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West Penn Burn Center Helps Child Burn Victims “Make Magic Happen” at 32nd Annual Summer Camp

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Pittsburgh’s Steel City Quidditch Club to Host Magic-Inspired Tournament on Camper’s Last Day

Pittsburgh, Pa – West Penn Burn Center will host its 32nd annual summer camp for children with burn injuries at Camp Kon-O-Kwee in Zelienople starting on Saturday, June 2 through Wednesday, June 6. Nearly 20 kids from Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia will participate in five days designed to inspire them to connect by sharing their ongoing journey of recovery.

“This year, our central theme focuses on ‘making magic happen,’ to pay tribute to the magical quality of our campers and the strength they needed to persevere through one of the most trying times in their lives,” said Ariel Aballay, MD, Medical Director, West Penn Burn Center. “It’s crucial to realize that the healing from a burn injury doesn’t end after you leave the hospital.”

Looking to integrate magically-themed activities, the West Penn Burn Center team has tapped the Steel City Quidditch Club to host a tournament on Wednesday afternoon. Quidditch, made popular from the world-renowned Harry Potter book series, is a field sport played on broomsticks where players earn points by throwing tennis balls or ‘snitches’ through hoops.

“We’re thrilled to introduce the Quidditich games to the kids because it perfectly complements the goal of our annual summer camp,” said Linda Leonard, Director of the West Penn Burn Camp. “The actual game was conceived from a fictional world that knew no boundaries and we’re trying to instill in these campers that their dreams are just as limitless – there’s power in a renewed sense of confidence and belonging.”

Campers this year range from ages 10 to 16 years old, and they will participate in a wide range of activities including trips to Kennywood Park, a Pittsburgh Pirates game and the IQ Escape Room. Time will also be spent at Camp Kon-O-Kwee for relay races, campfires, peer group sessions and talks from local fire departments.

“Burn Camp offers the opportunity for kids to feel truly comfortable talking about their shared experiences, knowing that they will not be judged by their peers and reassured that they comprise their own unique community,” continued Aballay.

Camp is free of charge to any child that has been treated at West Penn Burn Center, thanks to the generosity of firefighter groups, businesses, organizations and individuals. All camp counselors are also volunteers.

Established in 1969, the West Penn Burn Center is a national leader in innovative burn care and treats more than 2,000 patients each year.