CAMP SUNSHINE AT SEBAGO LAKE INC

Rating: 5 stars   164 reviews

Issues:

Location: 35 Acadia Rd Casco ME 04015 USA

Mission: Camp Sunshine provides respite, support, joy and hope to children with life-threatening illnesses and their immediate families from around the world through the various stages of their journeys. The year-round program is free of charge to all families, and includes 24-hour onsite medical and psychosocial support. Camp Sunshine also provides bereavement sessions for families who have lost a child to supported illnesses.
Results: Over the past 30 years, Camp Sunshine has served more than 43,500 family members from 48 states and 23 countries.
Target demographics: Just as an illness does not target a specific demographic, Camp Sunshine's programs and support is available to all families, regardless of economic or cultural backgrounds.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 750-800 families, or 3,000 - 3,200 family members.
Geographic areas served: National / International.
Programs: Families of children diagnosed with cancer, hematologic conditions, renal disease, systemic lupus, those who have undergone solid organ transplantation, and families of children with other life-threatening illnesses attend illness-specific sessions of varying lengths. Families have the opportunity to solidify their relationships and meet others facing similar challenges. Bereavement programming is also provided for families who have lost a child to the illnesses served at Camp.
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Our family first attended Camp Sunshine five months after my daughter, Mary, died from hepatoblastoma, a rare liver cancer. The services offered by Camp Sunshine and the connections we made at that session and all subsequent sessions have been a LIFE LINE for our family as we wade through being a bereaved family. I highly recommend Camp Sunshine to any family that is struggling with pediatric cancer and bereavement.

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?

2013

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

After our precious daughter was taken from us by cancer, our family struggled with day to day life. We attended Camp 6 months after she passed and it was like a breath of fresh air. There aren't many programs that assist families in treatment as well as bereaved families. We will be forever grateful for the love, compassion and support we have received from Camp Sunshine.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

get Camp Sunshine more funding to hold even more sessions.

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?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Our family first went to Camp Sunshine in July of 2002, ten months after my four year old son was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. It was so nice to be around people who did not judge us for how we looked or acted. Instead, they accepted and embraced us. We had a wonderful time and returned the following year for another extraordinary vacation. We always vowed to go back and volunteer there some day. Two years ago, my 17 year old daughter just that, and had an amazing experience. Last year, my husband and I joined her and had the opportunity to meet families who were going through the same agony that we had endured several years ago.

I am happy to say that my son, a leukemia survivor, will be joining us as a volunteer this year.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Having a child with a very rare disease makes it hard to find other families who understand what we go through. Being at Camp Sunshine helped us to connect with other families going through our situation and with the specialists that treat her disease. It was such an amazing week in our lives and our daughter really enjoyed being like other kids.

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

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

When our daughter was diagnosed with Lupus we did not know where to turn for support. Our lives had been upended, our daughter had spent the summer receiving chemotherapy treatments and becasue of predinisone her physical appearance was changing before our eyes. She wanted to find a camp where she would fit in. We wanted to find someplace that would provide support and information. At Camp Sunshine, we found all this and more! Our time there remains an important part of lives and we talk about friends from Camp Sunshine, information we have learned there and support we have received. We are so greatful this camp exists! They run an absolutely top notch program!

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?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

When I first heard about Camp Sunshine, I thought "this sounds too goo to be true." My family traveled from California and what we found waiting on the other end was more than I could ever have imagined. My daughter is a cancer survivor. We attended Retinoblastoma camp (eye cancer.) Seeing her interact with other kids who have or are traveling the same road as she was a life building experience. She realized that having only one eye doesn't mean she is any different than any other kids out there. The support and fun they provided to our whole family is something none of us will ever forget. We made lifetime friends with both the families who attended as well as with the camp itself. Definitely a 5 star week.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Our son has a life threatening disease, Fanconi anemia. He has already lived through a bone marrow transplant and is highly susceptible to many cancers. Camp Sunshine is a place for families and patients to feel normal and deal with the trauma that horrific medical conditions can bring.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None.

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?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

My family has been blessed to attend Camp Sunshine for multiple sessions. Camp Sunshine provides an
exciting experience for both children and adults. Parents can meet together for fun and discussion groups, while the best volunteers care for your children so both the kids and parents can have a true camp experience. My family has made life long friends that we stay in touch with all year long. They have become family that we always look forward to seeing every year.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would not change a thing.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

Our youngest son has a brain tumor, so our life is very stressful. We went to Camp Sunshine on the recommendation of our hospital social worker. Are we glad we took advantage of his recommendation. There is no place else in the world like Camp Sunshine. Every member of our family has been blessed by our association with Camp Sunshine. My sons who do not have the brain tumor go there and for that week are free from worries. They connect with other kids with similar circumstances. The staff and volunteers love them and treat them like royalty. Our son with the brain tumor, has a one on one (who loves him like a brother), which allows my wife and I to connect with other parents. There are times of laughter and lightheartedness, time of tears and sorrow which all minister to our souls. We are better for meeting these courageous parents. I have never met such a caring staff and group of volunteers. They are friends for life.

Donations to Camp Sunshine are an investment that pay rich dividends.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Our family has been fortunate enough to attend Camp Sunshine since 2009 when our daughter Abby, who then was 3 years old, was diagnosed with leukemia. She also has Down syndrome and sometimes finding people that would accept her with not one but both diagnosis and just allow her to be a normal kid was hard to find. We were extremely blessed to find Camp Sunshine. The staff and all the wonderful volunteers there have made amazing memories with us. Abby (as well as her siblings and parents) LOVE going to camp. She gets so excited and refers to it as Hands Up (it's a song that is traditionally sung at camp). Our family is able to relax and just be. Our children are able to be focused on individually, which is common place for Abby but not so for her siblings which is unfortunate but a reality in our life. Her sister Elisabeth finally found a place that worries about her and her needs and she isn't "Abby's sister" she's Elisabeth, her own individual. The bonds and friendships we have made with other families as well as the volunteers has been indescribable. Several of our families have such a bond that we try to reunite there every year if possible. We cannot thank Camp Sunshine's staff, volunteers and the donors who all make it possible for families like ours to have a place that each member of our family feels comfortable at.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been blessed by Camp Sunshine in numerous ways. As a bereaved parent, I found Camp 3 years after losing my daughter to mitochondrial disease. I live in Maine and never knew there was a camp for families who had lost children to disease. Although we were very lucky to have support as my daughter got sicker, my 2 younger children found others like them who had experienced the loss of a sibling -- something quite unique.

In the past couple of years, I've been able to give back to Camp, by volunteering in numerous ways during the bereavement sessions. This is also important to me, as it gives me an opportunity to help others who may be newer in their grief journey.

Currently, my family and I are taking a break, as my children become older and can also volunteer! Thanks so much, Camp Sunshine!!
Theresa Gaetjens

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

reach out more to other life-threatening diseases, such as mitochondrial disease.

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

A lot

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?

2013

Was this review helpful?