Camp Sunshine


About Camp


Swimmiing in the lake

Camp Sunshine supports children with life threatening illnesses and their families.  The camp has the distinction of being the only program in the nation whose mission is to address the impact of a life threatening illness on every member of the immediate  family—the ill child, the parents, and the siblings.  Since its inception, Camp Sunshine has provided a haven for over 40,500 individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Families with a child diagnosed with diseases such as cancer, kidney disease, lupus, solid organ transplants, and other life threatening illnesses attend one of the week-long camps.  Our focus is on alleviating the strain that a life threatening illness takes not only on the sick child but also on other family members.  Families have an opportunity to rebuild their relationships together and meet other families facing similar challenges.

Free quality services are provided at the camp including accommodations and meals, onsite medical services, counseling services, and recreational facilities.  While the camp is in session, each family stays in their own family suite.  Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served each day.

Volunteers, except for those who live nearby, also stay on the property.  Camp Sunshine is staffed almost entirely by volunteers, many of whom return year after year.  The volunteers reflect the diversity of the families and help with recreational leadership, childcare, food service and whatever else needs to be done.

Another distinctive component of the program is the medical facilities and professional staff that are available to address the taxing physical needs of children with intrusive diseases.  A physician is located at the camp for the entire session so that families can be secure in the knowledge that the camp offers 24-hour onsite medical support.  In addition, a hospital with full-time emergency room physicians and pediatricians is only 25 minutes from the camp.

Recreational hours allow children to relax and enjoy the simple pleasures of childhood while their parents find quiet moments to walk by the lake and reaffirm their support for one another.   In addition, games and events are designed to foster family involvement, encouraging families to laugh and play as a unit.  This approach builds a new foundation the family can take with them when the camp is over to unite them during the darker times they will face.

Each family is sponsored by an individual, civic group, corporation, or foundation, which enables a family to spend a week at Camp Sunshine free of charge.  The sponsorship   for one family to participate in the week-long program is $2,000.  The Family Sponsorship Program provides a way for donors to sponsor a family or families from their geographic area.

A retreat for children with life threatening illnesses and their families.

The Camp Sunshine Program is FREE.


Sessions and workshops are tailored for the needs of the families. These sessions may be the first opportunity the family members have had to share their fears and frustrations with others, who can genuinely identify with the same experiences. The sessions provide a forum where family members can learn from each other and identify more effective means for dealing with the special issues that challenge their families daily.