The Coast Guard gave a very special group of kids a stress free day filled with smiles and laughter by transforming the Traverse City Air Station into a playful wonderland on Sunday.
For the second year in a row, the air station was the exciting destination for the 47 campers of The Great Lakes Burn Camp's annual winter camp.
Thanks to the Coast Guard, and other local companies who sponsored the event, kids ages 6-17 were able to play in inflatable obstacle courses, jump in a giant bouncy house, do some sumo wrestling, get their hair and makeup done, and even get some temporary tattoos.
Camp staff member, and Coast Guard diver, Cody Thorpe helped put the event together. He says the kids are a true inspiration to him.
"We did a fly in about six years ago down in Kalamazoo for their summer camp and it was love at first sight," said Thorpe. "They brought me cookies when I got off the helicopter and it was magic from then on."
21-year-old Mary Mccubbin knows first hand the positive impact and healing powers that this burn camp can have. She joined the camp when she was just 6-years-old and is now an active volunteer at these weekend getaways.
"It means they want to support us," said Mccubbin. "They want to help us, and let us have fun. They're here for us all the way. And they want to make the best out of our situation."
The Great Lakes Burn Camp was established in 1995 as a special place for kids who have suffered from burn injuries to meet, heal, grow and support other burn survivors. Camp attendees share their stories and bond with other kids in a comfortable, relaxed environment. Unconditional love and acceptance in only part of what each camper is able to receive at the camp. It is a place where burn victims become burn survivors.
"It's just a family," said Mccubbin. "You have a connection. That love. It's just always there."