‘Camp Catahoula in Quarantine’: Summer Camp for Pediatric Burn Survivors Goes Virtual

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Camp Catahoula, Baton Rouge General’s week-long away camp for pediatric burn survivors, has been reimagined this year because of COVID-19, with BRG staff thinking outside the box to bring the summertime experience to the campers starting July 18.

This year’s “Camp Catahoula in Quarantine” is presented by Shell and will be mostly virtual with everything campers need hand-delivered in carefully curated boxes – from craft supplies and yoga mats to ingredients for cooking demonstrations and camp t-shirts. The virtual camp will incorporate many of the same elements as usual, like arts and crafts, a talent show, movie night, and a water day. Camp days will consist of twice-daily Zoom calls – for example, crafts or a barre lesson in the morning, and making a mug cake with BRG chefs or practicing dances for the talent show in the evening.

Over the course of the week, campers will also have the opportunity to attend a socially distant, in-person meet up, complete with a meal to take home for the whole family and boxes of school supplies to help them get ready for a new school year.

“We’ve been able to recreate a fun experience for the campers virtually, but we also know how important it is for the kids to feel supported and be around other burn survivors,” said Dr. Tracee Short, BRG Regional Burn Center Medical Director. “The optional in-person meet ups give us the chance to safely provide that support, which is so important in their emotional healing, as well as some sense of normalcy during this stressful time.”

Camp Catahoula is a collaborative effort of volunteers from Baton Rouge General -- doctors, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, social workers, and even chefs – as well as the Baton Rouge Fire Department, Louisiana State Police, (IBEW) and Brothers Keepers, a firefighters’ motorcycle club.

Several organizations support the BRG Foundation by raising funds to send local children to the camp without any expense to their families. This year, Camp Catahoula’s primary sponsor is Shell. Other supporters include the Baton Rouge Fire Department, Baton Rouge State Fair Foundation, Brother’s Keepers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Louisiana State Police, and many adult burn survivors and staff.

“Presenting Camp Catahoula is a natural progression for Shell,” said Rhoman Hardy, Shell Vice President US Gulf Coast. “A little over two years ago we were pleased to help make possible the Outdoor Children’s Therapy/Play Area, as part of Baton Rouge General’s Regional Burn Center expansion. Now Camp Catahoula allows us to expand on the theme of meeting the needs of our region’s youngest burn survivors. Shell is proud to once again be a partner in the important work of the Baton Rouge General Regional Burn Center.”

BRG’s Regional Burn Center celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. It is one of only 68 burn centers in the U.S. verified by the American Burn Association and each year, treats more than 4,000 patients from all over the state. The rigorous verification process confirms that BRG’s team and facilities are held to the highest quality standards of care management of burns from time of injury through rehabilitation. The Regional Burn Center is also a leader in cutting-edge treatment and clinical trials for burn care.

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About Baton Rouge General Medical Center
Baton Rouge General Medical Center is the area’s first community hospital with 588 licensed beds between two campuses. Baton Rouge General opened its doors in 1900 and has provided the Greater Baton Rouge community with high-quality healthcare for generations. An accredited teaching hospital since 1991, Baton Rouge General serves as an affiliate of Tulane University School of Medicine, and offers other medical education programs, including a School of Nursing, School of Radiologic Technology, Family Medicine Residency Program, Internal Medicine Residency Program, and Sports Medicine Fellowship Program. For more information, visit BRGeneral.org, find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/BatonRougeGeneral and follow us on Twitter at @BRGeneral.

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