If you were driving along US 131 late Sunday morning, you likely saw firetrucks on most of the overpasses as you went through Grand Rapids, and Wyoming honoring someone or something, but what was it?

Well, fortunately, it wasn’t a funeral as many speculated; instead it was the annual send off for Kids Burn Camp which happens at YMCA's Camp Manitou-Lin.

Each summer, for one week, kids from all over the state of Michigan who are or have been treated at a burn center anywhere in the state, go to camp and are able to interact with other kids their ages that are dealing with the same kind of pain, treatments and judgments from their social circles.

 

As the Helen Devos Children’s Hospital website explains:

It's important for children to be with other kids who have experienced the same injuries, as well as the painful rehabilitation and social consequences that are a part of recovering from a serious burn injury. Along with the regular kids camp activities like horseback riding, canoeing and crafts, your child can gain social confidence and the ability to cope with life after being burned.

 

Kids between the ages of seven and seventeen are able to attend the camp free of charge because of various local donations that help fund the camp.  As you can see from the 2014 send off, the busses are escorted by Michigan State Police, area fire departments and motorcycle riders, with the local departments also saluting the kids along their journey.

And that’s why there were firetrucks on all the overpasses today.