There is a joyful spirit about Camp Sunshine that is transformative for every person who participates. We promote through words and actions a culture that honors each person with total acceptance and unconditional love.
Since 1983, Camp Sunshine has offered individuals with cognitive/developmental disabilities summer camp experiences in a safe, caring, and inclusive environment. We offer multi-day overnight camp sessions with activities designed to meet participants’ recreational, emotional, physical, spiritual, and relational needs. Uniquely, each camper is paired one-to-one with a volunteer counselor for their entire four days at camp. Camp Sunshine creates spaces for campers to feel included, learn from others, and grow in friendship. Within our programs, volunteers receive as much as they give and learn as much as they teach. Most of all, we have fun!
There is something sacred about being part of a group where everyone is loved and accepted
“just the way they are.”
To make the world outside of Camp Sunshine a more affirming and inclusive place by inspiring agents of change with transforming experiences and relationships.
To offer experiences that model and nurture a culture of inclusion, grace, and joy, through which people with and without disabilities can transcend barriers and value both their own gifts and the talents of others.
Inclusive: We create a sense of belonging and cohesion by intentionally welcoming, valuing, embracing, and accepting all with great gladness.
Grace-filled: Grace allows for the vulnerability that engenders authenticity. It is freely given (“Just be.”), sufficient for all (“I am enough.”), and unconditional (“You are loved just the way you are.”).
Empowering: We are called to be our best and to invite others to be their best. For empowerment, we value clear, open communication; working side by side and honoring each unique contribution; and trusting intentional decision-making.
Transformative: Experiencing the beauty and abilities of each individual transforms our hearts and minds when we become more open to and less judgmental of those who are different from us; Desires by increasing our motivation to give, advocate, and collaborate with others in ways we might have previously overlooked; Worldviews in the active awareness that people are more similar than different; Relationships as we have increased compassion for ourselves and others and an increased awareness of and desire for strong, authentic relationships.
Inspirational: The Camp Sunshine experience shapes people’s lives, affecting future causes and trajectories. People are encouraged to work toward an environment of authentic love, compassion, and understanding.
Camp Sunshine’s roots, which many of our campers, staff, and volunteers share, are in the Christian tradition. Continually embracing inclusive love has led us to become a camp that welcomes all faiths and traditions, developing a culture of care and affirmation for one another. We are independent of religious affiliations.
Recognizing the holy within each person is at the core of our relationships and community life at Camp Sunshine. That spirituality is foundational to our support of physical, social, and emotional growth.
We are led by our campers’ beliefs, values, and needs as we invite them to widen their experience. We spend time in discovery, learning from a range of spiritual traditions. The messages we share speak of love, inclusion, compassion, and care for ourselves and all creation.