M.A. in Nonprofit Organizations
Institute for Nonprofit Organizations
Dual Degree Programs
A Service-learning Course for BSW and MSW Students
3 semester hours
This course that will touch your heart, open your mind and teach you about life!
Burn camp provides students with a dynamic educational opportunity to learn social work values as well as essential life lessons in an intensive week working with burn-injured children. This non-traditional learning approach called service-learning partners students with fire service personnel as volunteers at a camp called Camp OO-U-LA. The camp is a program of the Georgia Firefighter's Burn Foundation and was established in 1991 to create a week of self-esteem enhancing activities, a sense of inclusion and acceptance and just plain fun for burn-injured children age seven to seventeen. In the process of participation in this course, students don't just learn about community service and other core social work values from books, they live them.
Since 2000 when the first group of students signed up for this experimental course, more than 100 MSW students have participated in burn camp. While the focus going into the experience is typically on the children themselves, the greater learning for many of the students has been on cultural awareness, gender issues, tolerance, social divisions, organizational and community development and group dynamics with a generous dose of self-awareness thrown in for good measure. Approximately 25 percent of burn camp "alumni" have returned on their own as volunteers based on their passion for the children and the mission of the camp.