Campers fishing

Our Story, Mission, & Vision

Camper kayaking

Our Story

The rapid expansion of the number of camps in the 1990’s led to pivotal discussions among leaders in the burn camp community at the American Burn Association (ABA) annual meetings. They recognized the need for a central membership organization that could provide for the administration of the ABA Burn Camp Special Interest Group (SIG) and the biannual Burn Camp Workshop. The group was also concerned about the absence of administrative guidelines, best practices, and quality assurance in burn camp operations.

In 2001, Marion Doctor, director of Denver Children’s Hospital Burn Camp, and E. Tonas Kalil, a director at Mid-Atlantic Burn Camp, rallied support from other camps to establish what was initially termed the Federation of Burn Camps. This entity later became known as the International Association of Burn Camps (IABC). Founding members included those two camps as well as Champ Camp sponsored by the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation, the British Columbia Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund Burn Camp, Camp Eyabsut sponsored by the Northwest Burn Foundation, and the University of Utah Health Burn Center’s Burn Camp Programs.

Initial funding for the IABC was provided by a combination of donations from each of the founding member camps, a sizable corporate donation, and a grant from the International Association of Fire Fighters Burn Foundation.

Today, the IABC has 34 member camps and provides educational opportunities to all burn camps through the Burn Camp SIG at the annual meeting of the ABA and the biennial burn camp workshop. Additionally, the IABC offers assistance to burn camps in the form of guidance, mentoring and best practices. The IABC has established guidelines for best practice with Burn Camp Programming and should be used in conjunction with the American Camping Association Standards.

As the landscape of camp and aftercare programming evolves, IABC remains a steadfast beacon of education and support, fostering connections and the exchange of ideas. Our expanded vision now encompasses a broader concept of “camp,” catering to young adults, adults, and families, ensuring a comprehensive and inclusive approach to healing and community building in the burn camp sector.


The International Association of Burn Camps works to connect and amplify the impact of camps that support the physical and psycho-social needs of burn survivors and their families.



Our vision is communities where the lives of burn survivors and their families are enriched through access to networked camps that work to deliver best practices in physical and psych-social support.