Young Adult Summit & Adult Retreat

February 16-19, 2024 | Cambria, CA

Since 2013, Camp I Am Me has been providing various programming opportunities to prepare and assist participants for the challenges ahead of them not only as burn survivors, but as adults. Through partnerships with other like-minded nonprofit organizations, survivors from Illinois have the opportunity to receive support through programs that are held across the country. Qualified Camp I Am Me personnel and volunteer staff accompany participants to these programs to ensure safe arrival and return as well as to help assist survivors gain new tools and knowledge while meeting others from across the United States.

The Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation’s (AARBF) Young Adult Summit is a long-weekend retreat for burn survivors between the ages of 18-20. Each President’s Day weekend since 1997, approximately 25 burn survivors gather at Ocean Pines in Cambria, California, to share their stories and strengths. The Young Adult Summit was created to meet unique challenges associated with growing up with burns. All teens must navigate school and work, adopting a sense of independence and changing roles. The Young Adult Summit is for those who deal with these issues in addition to their healing. Workshops and exercises engage attendees in life skills lessons, team building, and networking.

The Adult Retreat by AARBF provides a survivor-driven program allowing the opportunity for approximately 20 adult burn survivors to learn about their healing process and their journey as a burn survivor. This program is for adult burn survivors 21+ and is an intense weekend, developed by burn survivors, for burn survivors. It includes workshops, support groups, and promotes healing, self-discovery, and socialization.

Participants are joined by Camp I Am Me representatives, AARBF personnel, fully screened volunteers, mental health professionals, along with other survivors. To learn more about the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation and their Young Adult Summit & Adult Retreat, visit

Qualifying applicants must reside in Illinois, be between the ages of 18-20 (Young Adult Summit) or 21+ (Adult Retreat) at the time of the program, and must have experienced a burn injury requiring treatment or hospitalization. Consideration for attendance is subject to medical approval. Through the generosity of donors, supporters, and volunteers, Camp I Am Me provides this unique opportunity at no-cost to those who are selected to participate. Travel, lodging, and meals are covered – attendees just need transportation to and from the Illinois airport.

The application for the 2024 Young Adult Summit and Adult Retreat is available below: