I started going to Camp Sunshine four years ago, when my daughter was diaganosed with Sle Lupus. Let me back track a little. My daughter was also diaganosed with Sickle Cell disease at age two, but I didn't know about Camp Sunshine until four years ago. She was always a shy person, but now because of Camp Sunshine she is now smiling and is now making new friends. She now anxiously awaits for summer so she can see her new family at Camp Sunshine. The staff and volunteers at Camp makes the six days unforgetable, exiciting, and enjoyable.As a parent I wish we could we could attend Camp Sunshine three time per year.
Our daughter was 3.5 years old when she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Prior to having cancer, she was loving, outgoing, social, and love to travel and explore. Once she became sick her world and ours shrank down to hospital stays, doctor's visits, and staying at home. Our little bird was grounded. She was on active chemotherapy for 2.5 years and would need emergency transfusions often. We were too scared to go away for a vacation. We didn't have family close by. I also had a newborn at the time of diagnosis. We felt very alone and lost during this cancer journey. One day, we saw a brochure stapled to a wall in the hospital waiting room. It had a cheery yellow sun on it which attracted my eye and described a camp for the entire family! Not just for the ill child. Could this be the respite we desperately needed? It took me 6 months to finally apply and for us to be mentally ready to go. I couldn't believe what an amazing place Camp Sunshine is. We were welcomed with warmth and open hearts. We met so many other families who were going through the same journey. We were not alone anymore. Our daughter literally flew around the camp with counselors at her side exploring and playing like she hadn't had the chance to do for so long. Parents receive counseling and fun just like the kids and we met and made some amazing friends. Truly one beam of sunshine can banish the darkness. That beam is Camp Sunshine. Please help them help other children and their families.
I've been volunteering at Camp Sunshine now every summer since I was 16, and not a day goes by that I don't think of my time at Camp Sunshine. These families have struggled so much throughout the year that they can't wait till it is time to return to camp. They bond so closely with one another that their friends at camp become extensions of their family. I know that this is something these families could not live without. Camp Sunshine does more then give them a week's vacation. It provides them with a lifetime of support, and I love being a small role in that. I look at all these people who have been volunteering for over ten years, and I know that one day that will be me too.
I started coming to Camp Sunshine three years ago with my family. I can describe what a close knit family this is. It impressed me so much we started volunteering. We now live in Texas and fly back to Maine just for the chance to volunteer. Camp Sunshine is very important to my family as our Sebago Family will be there for the rest of our lives.
Camp Sunshine is a remarkable place of joy and happiness for families of very sick children. I have volunteered three times, and when I see what the experience means to the families, it makes feel so good to be able to be even a small part of it. Th ey all get to forget about the illness and just have fun in a beautiful setting.
My name is Ricard but everyone calls me Richi. I’m 7 years old. On November, 2011 my life changed. I was diagnosed with a brain tumor almost 5 cm. diameter found on my cerebellum. Medulloblastoma is one of the most aggressive pediatric malignancy tumors. Since the diagnosis my parents, sister, family, and friends have been fighting together with me to win the battle against this miserable disease. Kid´s cancer is devastating. I would like to be very grateful to all the people that it´s supporting me and my family on this difficult journey but specially many thanks to our “new family” from Camp Sunshine. Undoubtedly a slice of heaven on earth.
Camp Sunshine is a world renowned retreat for families who have those suffering from a life threatening illness. It is an innovative and paramount program. I was a volunteer during their Lupus week in 2009 living near by attending college as a nursing student. The incentive to participate in volunteering at Camp Sunshine was motivating; however, the experience was moving. I gained so much from the experience that are difficult to put into words. I will continue to volunteer for such an amazing organization for my years to come.
Camp Sunshine is a magical place where children and young adults with cancer come to spend time with their familys. ..........many would think that camp sunshine would be sad but I believe that it is a place where all are accpeted no explanations needed, familys are able to rejuvanate and fun is had by all ...................the caring love and healing that takes place at campsunshine really can not be explained but i can honestly say that you are not the same person who entered the door when it is time to go home!! Your heart is full and faith in mankind is restored!!
This year was our first trip to Camp Sunshine. The whole family had a great time! My youngest son is off-therapy after being treated for Leukemia. Although he had been eligible to attend other camps for kids with life-threatening illnesses, he has never gone, he didn't want to go by himself. Camp Sunshine is so special because it allows the entire family to attend. It was great to be around other families who have shared similar experiences. The volunteers were amazing, and there was so much to do the kids were never bored. They didn't even miss TV. Casco, Maine is beautiful and the camp facilities are great. I would highly recommend any family that has a child with a life-threatening illness make the trip to Casco. It will be an experience you will never forget.
We first attended Camp Sunshine in 1996 as a participating family with our 3-yr. old daughter who was a cancer patient. We had an incredible time with other families all going through similar challenges, and were blessed by the experience. We realized we were not alone in our emotions and fears. The kids have a wonderful time with the counselors while the parents have fun and time to relax also, something they normally don't get a chance to do with a very sick child. We were all taken care of by an amazing group of volunteers and staff. We have returned every year since then to volunteer as a family and to give back to others going through what we did. We feel so strongly about the value of this unique and very special place that we now run an annual fundraising event so many more families can experience the magic that happens at Camp Sunshine. We can not imagine our lives now without Camp Sunshine. Our volunteer time at Camp Sunshine is a highlight of our year. We have made life-long friends at Camp Sunshine. We have seen the program and facility grow over the last 17 years, and are very excited to see it continue to grow and serve many more families. We are honored to be associated with such an incredible organization.
Camp Sunshine is such a special place. It is a gift to families to step away from illness and connect with families who share the same struggles. The volunteers do an exceptional job at relieving stress and making families feel loved. Camp Sunshine deserves to be recognized for an exceptional nonprofit!
Camp Sunshine is an absolutely amazing place. I have volunteered for three years and can't wait to go back. They programming is superb, they are very organized, and when I volunteer I feel very useful.
My wife and I volunteered as counselors at Camp Sunshine for three consecutive years. During that time I had the wonderful opportunity to learn exactly how the Camp operated (caring, supportive, loving, efficient) and how the campers regarded their experience. To summarize it all - virtually every camper I interacted with during Lupus week regarded the experience as one of the best in their lives and started looking forward to their return to Camp the next year almost before they had left. They formed friendships, kept in close contact with each other, and gained invaluable knowledge about dealing with their illness in their family lives and in their social worlds. FABULOUS JOB CAMP SUNSHINE!!!!
I've volunteered at Camp Sunshine for four years now, and it is without a doubt one of the most loving, wonderful places I've ever been. As a camp that serves children fighting illness as well as their families, it is uniquely effective at supporting entire families. In my time, I saw parents finding support and understanding in each other, sick children being treated as normal, and healthy siblings receiving lots of attention that they may not get at home. I became particularly close with one family, especially their youngest, healthy son. Though we only spent a week together, we have remained in touch and I attended their sick son's funeral when he tragically passed last year. Camp Sunshine families were there to support this family in happy times and the worst time of all. I love the camp as a resource for those in need and as a fun, happy summer camp for those who are lucky enough to attend. I cannot recommend the camp more.
KAREN AND PETER MACKIEWICZ : My husband and I are both volunteers and parents of one of the earliest cancer patients ( in 1986) to have been blessed by Camp Sunshine. Way before their spectacular current facility was built Camp Sunshine facilitated the same special respite for us that could not be found anywhere else in the midst of chemotherapy. Our experience going back as volunteers was as moving and inspiring as ever. CAMP SUNSHINE MAKES A PRACTICAL DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF FAMILIES FIGHTING CANCER.
Our child was diagnosed at age 7 weeks. For months my wife and I faced obstacles and fears, one after another, in isolation. Camp Sunshine gave us the oppostunity to meet other families who are going through the same experience that we are. It allowed us to meet with and hear from the top researchers and clinicians in this field. It facilitated our getting the information we need to look after our son. It provided us with a support network without which this journey may have been too hard to travel. It alleviated our fears, helped us face and meet our obstacles, and made us feel that we were not isolated, we were part of a caring community.Thank you.
Camp Sunshine's November bereavement session is the only place in the world that my family and I can be truly understood by being surrounded by other bereaved parents (and siblings) who have also experienced the loss of a child in the family. It's best described as "family away from family," "home away from home," and "Christmas away from December." We'd be lost without Camp Sunshine.
I first heard about Camp Sunshine through a friend from college. Myself and 3 friends took a long weekend to go to one of the first winter sessions that Camp had held. The only way I can think to describe my experience is absolutely life changing. Just walking onto campus you immediately feel welcome and like you've been going there for years. Then you get to meet the families. How these kids, siblings, and parents make it through day after day astounds me. I left Camp after that first weekend feeling so grateful, humbled, amazed, and inspired....and I have returned every chance I get since then. The people I have met, the bonds I have formed, the relationships I have made, and the memories I have, have made an incredible impact on my life and will stay with me forever. I feel so lucky to have been given the chance to experience the magic that is Camp Sunshine.
I have been a volunteer for 6 summers. There was a group of high school students from a school in Worcester, MA that showed remarkable maturity. It gave me great hope for the next generation. The Camp is an oasis of magic. From the three front doors of different sizes to the cooking crew to the different families that have been a part of Camp over the years, each year is breathtaking and incredibly life-changing. The campers and volunteers Ihave spent time with have been very resilient people. you would like to have them as part of your group of friends. There is a true sense of family at Camp, and that is another reason that Sunshine is so tremendous. Parents can relax and have fun without worrying about their ill child. The siblings can get attention they need. All can share and learn from each other.
We attended Camp Sunshine in July 2012. This was a life altering week for our family. Our children are 2 and 5 months at the time and spent most of the day in the nursery being cared for by volunteers that were caring, gentle and kind. We spent more of the day in seminars and classes learning about our daughter's rare condition. We never worried about the children. One night we had to meet with one of the doctor's that was lecturing at 9pm to discuss our daughter. As the children go to bed at 7pm we were faced with the dilemma of who was going to go to the meeting and who would stay behind. This was a very important meeting so we asked the staff if a volunteer wouldn't mind watching them for us. Five volunteers came as a group to watch the children. The kitchen staff was also very helpful. They cooked my picky 2 year old her pasta from home everyday for lunch and dinner and my 5 month old was still able to eat his homemade baby food as they kept it in their refrigerator.
How many ways can we, that are privileged enough to volunteer at Camp Sunshine, explain what the camp means? It is a chance to help others, yes. It is a chance to get out of our comfort zone and grow, yes. It is chance to meet many people we would never meet from all over the country, yes. But the most important part for me as a volunteer is being allowed to step into the world reluctantly occupied by cancer families. They let me help by accepting that I care, even if I can't really empathize for lack of walking in their shoes. Each time I apply to bring a group of teens from Harvard, MA or attend on my own I hold my breath hoping that there will be a spot for me. i don't care if I am weeding, shooting photos or handing out athletic equipment, I just want to be there. I am there to help and its my favorite place to be.
We first learned of Camp Sunshine when we were on vacation in Wisconsin. Our daughter was diagnosed with Stage IV Ewingsarcoma and we decided to take a vacation. We camped at a Jellystone park and saw a sign get posted about Camp Sunshine. We signed up right away. We learned later that this was the first time Camp Sunshine was branching out and Jellystone was going to host. We were signed up for a session right after my daughters Make-A-Wish trip. After spending the week at camp she told us that she enjoyed Camp Sunshine more than her Make-A-Wish trip. Wow what a statement! This place was amazing and did not only good for her but helped our whole family through this torturous road we were on. We were very lucky to be able to come back several times. Allowing her to reunite with these friends that she made that understood what she was going through and no one judged her or looked funny at the girl with no hair because for once she wasn't the only one in the room like that. We always wanted to get up to Maine to see the original Camp but unfortunately, we never made that trip with her. She passed away in 2009 and our family was devastated. We didn't know what to do or how to do it. We were so lost without her. Everyone told us that we should talk to someone but we felt that no one really would understand. Plus, we couldn't find any groups that really related to our children. No support groups for a child that lost a sibling. Then we thought of Camp sunshine and what a huge help they were to us before and knew if anyone would get us it would be the people there. So we signed up for a bereavement session in Maine. What a sense of healing we were given while at camp for the week. Granted we are not completely healed and probably never will be but every time we are able to get into a session at Camp Sunshine we know we will enjoy a little bit more healing. Not to mention the closeness that we feel to my daughter while we are there. Infact, we all become closer as a family while we are there and are able to bring some of that home. I honestly don't know where our family would be without Camp Sunshine. We pray that people will not need to go to Camp Sunshine because that puts them into a category or club that no one wants to belong to but we thank God for the fact that there is a place called Camp Sunshine that is there for those unfortunate families that need that. Hospitals can provide some of the physical healing that is needed but Camp Sunshine provides the emotional and psychological healing that is so desperately needed! We are so grateful for Camp Sunshine that I am sure all who attend feel the same!
We made it to Camp Sunshine 4 weeks after our daughter had brain surgery to remove a brain tumor. The staff and volunteers were beyond amazing and the facility was fantastic. We were able to spend 1 week not worrying about anything but spending time with each other and making bonds that will last a lifetime. We will be forever grateful for Camp Sunshine.
We started to go to Camp Sunshine many years ago for Renal Week, before the new facility. My daughter was diagnosed with renal dysplasia and polycystic kidney disease. It has been a very long road and with the help of Camp Sunshine the road has been easier. We have had the opportunity to watch the dedicatiion and hard work of so many bring this "best place ever" to what it is today. The staff are loving, caring and the hardest working people I've ever met and I'm humbled to know each one of them through these years. The volunteers are the absolute most giving, unselfish people that walk this earth and lifelong friendships have been developed with most. The "family" we have met and look forward to seeing in and out of camp is is a gift we cherish each and every day. A few years back a couple of mom's and myself wrote thes little jingle for one of the talent nights.....(to the tune of "Tiny Bubbles") CAMP SUNSHINE, IN CASCO, MAINE....MAKES US HAPPY, EVEN WHEN IT RAINS....MIKE'S A GOOD GUY, JEN AND BETH ARE GREAT TOO.....VOLUNTEERS...IT WOULDN'T WORK WITHOUT YOU.....BLOOPER GAMES, BRING OUR CHILDHOODS BACK, WITH A CHICKEN AND A HOOP AND A PAIR OF BOXERS FOR A HAT......CAMP SUNSHINE....IN CASCO, MAINE, YOU MAKE US HAPPY......YOU TAKE AWAY OUR PAIN. What else can be said? Camp Sunshine is the 'BEST PLACE EVER"
Clean, beautiful, loving, warm! This was our first trip to camp with the Shwachman Diamond Syndrome group. I think I cried and felt completely overwhelmed by LOVE and acceptance and a place to be safe and spoiled. Despite the heavy emotional load I felt, my son for probably the first time felt accepted and loved and had plenty to do. He was too exhausted every day to do all the fun night activities. The volunteers they have chosen are AMAZING PEOPLE! Kudos to you Camp Sunshine! You do a fabulous job for so many of us!
I have been volunteering with my family during Lupus week at camp sunshine for 6 years now and I can confidently say that it is always the best week of the year. I was very apprehensive the first time we went; it could have been an uncomfortable and disheartening experience to be around sick children and their families, but it was just the opposite. Camp sunshine is a place filled with so much happiness and love an acceptance, it is impossible not to revel in the joy that it brings people. My family and I fell in love with this place and it is the one week we look foward to every year, no matter what. The people at camp sunshine have become my second family, and camp my second home.
We attended Camp Sunshine for Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome week. My son was diagnosed with this syndrome when he was 13 months old. It is a rare genetic disorder which not much is known about it. Camp Sunshine brought us together with other families that have a child or children with this syndrome. It was a wonderful week away from the hustle and bustle of doctor's appointments. The families we met are now part of our extended family. Camp Sunshine brings comfort and confidence to families fighting critical illnesses. There is so much to do too. My son enjoyed the paddle boats on the lake, mini-golf, the indoor pool and of course the volunteers. The volunteers are such an asset to Camp. They are so engaged with the kids and make it unforgettable. All the support provided by the staff was excellent. Camp Sunshine is a place our whole family is looking forward to attending again.
We found Camp Sunshine in 2008 after our daughter who was 5 at the time was diagnosed with a brain tumor. As a family it is the BEST place to go. Our non-BT child who is 14 now loves it just as our now 10-year old BT child does. It just makes you feel so connected and NORMAL when you are at Camp. Everyone is in different places but facing the same situations. My husband and I were afraid to go the first time but after entering the doors there was no doubt we were in the right place and where we needed to be as a family. We have received so much support from Camp and the other families we have become friends with at Camp. At least once a month the kids ask WHEN ARE WE GOING TO CAMP SUNSHINE. We were there this February but have to get back soon so we can have some more NORMAL for a while.
Volunteering at Camp Sunshine has truly been one of the best experiences of my life. I volunteered this past summer with a group of kids from my high school, and it was the most fun I had in a long time. I made dozens of new friends in my fellow volunteers, and of course, with the campers! Camp Sunshine is honestly one of the best places on earth, everyone is so caring and accepting of everyone else. I feel like i was able to make a connection with most, if not all of the 20+ kids in the age group I worked with, and I think I even managed to learn from them! My experience at Camp Sunshine was amazing, and I will hopefully be returning for years to come!
I first met Camp Sunshine many years ago when a fellow employee ran a Florida to Maine marathon to support the camp. This introduction began what I know today will be a life-long affiliation with an incredible team of caring people. I am fortunate to NOT need the services Camp Sunshine provides... and I am even more fortunate to have the opportunity to be counted amongst Camp Sunshine's thousands of supporters.
Our experience with Camp Sunshine began almost 20 years ago when our then seven years old son, had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. That was back in the day when the camp was only a vistion of what it has become. A place of hope, respite and unconditional love. We have returned many times since that first visit and each visit has brought a rekindling of our spirt. On one of our visits our daugher, then 17 years old said she loved going to camp but was changing her role from camper to volunteer. We have transioned to become volunteers. Our son has many medical issues that prevent us from going to camp often, but we still manage to visit with a day trip. Our son loves to wear his exspansive clothing collection from Camp Sunshine, it brings a little sunshine into his day which in turn brings sunshine into our lives.
This organization is the most inspiring for the children, their parents or guardians, and for the volunteers who make it excell. It offers support, networking for families, and a break from the reality of life threatening illness not only for the child, but the siblings and parents. I worked the food service for 1 week 4 years in a row and the teamwork was wonderful and much appreciated by all the other volunteers, staff and families. I can't say enough good things about Camp Sunshine.
Our daughter, age 14, has lupus along with a host of other medical problems, and has been attending Camp Sunshine for the past 7 years. As a parent I cannot express to you how much happiness it brings to our child and as a parent mere words would never explain the support, unity and friendship that we receive to tide us over to the next year. Our daughter has always said she would rather go to Camp Sunshine every year than have Christmas! She is no longer an outcast when she enters those doors - she is normal for one week and accepted just as she is. Throughout the year she is hospitalized many times but our Camp Sunshine Family is always there for her (and us) to listen and lend support. I say family because that's what they are...we are all held together by a common thread and connected at the heart. There are things my child endures that nobody else would ever understand but someone who has had the same experience.
After my own bout with cancer, I decided that I wanted to give back to others who were facing cancer. I found Camp Sunshine after I did an internet search for a camp for kids with cancer. I have volunteered a few times and plan to volunteer again. Camp Sunshine allows families to get back a little bit of normalcy in their lives. It was so wonderful to see everyone smiling and having fun. The staff is exceptional and the week always runs smoothly. They have meetings for the adults everyday so that they can learn from each others experiences. The kids are split into age groups and have different activities every day. I really liked that they cater to the entire family as every family member is impacted when one is diagnosed with cancer.
My daughter was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor in 2005. Over the years, we had heard other parents talk about Camp Sunshine, but I thought it was limited to families who lived in the northeast. All of the families who had gone talked about what an amazing place it wasThe people who had gone seemed like family to each other. We decided to apply to go in 2011. I wasn't sure what to expect, but hoped it would be a good experience for our whole family. Our week there far exceeded all of our expectations. It was an amazing week full of love, laughter, and healing.
Camp Sunshine is a ray of hope and the light of joy for children who have life threatening illnesses and their families. It is the onlyh program of it's kind. The camp was designed for these special children. Children can swim, enjoy the lake, and even camp out in a special cabin. Families have 2 room motel like rooms. There is even a candlelight dinner for parents. The camp is primarily volunteers. Many of the volunteers are health professionals. I was the "Camp Nurse" for Transplant week. I took my family. I have participated in some of the Camp Fund Raisers. I highly encourage everyone to support the Camp through donations of your money and your time. Take a week to volunteer. You will have the best experience of your life.
We found Camp Sunshine in February of 2011, nearly 7 years after our daughter was diagnosed with massive diffuse brain tumors. We did not know really what to expect when our family went to Camp the first time: what we found was love, age appropriate activities and fun for each of our 3 children, psycho-social support and community for the parents, and really, a lifeline for our family. Camp has been there for our family during our daughter's relapse in late 2011 and through her new treatments this year, we have been able to return to camp as a FAMILY and recharge for our ongoing battle. At Camp we meet other families who are walking the same path we are, and we are able not only to find strength for ourselves as parents (and information from leading experts in our daughter's disorder), but my daughter is able to laugh, and play, and actually be with other kids like her. We are so grateful for Camp Sunshine and what it has meant to our family.
Fantastic volunteer experience during my high school and college years. I went there on 4 separate occasions from 1994-1998 and have never forgotten my time there.
I wish I had heard about Camp Sunshine much sooner than I did. I LOVE volunteering there. I go there twice a year and wished I could make more trips than that from New Jersey. People always ask me how can you do it. I always say try it once then you'll understand.
My husband & I retired and returned to Maine after being away 41 years. We left children & Grandchildren in California. We were lucky enough to find Camp Sunhine and helping other children and their families now fulfills our retirement days. We volunteer at least 5 sessions a year and drive all summer to the airport, train station, bus station to transport families in and out of camp. We are so thankful that we have a healthy family what better way is there to give back to those who need you. HANDS UP TO CAMP SUNSHINE!!!
My wife and I just finished our third volunteer session at Camp Sunshine, and we can't wait to do it again. The folks who volunteer are all there for the same reason- the children with life-threatening illnesses, and their families. Everyone at camp is so caring and everyone's focus is on providing a great experience for the kids and their guardians. All the volunteers and staff walk around with smiles on their faces all day, and the same can be said for the families that come to camp. Camp Sunshine truly is a special place!
I learned of Camp Sunshine through our franchise business, Tropical Smoothie Cafe. We started collecting donations for this charity, however; the first year my family and I went to camp as volunteers we were completely engulfed in the magic that this camp brings to families AND volunteers! We have been volunteering at CS ever since our first week in 2009! It has become one of the highlights of our family time together. We absolutely are proud sponsors and volunteers of this amazing camp! We share our experiences with everyone we know and love spreading the word about the difference this camp makes in ALL who attend! It is so very well organized with lots of activities for both the children and their parents. In addition, the setting couldn't be better! The rooms are wonderful, the food is fantastic, and the views are amazing! God bless the founders and all who are touched by Camp Sunshine.
Our daughter was diagnosed with cancer at the age of three. Fortunately, she's now nine years old and in complete remission. We attended Camp Sunshine a couple of years ago along with other pediatric oncology families and it was amazing! It was just like a wonderful huge family gathering with so much support from fellow guests and the volunteers. This completely free program to those families attending provided great accommodation and food, group support and fun activities, but most of all it provided a chance for our daughter to feel normal - to do the fun stuff kids get to do in a safe environment. We can't thank Camp Sunshine enough for an amazing experience!
My grandson had a liver transplant at age 5 months and we learned about Camp Sunshine from the transplant team at NY Presbyterian Hospital at one of his checkups. We had never expected summer camp could be part of his life. Because their father has to work, I accompany my daughter and her two children to Maine. We fell in love with Camp Sunshine and Sebago Lake right away. The staff and volunteers are amazing, the facilities are sparkling clean (necessary for immune-suppressed kids) and the activities varied and age appropriate. My daughter was able to connect and make close friends with other transplant parents, the kids just had fun all day. I laughed and cried in nearly equal measure that first week and we all look forward to Camp Sunshine each year since then. I have done what fundraising I can and I tell everyone about Camp Sunshine on my blog and Facebook page. It is a real gift to families who live with the stress of sick or immune-compromised children. Thank you!
When I first set foot on the Camp Sunshine campus, I couldn't stop smiling. Absolutely everything is meticulously maintained, and the compassion and passion staff and volunteers show in hosting their guests is readily apparent. Seeing the kids participate in a wide range of recreational activities...big smiles...lots of laughter...it's a special place. This organization does an extraordinary job in providing a supportive environment for kids with life threatening illnesses and their entire families. I am not easily impressed...but Camp Sunshine is simply the best.
I have been a volunteer for three years at Camp Sunshine. I have worked primarily with the teenagers and their families. I do not exaggerate when I say that every moment there is a treasure. The volunteers are extraordinary and the staff the best with whom I have ever worked, and I do a LOT of volunteer work.I cannot honestly think of a negative word to say about this remarkable Camp Sunshine.
I AM A BUISINESS MANIN WINDHAM MAINE AND HAVE BEEN FUNDRAISING FOR CAMP SUNSHINE FOR THE PAST 7 YEARS, IN THIS TIME I HAVE HAD GREAT SUCCESS, HAVE RAISED HUGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY AND CREATED MANY RELATIONSHIPS, ALL OF THIS HAS BEEN DUE TO THE INCREDIBLE STAFF AND DEDICATION OF GREAT VOLUNTEERS THAT CONTINUES TO INSPIRE ME. I WILL CERTAINLY CONTINUE TO SUPPORT CAMP AND THE SPECIAL CHILDREN AND FAMILIES FOR MANY YEARS TO COME AS THEY TRULY DEFINE WHAT A NON PROFIT SHOULD BE. THANK YOU. RON EBY
Camp Sunshine is our "Somewhere Over The Rainbow". Its magic envelopes you upon entering its unique doorways. Camp Sunshine is our home away from home complete with family, fun, love and endless kindness. The support we receive there, whether it be during group sessions or in general, is like no other, and desperately needed by families like ours. When our daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor just days before her fourth birthday, everything changed in an instant. Our new "brain tumor" life felt isolating and full of fear, anxiety, and sadness. Coming to Camp Sunshine rewarded us with so much, but especially with knowing that we were not alone. We validated all our worries with other parents who truly understood. We gave each other hope. From its staff to the volunteers, Camp Sunshine began the healing process for our family living with this incurable diagnosis and continues to provide limitless happiness each time we attend a brain tumor session.
Camp Sunshine is a little slice of Heaven for those of us who have kids who are fighting life threatening illnesses. The first time my family went to camp, and every time afterwards, we have been greeted with smiling helpful faces. When you walk through the yellow doors there is a wave of instant understaning. You know everyone there has in some way experienced what you have been through. The facilities are clean, comfortable and welcoming. Not only have I found support and love there but so have my children. The cancer child sees other kids just like him and the siblings get to see what it is like to have cancer from a friend's point of view. They also meet other siblings and learn that they are not alone. Siblings get the attention they deserve, just as much as their sibling with cancer. We have made life long friends at Camp that we keep in constant contact with. Though we need help from different friends in different ways, it is so wonderful to have made friends who really understand what we are going through. At camp I lose all my fears. While the kids are doing their activities, my husband and I can take a walk or just sit and talk knowing that our kids are happy and perfectly safe. I will forever be grateful for what camp has done for my family. I know that I will have a lifetime connection wth camp, returning when my kids are ALL grown up to volunteer, to welcome the new family that has just walked through those yellow doors and comfort them any way I can
My daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 16 months old. She has endured many treatments to stop her tumor from growing including surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy. The treatment to save her has left her very different from her peers, but I am happy to say that she is now 14 years old. The road has been rough for all of us. Having a child with any form of cancer is scary and can leave you feeling isolated and alone. My son has been growing up with a "sick" sister which has prevented him from doing many things. My daughter feels that she has few friends because she is different from her peer group. We spend a lot of time at doctors' appointments and there is little time left for either child to be "normal" kids. Camp Sunshine has changed all of that for us. It is the only camp that I found that allows the whole family to go together, but once there allows every member to relax and enjoy themselves. As a parent I don't worry about either of my children while we are there. The volunteers and staff are excellent at taking care of all the children regardless of age. A doctor is always on staff should there be any worries. Both children can have fun but also talk about their lives without being ostracized. The other kids "get it". As an adult I found a support group unlike any other. It's not just a support group - it's family! We have all made lasting friendships. Camp Sunshine has allowed us time to relax and enjoy life. It has renewed our hope!