is held at Ocean Pines Camp in beautiful Cambria, CA.  The weekend’s theme was ‘Survivor – Connect, Lead, Thrive”.  Survivors engaged in reality game show inspired challenges that gave the young adults the chance for to create cohesive teams that tackled problems together.  The weekend offered multiple workshops, including sessions on Public Speaking, Body Image/Self Esteem, Longevity/Nutrition, and Finances.  The survivors participated in Boys, Girls, and Non-Binary talks that allowed the young adults to anonymously ask any questions about relationships, intimacy, and personal health, which fostered frank, meaningful discussions between the survivors and the adult advisors.  

When not in sessions, the young adults went for a boardwalk beach walk, a trip to see the elephant seals, and a nature walk through Camp Ocean Pines.  For the “Chicago Crew,” it was such a change in scenery and amazing to be on the oceanfront.

The weekend culminated with an Etiquette Dinner where the young adults were treated to a gourmet meal while learning the ins and outs of proper etiquette at a fancy dinner. By the end of the weekend, the young adults had fully embraced the theme of Connect, Lead, Thrive and created life long bonds with other survivors.    

This opportunity was made possible by support given to Camp I Am Me and CIAM’s dedication to ensuring that survivors have the ability to participate in a variety of programs.