Camp Sunshine inspires hope in families affected by life-threatening childhood illness through our unique, supportive program at its beautiful campus on Maine’s Sebago Lake.
When a child faces serious illness, the entire family is affected. Camp Sunshine's program is offered year-round and has the distinction of having been designed to serve the entire family in a retreat model. Since its inception in 1984, Camp Sunshine has offered comfort, hope, and support to over 60,000 ill children, siblings and parents from all 50 US states and 27 countries.
The families who come to Camp Sunshine have children diagnosed with cancer, retinoblastoma, a brain tumor, kidney disease, sickle cell disease, other hematologic conditions including immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), aplastic anemia, beta thalassemia major, thrombocytosis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) (age 21 and younger). A bereavement session is also offered for families who have experienced the death of a child from a supported illness. Camp Sunshine also offers specialized programs for families and individuals with Fanconi anemia, Diamond-Blackfan anemia, Shwachman-Diamond syndrome, dyskeratosis congenita / telomere biology disorders and children who have received solid organ transplants.
Families attend illness-specific sessions of varying lengths where they have the opportunity to solidify and renew their own relationships while meeting others facing similar challenges. Whether families are looking to try something new in our recreational program, connect with other families or just relax, there is something for everyone at Camp Sunshine.
Recreational activities allow children and adults to relax and enjoy the simplicity and beauty of life along the pristine shores of Sebago Lake. Camp Sunshine's extensive program and other events foster family involvement, encouraging joy and laughter. While at Camp Sunshine, each family stays in their own suite, equipped with two twin beds, bunk beds, a futon, full bathroom, microwave oven, and refrigerator. Chef-prepared mealtimes in our cafeteria style dining room are occasions for socializing and unwinding.
During sessions, optional moderated parent groups are available while the children participate in day camp programs. These groups provide a forum in which parents can gain insight and understanding in navigating illness-related issues and are often the first opportunity parents have had to share their experiences with others in similar situations.
The Camp Sunshine Program is FREE to all families that attend. They are supported by generous donations from individuals, civic groups, corporations, and foundations. To learn more about supporting Camp Sunshine's mission, please visit the giving section of this website.
Medical support is provided at each session to support the medical needs of patients attending Camp. In addition, a state-of-the-art children’s hospital is only 40 minutes from Camp, and an urgent care center and community hospital with fully staffed emergency rooms are 20 minutes away.
Camp Sunshine relies on more than 2,500 volunteers annually, many of whom return year after year. The volunteers serve as camp counselors, and work in many areas of the program, including food service, arts and crafts, waterfront, and a variety of other activities. The majority of volunteers stay onsite and are provided with similar accommodations and meals as attending families. To learn more about volunteering, please visit the volunteer section of this website.