An Attitude of Gratitude for MCBC 2020

Posted August 4, 2020

The 2020 session of Midwest Children’s Burn Camp was as successful as it was unique! We “zoomed” into the future, with campers and counselors alike strengthening bonds and making new connections in the virtual space.

When it became apparent that camp could not occur this year in its regular format, our office team jumped into action, making plans for a week-long virtual event that would exceed the expectations of everyone involved. Logistics were worked out, committees formed, and sponsors found to create the best event possible for children who know all too well what isolation and loneliness feel like.

Our volunteer camp counselors took what make MCBC special in-person and converted that “magic” into the virtual space. Lesson plans were written and supplies gathered. Each camper received a “camp-in-a-box” filled with everything they needed, including an Amazon Fire tablet to connect online and supplies for playing games and working on group activities. These ranged from paper airplane design and slime making to building a mock-up of a human lung and learning about the COVID-19 virus!

Additionally, each camper was given an 18x20 stretched canvas, paints and brushes. In their respective age groups (Ponies, Mustangs, Stallions) they were given time to create artwork with camp counselors. This experience provided an opportunity to express feelings that are sometimes too difficult to put into words, especially for younger burn survivors. With minimal prompting, images began to appear on the canvases that held special significance in the lives of these children. Some were images of sadness, others represented hope and thanksgiving. Still others represented the imagination of children free of concern from trauma and injuries, and that is welcome sight!

Throughout the week of camp, one solidifying message could be heard: We are family. Despite the distance between us this year, we love and care for each other. We celebrate each other’s joys and provide support for each other’s concerns. MCBC is a family that is wonderfully diverse and dedicated to each of its members.

On behalf of our entire family – the Board of Directors, office staff, volunteer counselors, camper parents, and the campers themselves, thank you to all the amazing people and organizations that made MCBC 2020 possible. 

This includes Ameren, Ash Grove Foundation, the AT&T Pioneers, Boeing Employees Foundation, Children’s Mercy Hospital Kansas City, Cuivre River Electric, David B. Lichtenstein Foundation, Emerson, E Walter Hausstette Foundation, Fire Fighters Association of MO, FireTech LLC, Frederick Pitzman Fund, Greater St. Louis Area Fire Chiefs Association, Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church, IAFF Local 73, Kiwanis Club of Hampton, Knights of Columbus #10381, Medinah Shriners #39, Okaw Valley Classics, Old Newsboys Day, Polsky Charitable Foundation, Pott Foundation, Saigh Foundation, Sander Foundation, Sarli Foundation, Siteman Family Foundation, Sprinkler Fitters Local 258, St. Louis Blues, The Ink Spot, Windsor 4 Rural FD, and many other civic and religious groups that gave of their time, talent and treasure. 

While in-person events are uncertain for the near future, we now have a virtual framework in place to keep our youth and volunteers connected. Regardless of how the pandemic plays out in the months to come, we will be engaging our youth on a regular basis with exciting activities and messages of healing and hope.

Again, thank you to all who made MCBC 2020 possible. Your support allowed us to bring smiles to the faces of 52 very special children in these difficult times.

Wishing you peace and all good,

Brian Moeller, Executive Director