Camp Amigo Comes to Shipwreck Island

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PANAMA CITY BEACH-- Kids with something in common spent their day swimming, splashing and sliding around Wednesday.

Camp Amigo ventured to Shipwreck Island as part of a week-long program.

Kids splashing in the water are sharing more than just a day in the sun. They're sharing stories.

"For me to come and just hang out with these kids and give them the experience and allow them to see that their is some other people out there and there's adults that are going through the the same thing that they went through," burn survivor Jason Purvus said.

Purvus suffered severe burns when he was 12 years old. He says he understands problems related with this type of an injury.

"Just to give them that encouragement throughout the week is the best thing that I can do," Purvus said.

This was just one of several outdoor activities kids at Shipwreck Island are doing from Camp Amigo.

You might think some kids would be hesitant to expose physical and emotional wounds to others, but that's rarely the case at this camp.

"My mom she makes me go, but I really like to go anyway because I like to get away from home and its like a family so I hang out with all of them," burn survivor Jerrett Mitchell said.

Camp founder Rusty Roberts says it's just one way for kids to feel comfortable in their own skin.

"At the end of the day these are just kids, they've just had more things happen to them than most other kids," Roberts said.

"Just to hang out with all the people who have got the same scars as me and have been through the same thing I've been through it's real exciting," Mitchell said.

And it's also a way to give them some experiences to make up for some of the hardships they've had to endure.

"I've done some things I haven't done before, first time scalloping is when I came to Camp Amigo, white water rafting my first time ever coming to camp and fell out," adds Mitchell.

Volunteers run the week long camp paid for with private donations.
Wednesday night the kids joined Panama City Beach firefighters for dinner.