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December 13, 2012

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December 13, 2012

Thinking of Camp Sunshine and what it means to my family is very emotional. This was our first excursion as a family after my daughters diagnosis with Leukemia and from the moment we arrived we know we were in the right place. We were so well cared for and made several return trips, each time leaving rested and better prepared to deal with the rigors of our cancer battle. The programs were so helpful to us all. Camp Sunshine carried us through three years of cancer and we will always be a Camp Sunshine family.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

December 13, 2012

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December 13, 2012

Camp Sunshine is a special place that really makes a difference in the lives of all who attends. My son has a rare disease and for a week at Camp Sunshine, he is with other kids and families that understand and love him. The volunteers and staff make a wonderful experience for kids and the parents mingle with each other and learn valuable information. My kids say it is the best place on earth. One of the best organizations there is.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

December 13, 2012

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December 13, 2012

I never seem to explain what Camp Sunshine means to my son and I properly. How do you explain such a place to someone who is not familiar with Camp Sunshine? For my son and I it has been a brick in our foundation as we deal with illness that most can simply not understand. When my son tears up as we drive away everytime, and a new countdown starts for the next time we will attend, you know how special Camp Sunshine is. Camp Sunshine is not #4, $5, or whatever it is ranked right now. It should be #1, and nothing less.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

December 13, 2012

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December 13, 2012

Camp Sunshine is exactly that - a bright, sunny, happy place to be! It starts with the counselors who are amazing with genuine heart and soul. The kids feel it and the parents cherish it. For my pre-teen to reluctantly come to Camp complaining all the way, just convinced he won't have a good time - to now - at almost 13 wondering why it's only once a year! Truly makes an impact on the children with life threatening diseases - making them feel 'normal' and having fun all at the same time!! Fantastic. GO CAMP SUNSHINE! :)

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

December 13, 2012

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December 13, 2012

Our 5th child was born with hypoplastic Left Heart and Hypoplastic Kidneys. In his first 2 years of life he required 3 life saving open heart surgeries. Our nephrologist recommended us to Camp Sunshine for our family. The vacation was an experience like no other. We had been wary of heart transplants, deciding that God would guide us and our decisions. We had gone for their kidney week and was surprised when we got there that due to a maintenance issue solid organ transplant week was joining us. The first 2 families we met were post transplant hypoplastic left heart families. We could not tell the "sick" kids from the siblings..in that moment we felt God giving us direction we had been seeking and are forever grateful for the experience. Our daughter is 16 and does much babysitting duty. When we explained what kind of vacation we were going to have,one where she would not have to watch the boys for one minute her reaction surprised us...she cried for joy. We really did not understand how much we rely upon her and depend on this sweet girl to help hold our family together. Thank you for giving her a week of normal back!

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

December 13, 2012

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December 13, 2012

Last week we were blessed again with a trip to Camp Sunshine. The final night of camp is a special night where they have a Celebration Show, which includes a trip down to the lake to launch the kids’ Wish Boats. Wish Boats are made by the kids during the week. They all have a candle (at least one) on them. The candles are lit and the kids all push them out into the water. Everyone then has a chance to make a wish. It’s a powerful moment – probably mostly for the parents. Each boat is a unique reflection of the owner and his or her experience. The boats are personal creations. The ceremony is a great moment of quiet reflection and positive group thinking. I like to think that all those wishes will definitely come true!
Camp Sunshine is a magical place. There always seems to be one or more “Camp Sunshine Moments” during the week. This trip was not an exception. One of the first time campers, Aaron, is a 6 year old boy with Leukemia. He is still in treatment but has just recently lost his hair. Apparently it all fell out over the course of one or two days. He was very self-conscious about it and started wearing a baseball hat almost 24x7. His parents could not seem to get him over it no matter what they tried. So, that’s how he showed up to Camp Sunshine and that’s how he went to his group session on the first morning. That’s how he was at the end of the first day too and he went to group the next morning with his hat on. But when his parents picked him up for lunch on the second day, there he was, running around with no hat on!! His parents were shocked and did not know what to say. I don’t think I saw him wear a hat again for the entire rest of the week. Amazing change in attitude and feeling. Aaron was able to feel ‘normal’ again and was in a place where he didn’t feel different from everyone else. He was back to himself. For me, Aaron was healed just a little bit during his trip to Camp Sunshine. And to see healing taking place right before your eyes –man, that hits you square in the forehead. Then it drills right into your mind and travels all the way down into your heart. It becomes part of you. It changes you. It changes you forever.
You would think that a group of cancer kids and cancer families all in one place for a week would be a bit of a downer. Sometimes it is. You look around and see how many people are there (so many!). You look at all the names of families that have been there before you (too many!). Little bald heads running around. Wheelchairs, artificial legs, medical tubes. But I gotta tell you, being surrounded by these kids is more uplifting than you can imagine. Look further and you see other things. Kids running around laughing and playing. Those little bald heads have smiles on them! Kids with no hats on anymore! Counselors giving piggy back rides. Support, love, and caring is all around. People hugging. Everyone helping everyone. Small moments of calm for a Mom and Dad – sitting in the Adirondack chairs on the front porch. Look around and you realize that healing is taking place all around you.
Maybe the camp is named not for the sun up in the sky, but for all the sunshine bursting out of the hearts and smiles of the campers, the families, the volunteers, and the staff!

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

December 13, 2012

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December 13, 2012

We started going to camp Sunshine to volunteer as a family in 2004 and have continued ever since, we wouldn't think of missing a year. our church group started the ball rolling with 5 volunteers and it's since grown to over 15 church members going...........every year someone else decides to go and keeps going. i really think this gave my daughter a direction in life She now knows the feeling of giving back and helping others. we have made some wonderful friends over the years and know we'll always want to continue.

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

December 13, 2012

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December 13, 2012

Camp Sunshine is by far the most amazing place on earth. When I first volunteered at camp I left there with a whole new look on life. Camp Sunshine truly changed my life. It made me so appreciate for everything I have and I met the most amazing, strong, funny and appreciative people I have ever met. Camp Sunshine has become my favorite place in the world and each and every time I go I leave feeling rewarded and like I truly helped impact these families lives for the better. I honestly believe that everyone should volunteer at Camp Sunshine because I guarantee it would change their lives forever.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

December 13, 2012

more

December 13, 2012

Started at Camp Sunshine when my 12 yr old daughter got Leukemia (2005). I wouldn't wish this disease on anyone but without it I would never have experience the enormous love & compasion we received from the staff & volunteers at Camp. The best cross-section of humanity that I've ever encountered. We loved it as a family. It had emotional healing for everyone not just my daughter. Kids bonded immediately with the others. Never, ever found a better environment for siblings of sick kids. They get left behind so much during the treatments, but not at Camp. Parent share advice. What has worked, what hasn't. You can't get that kind of feedback from doctors. Then when we returned, it was if no time had elapsed, we picked up right where we left off. They are family. Now returning as a volunteer. I love giving back to the place that helped us out so much. One my top ten places on earth. Truly life-changing. Go Camp Sunshine!

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

December 13, 2012

more

December 13, 2012

The first time I heard about Camp Sunshine, I knew it was a place where I wanted my family to volunteer. We started with my husband and I as volunteers, and my children as campers. After that first year, there was no doubt that we would be back every year we could. Now my whole family volunteers. It is a given that Camp Sunshine is part of our summer. My famiily is able to share a magical experience while building our seperate friendships among the volunteers and families attending camp. All of our lives have been changed for the better because of camp. I have heard each of my kids comment. seerately, that there is no other place like Camp Sunshine and they can't imagine their lives without th e time we spend there. The work that is done at this camp is extraordinary. Children who feel they have no one who understands their illness call camp "HOME." Parents who carry the sadness and fear for their children can find commonalities and support from each and every person there. You see many unlikely friendships at camp. Why - because the people who run Camp Sunshine do an amazing job at giving support, respite and fun to each and every person.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

The majority of Camp Sunshine's 2,500 volunteers who give of their time annually come and volunteer for a week when the camp is in session. However, those with less time may contribute a few hours helping maintain the campus, assisting with mailings, organizing closets and activity rooms, gardening, etc.. Volunteer