Camp Amigo brings children with injuries together

Published: Jul. 13, 2016 at 3:16 PM CDT
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One hundred campers between the ages of 7 and 17 packed ZooWorld in Panama City Beach Wednesday. They're part of Camp Amigo.

"I've had three or four kids come to me and talk about how much they love this day because they didn't know what to expect from ZooWorld," Rusty Roberts, the Director of Camp of Amigo, said.

It's the 16th annual Camp Amigo, but it's the first time they've come to ZooWorld.

Throughout the week, they're touring some of Northwest Florida's attractions from Cape San Blas to Panama City Beach.

"This camp is for kids with burn injuries," Roberts explained. "I get them from all over the state."

Campers like Alicia Fringo loved feeding Chase and Lynn, the giraffes, not to mention feeding the birds in the aviary.

“They all just fly around you," Fringo said as she fed the birds. "They swoop down and climb on this stick. They're really friendly.”

They say birds of a feather flock together, and that's exactly what these campers do.

Nurses and firefighters from all over, including the Panama City Fire Department, support the campers. Former campers often come back to show their support so they can take in what ZooWorld has to offer.

"It makes so much of a difference in their life," Roberts said. "They see somebody and they can act normal. They're not the ones that get stared at the pool because we're all kinda equal there.”

If you know a child with a burn injury, sign up on the camp's website. It's free.

"We're always looking for new camper to give them an experience," Roberts explained.