Brie Richardson, Program Director
Brie first experienced with Camp Sunshine the summer after completing her freshman year at Hope College when her professor, Susan Cherup, shared the opportunity with her. It is with great confidence that Brie can say her experience at Camp Sunshine completely changed, and continues to change, her life. Originally, Brie considered majoring in special education, and her experience at Camp Sunshine solidified that desire.
Brie believes Camp is unique to any other place in the world, marked by the depth of love, inclusivity, and genuine passion for life that is found at Camp Sunshine. She refers to Camp quite simply as, “The best place in the world!” Brie has been involved with Camp Sunshine ever since in a variety of capacities: counselor, volunteer, office assistant, Talent Show’s #1 fan, and now serving as a program director.
Brie lives in Holland with her husband, Matt, and their son, Brady. Matt teaches Discovery Science for Hudsonville Public Schools and has also enjoyed being part of the Camp Sunshine community as a counselor and volunteer as well.
Brie’s past work experiences include 6 years of teaching special education in Grand Rapids to high school and elementary aged students. The relationships and moments with her students and their families have marked her life forever, as do her experiences with our campers each summer. Brie, along with her family, are honored and beyond thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the Camp Sunshine community.
Lindsey Mandolini, Assistant Program Director
Lindsey’s story with Camp Sunshine began twelve years ago, when she volunteered as a counselor for credit at Hope College. At the time, she had no idea what she was embarking on, nor how her life would be changed.
Over the years, Sunshine grew from an annual experience for Lindsey into a way of life. Lindsey believes that she is taught and transformed more and more by each year, each session, each camper she experiences.The thing Lindsey loves most about being a part of the Sunshine community, is the unending acceptance that is shared by all. She feels it is a community rich in love and grace, one like no other. In addition, Lindsey loves the freedom that she feels while at camp; the joy that comes, and the overwhelming sense of peace.
Though Lindsey has a travelling spirit, and a wanderlust heart, her home is in Grand Rapids. She values her family and the community she has built in West Michigan. Lindsey is currently teaching high school special education at iCademy Global in Zeeland. That said, her passion for reaching the international community of people with unique abilities runs deep within.
In 2014, Lindsey established a program modeled after Camp Sunshine in Jinja, Uganda. This was the first camp and educational workshop for people with special needs in Uganda. Lindsey credits her efforts to her experiences at Camp Sunshine.
Corey Veldheer, Director of Operations
Corey joined the Camp Sunshine community in 2016. Her experience working with individuals with special needs started long ago, when she would spend time with her uncle, who was born with developmental disabilities.
As Camp Sunshine’s Director of Operations, she loves being able to experience of every aspect of Camp, from fundraising and special events, to working hand-in-hand with Campers and their families.
The thing Corey most loves about Camp Sunshine is the year-round passion that people exhibit for it. From campers and counselors to volunteers and everyone else connected to Camp Sunshine, when talking about a Camp experience, their joy and excitement can’t be contained. She says, "It's remarkable the life-changing impact Camp Sunshine has brought, and continues to bring, to so many people. It doesn't matter if it's January or July, you never really feel far from Camp when you're part of this community. "
Corey lives in Zeeland Township with her husband Steve and kids Frank and Sadie. They’re active at Benjamin’s Hope in Holland, and are members of the on-campus church there. They own an organic lawn and garden company, Good Sweet Earth, and have a passion for organic gardening. They can also be found exploring nature centers and state parks, museums and libraries.
Doug Ammeraal, Recruiter
Doug’s story with Camp Sunshine began in 2001 at Camp Blodgett. Doug came out to serve as a counselor, with a broken hand, and ended up meeting his beautiful wife, Roxie. Doug and Roxie have served during all sessions ever since.
Doug originally came to Camp Sunshine to receive credit at Hope College for an education class. From then, Doug’s heart was focused on serving campers and counselors. After many years of volunteering, Doug was asked to join the year-round staff as the main Recruiter. He accepted the position with the vision to expand the impact and mission of Sunshine, stating, “I wanted to share the story with young people across our state. Sunshine has impacted and influenced me as a father, a husband, a leader, and a servant.”
Doug enjoys watching our counselors experience the unlimited love, pure joy, and life changing impact that Sunshine has. For him, it cannot be put into words, however, it can be witness, experienced, and felt. In addition, Doug enjoys the impact that Camp Sunshine has on his children. Sunshine has taught them how to serve, how to love, and how to have an impact on another person’s life. Lastly, Doug appreciates that Sunshine centers him — spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.
Camp Sunshine embodies everything that is right in our world. It teaches us how to love authentically, appreciate life in it’s fullest, and serve with a humble heart. This is what fuels, drives, and focuses me for my work, my family, and my spirituality. Camp Sunshine sends it’s ripples of love into all aspects of life; we only have to allow it.
Cindy Terlouw, Special Events Manager
Cindy Terlouw has served as Executive Director of Camp Sunshine from 1998 – 2017. She has successfully guided Camp Sunshine through a period of change and growth.
With a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University in Elementary Education and Special Education as well as a Master’s Degree from University of Kansas in Learning Disabilities, Cindy worked for more than 30 years as a Special Education teacher.
Cindy speaks of her legacy at Camp Sunshine to be one of “offering an environment that is safe and inclusive filled with love and grace for all to be who they were created to be”. Cindy is pleased to be supporting Camp Sunshine at this time in her life by being the Special Events Manager.
Cindy’s passion and enthusiasm is not limited to working with and advocating for people with special needs. These days, Cindy and Larry, her husband of 47 years, are enjoying traveling, exercising, attending sporting events, playing pickelball and spending time with their adult children and friends.
Rachael Braginton, Project Manager
Rachael’s journey with Camp Sunshine began in 2004 as a “staff kid”. Her mother, Jeannie, has volunteered as a nurse at our Camp Blodgett location since 2001. Growing up at Camp Sunshine has given her a unique perspective of camp as well as an amazing outlook on life. Rachael grew up watching campers, counselors, volunteers, and leaders all love, respect, and care for each other no matter their differences. She learned from the most incredible group of people how to love yourself and others unconditionally.
Camp Sunshine quickly became her favorite place on earth. She wrote papers, college application essays, speeches, and projects ,throughout her years of education, about camp. Using every opportunity she could to spread the word of Sunshine.
Rachael has never missed a year of camp since 2004 and her position has grown throughout the years. Last year she was an intern in our pilot intern program and had the opportunity to learn more about the amazing work that goes into making camp happen before camp week. This year she has officially become part of our year round staff. She is so thankful and excited to get to work with a program she has loved for so many years.
Rachael recently graduated from Hope College where she played on the women’s soccer team and studied business.
Rena Saltsman, Communications Manager
Rena's story with Camp Sunshine began through a conversation with her neighbor. She had come to a crossroads in her career and learned of an opportunity to join the Camp Sunshine staff. Her past experience working with global non-profits and owning a small marketing agency brings great leadership to Camp Sunshine. She is thrilled that this position provides a unique opportunity to use her gifts for something greater than herself.
She has jumped into the Communications Manager position during this non-traditional season but is eager to learn and build life changing relationships with the staff, volunteers, and campers. She believes that the pure joy that camp delivers is a powerful experience that not only impacts the campers life, but the lives of everyone involved.
Rena lives on a little piece of land her little family calls "Salty Acres" in Grand Haven, Michigan. Her days are filled with the non-stop energy of her two daughters (Arlie and Everly) and a flock full of chickens. Rena looks forward to her family becoming a part of this great community and for her girls to grow up understanding the impact of Camp Sunshine.