2022 Camper information
Will you join us this summer? We are accepting applications for our upcoming summer sessions.
If you're a returning camper or joining us for the first time, we are so excited to see you!
The registration link will take you to the Camp Doc program to complete your registration.
Camp Sessions at Camp Henry and Camp Blodgett
Camp Sunshine has been providing an overnight camp experience to teens and adults with cognitive/developmental disabilities since 1983. Campers and counselors have a 1:1 pairing for the duration of camp, experiencing each moment together.
Each day is carefully planned with traditional camp activities like ropes courses or other physical activities, arts and crafts, swimming and water activities, spiritual lessons and music, meals together, and of course, a campfire with s’mores!
This year, Camp Sunshine is offering a three day/two night and a four day/three night camp session at both Camp Blodgett (West Olive) and Camp Henry (Newaygo) Michigan.
Camp Sunshine strives to offer a camp experience to anyone who is interested, regardless of financial needs. The following options are available during the registration process: setting up a payment plan, utilizing respite funds, or applying for a scholarship.
You can set up an incremental payment plan that meets your needs when you register. Payment is due in full on May 4, 2022.
If you would like to utilize respite funds to pay for camp, we are happy to support this process. We have collaborated with County Community Mental Health agencies such as Network 180 and HealthWest and other churches and organizations. Please have your caseworker contact us for the next steps.
If you would like to apply for a Camp Sunshine scholarship you will have the opportunity to when you register. Scholarships are determined on a year-to-year basis and not guaranteed.
Individuals with a current Individualized Education Plan (IEP) may qualify for a scholarship opportunity through the Michigan CEC. To learn more and apply, click here.
If you would like further clarification on the above options, please call the office 616.994.9897 or email email@example.com.
Overnight Camp Refund Policy
Refunds of monies paid, less applicable processing fees, will be issued for:
cancellations made 30 days prior to the program start date
cancellations as a result of camper illness
Refund of monies will not be issued for:
cancellations made less than 30 days prior to the program start date
camper dismissal as a result of misrepresentation or false registration information provided
Frequently asked questions
What if I can't attend the session I signed up for?
What should I wear?
As you begin to pack your bags, we ask that you are mindful of the mission of Camp Sunshine and all participants as you plan your camp-attire. Apparel should be appropriate for athletics and the camp activity they will be participating in. Swimwear, regardless of the style of swimsuit (one or two-piece, tankini, board shorts, jammers, etc.), should be comfortable and stay in place without excessive adjustment. Here is a packing list to prepare you. (Google Drive PDF link)
What should I pack?
Here's a link to a PDF packing list for you to print!
What does a typical day look like while at camp?
Check out A Day at Camp by clicking here. (PDF link.) Specific details for each day will be posted on schedules all around campus and on the back of your name tag!
What if I have food allergies or dietary restrictions?
Information you noted on your application is communicated to the kitchen and medical staff. Based on that information, there will be alternatives provided at each meal to meet dietary needs. If you have a special circumstance you’d like to discuss, please contact the office and we will do our best.
How do I apply?
Camper and Counselor applications are accepted January 4 - April 4. All applications are submitted online via CampDoc.
First time applicants are required to provide three references. Click these links to share with references (camper and counselor). Applications will not be reviewed until reference forms have been received.
What if the session I want is full?
If the session you would like to attend is full, you are welcome to register for our wait list. In the meantime, we invite you to check out our other program offerings.
Do I have to pay for camp when I sign up?
Payment is due a month before our sessions begin. During the registration process you will be given payment options . The most important step for campers is to register to reserve the spot at the session you are hoping to attend as spots fill up quickly. Applicants will have 30 days to complete their application after reserving their spot.
Is Camp Sunshine a day-camp or overnight camp experience?
Camp Sunshine is an overnight camp experience. However, based on level of care and previous camp experiences, our team considers the day-camp role for applicants that might benefit from participating in camp in this manner. Counselors who are paired with a day camper will always stay the night and provide additional support for their cabin mates. Day campers will have a bed where they can keep their belongings needed for the day. Please be sure to bring a swimsuit, towel, twin bed sheet & pillow (for rest time) and an extra set of clothes.
How long is a camp session?
This year we are offering two options, a three day, two night session and a four day, three night session at each location. The final day concludes by noon. It is imperative that all are able to attend camp to its entirety as the transition out of camp is a vital part of the experience.
Where is Camp Sunshine located?
Our office is located on the north side of Holland (291 W. Lakewood, BLVD, Suite G, Holland, MI 49424.) Our overnight camping experiences is hosted by our facility partners (Camp Henry and Camp Bldogett) in Michigan. We currently offer two sessions at each location. Camp Blodgett is located off the shores of the beautiful Lake Michigan in West Olive which is north of Holland about 15 minutes. Camp Henry is located in Newaygo Michigan and is located near a breathtaking view of Lake Kimball.
When does camp start? end?
Dates/times are listed in acceptance letters shared out via Camp Doc email correspondence.
What is the food like?
We serve three meals a day, along with an afternoon and evening snack. Our menus vary from year to year but may include things like, pizza, sandwiches and salad, or burgers all with sides of vegetables or fruit. Breakfasts can include sausage, pancakes, cereal, eggs, yogurt bar, etc. See a sample menu here. We will do our best to accommodate special dietary needs. Please be sure to note your dietary restrictions are listed on the application.
Who do I contact in the case of an emergency during camp sessions?
In the case of an emergency or if you are in need to contact Camp Sunshine during a session call 616-994-9897.
What are the sleeping arrangements?
While the cabin setup varies between camp locations, we typically have 7-10 campers/counselor pairs in each single-gender cabin. Each camper/counselor pair sleeps in cabins with campers sleeping on the bottom bunk and the counselor sleeps on the top bunk. Each cabin is equipped with electricity and a bathroom. Campers are always supervised.
Who leads camp? How are they screened?
Our camps are staffed in three capacities: our year round staff, volunteer leadership team and
Our staff consists of an executive director, two program directors, a manager of operations, and a communications and marketing manager. To learn more about our year round staff, click here.
Our leadership team consists of approximately 40 volunteers per session who come from a wide range of experiences and professions. Each camp is supported by a minimum of four nursing professionals.
Our counselors are typically high school and college-aged, however applications are open to anyone interested and passionate about the mission of Camp Sunshine above the age of 18. Each camper is paired with a counselor, fulfilling our 1:1 ratio that we feel is so integral for the experience of Camp Sunshine.
All volunteers receive a comprehensive background check and undergo a thorough application process including three reference checks and a mandatory training prior to serving at camp.
What if I need to take medication while at camp?
All medications, including over-the-counter medications, are kept in a secure location with our medical staff. Participants will have access to these medications at each meal time. If a specific time outside of mealtimes is required, this can be established with our medical staff. Participants are responsible for picking up their medications before leaving campus during checkout. Medications that are left behind will be properly disposed of within 48 hours of the conclusion of the camp session.
What is the staff ratio at camp?
Each camper and counselor is paired 1:1. Based on the level of care required, campers may be paired with two counselors. In addition to this 1:1 ratio is the support of 40+ on our leadership team.
Is Camp Sunshine a faith-based camp?
A “faith-based” camp has affiliation with a particular church and/or may teach a particular religious perspective. While Camp Sunshine’s roots are in the Reformed Christian tradition and has many campers, staff, and volunteers who resonate with that tradition, we are a camp which welcomes all faiths traditions. . Camp Sunshine does not impose nor does it oppose any one faith tradition. It is a camp independent of any religious institution, yet values spirituality as foundational to our community life.
We value a spirit of sacred holiness in each person and strive to instill that sacred spirit in our relationships. In its inclusive nature to offer physical, social, emotional, and spiritual growth, Camp Sunshine continues to grow broader in wisdom lessons from many traditions. Camp Sunshine is about "following the WAY of goodness and grace, of peace and justice, of care for earth and all her creatures - these are the WAYS of Jesus, MLK, Gandhi, Buddha, and our Indigenous Elders. More than a belief system, this is a way of living together.”
We follow the lead of our campers beliefs, needs, and values. That means we sometimes sing “Jesus loves Me” or “God is so Good" at a camper’s request. We may share a greeting of “Namaste” or offer a prayer to the Great Spirit.
Our spiritual team at camp consists of 1-2 spiritual guides who plan daily lessons and reflections from various spiritual traditions as they speak love, respect, and acceptance for our Sunshine community.
Who can attend?
Camp Sunshine is a camp for individuals with cognitive/developmental disabilities. Certain parameters are established based on the level of care and safety we can ensure with the support of our volunteer medical staff and leadership team impact acceptance.
What safety measures are being put in place as it relates to COVID-19?
Camp Sunshine is requiring that all camp participants show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (including booster) or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test results 48 hours prior to arrival at Camp. Camp Sunshine is continuously monitoring the pandemic and policies are subject to change.
What is the “Horseback Riding Form” and who completes it?
At our Camp Henry location, part of our programming is the offering of horseback riding. A “Rider Medical Form” must be completed in order for individuals to participate. Please take this form and ask your doctor to complete and provide a signature. Once you have this completed, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to the office (291 W. Lakewood Blvd. #7, Holland, MI 49424.)
What is the refund policy for camp?
Where can I find the camper reference form?
Please use the camper reference form at this link.