Savanna Petricek, a sophomore at Midwest City High School in Midwest City, is a major fund-raiser, an influential ambassador, and a junior counselor for the Oklahoma/Tulsa Firefighters Burn Camp, which provides a fun and free camp experience to young burn victims.
Six years ago, Savanna was introduced to the camp as a burn victim herself. “I know from personal experience the pain one endures after being burned,” said Savanna, “The key to surviving and returning to a normal life is being able to discuss your problems with others in your same situation.”
More than 75 children from 5 to 16 years old attend the four-day burn camp, where they can swim, ride horses, play games, go fishing—and not have to worry about people staring at their burn scars. Savanna conducts an extensive letter-writing campaign to solicit contributions for the camp, asking businesses and other organizations both for money to run the camp and for gifts that are provided to the campers just before they go home.
So far, she has collected more than $15,000 in donations. She also seeks speaking opportunities at churches and in front of other groups to explain the camp’s mission and recruit volunteers. In addition, as a junior counselor at the camp, she shares her experiences as a burn survivor with the young campers.
“The valuable lesson I learned from my volunteer work is that I am no longer a burn victim,” said Savanna, “I am now a burn survivor and a volunteer who helps burn victims.”