Burn camp debuts at Ft. Yargo

WINDER - Camp Oo-U-La, the state's only summer camp exclusively for burn-injured children, is debuting this month at Winder's Fort Yargo State Park.

Hosted by the always philanthropic Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation, the festivities will be a partnership with Camp Twin Lakes, a year-round not-for-profit dedicated to helping youngsters with illnesses and other life challenges.

This year, Camp Oo-U-La takes over Fort Yargo's own Camp Will-A-Way, the first time in 17 years it'll be held in Barrow or Gwinnett counties.

From May 24 to 30 the camp will host about 100 kids, said programs director Dana Dillard. The camp's peculiar name is borrowed from the Cherokee Indian word meaning cool, running water.

"It's what you should use on a burn," Dillard said.

The camp is free to any Georgian age 7 to 17 who's sustained a burn injury that required treatment or hospitalization in a burn unit. Activities are closed to the general public.

"It's truly amazing to see the work and the fun that goes on at this camp for burn survivors," said Lt. Scott Dakin, Barrow County Sheriff's Department spokesman.

Money collected in "Give Burns the Boot" drives across Georgia helps to make Camp Oo-U-La possible, Dakin said.

For more information, visit the Georgia Burn Foundation's Web site at www.gfbf.org.