CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — Around 100 motorcycle riders participated in the annual Carmel Fire Department Hoosier Burn Camp Ride.
The 17th annual motorcycle ride raises money to send kids who are burn victims to the camp.
The camp is located in Brookston, Indiana and is open to burn victims ages 8 to 18 from around the state.
The kids who attend do not pay for the camp.
There are both traditional and non-traditional camp activities with the goal of bringing kids with similar stories together to help with the emotional trauma that can come with a burn injury.
This year’s camp session included more than 70 kids from around the state.
“Just gathering them in one location is therapeutic in itself. We like to have very good food, well maintained buildings, very purposeful program for our children, but the opportunity to come from all different areas of the state and just connect with other children that have somewhat similar stories in someway shape or form just makes a huge difference” said Hoosier Burn Camp Executive Director Mark Koopman.
“Everyone that’s here has been burned in a way so I can relate to them and I don’t have to worry about anything being bad because at school I would get picked on for my burns because I’m different,” said 15-year-old Chayce Pettis, who was burned when he tripped and fell into a brick pit.
“When I was 6 years old, I fell into a pit of hot coals at my grandma’s house. My brother and I were playing tug of war and we were pretty far away and eventually, I fell in backwards and so I had, well I have 3rd degree burns on the right arm and leg and it covers 28 percent of my body,” said Melanie Lisinnicchia.
She has been to the camp for 10 years and continues to grow and thrive.
“I always thought when I was younger like ‘why did it happen to me, why did this have to happen to me?’ and I slowly realized through burn camp and other outlets that it happened to me for a reason and if it did happen to me, I have to make the best out of it and help other people or inspire other people through my scars,” she said.