My name is Peter “Chop Suey” Reynaga and my story starts in June of 2006 when I was admitted to University Medical Center of Southern Nevada hospital for my burn injuries. That June, I met former AARBF employee Renee “Baker” Croteau. She told me and my family about Champ Camp and how great it was. The next summer I signed up and went to Champ Camp. It was a wonderful experience and truly lived up to the hype. I got to go to camp for four years as a camper and one year as a CIT. Those were some of the best weeks of my life.
Champ Camp 2014 was the first year I went to Champ Camp as a Camp Counselor. It was big step to take with a lot of mixed emotions. At the beginning of the week I was excited and nervous all at the same time. I was excited to be back at Camp with the people I looked up to and loved, but I was also nervous about how it would be to serve as a role model and leader for my campers. My co-counselors made it easier on me and really helped me through the week. It felt great see all the campers and help them have a great week. I really enjoyed being able to work with a lot of the Counselors that I respected and looked up to as a camper.
As a way of giving more to the Foundation, I decided to shave my beard that I have been growing for more than a year— but only if I could raise $750.00; the cost of sending a burn-injured child to Champ Camp. Throughout the week of Champ Camp, all of the Camp Counselors made donations to help me reach my goal of raising $750.00. Well, after one week at Champ Camp, I did not raise $750.00…I raised $1627.00!! With the support of all of the Champ Camp counselors I was able to raise enough money to send TWO children to Champ Camp next year!!
I just want to thank the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation for the opportunity to be a Counselor for the week. It was a great experience and I can’t wait for next year!
Visit our Champ Camp page at www.aarbf.org/Survivor-Services/Champ-Camp.htm