For some children a beanie on their bald head is a source of comfort, but by the time the weekend is over, most children have discarded their beanies and feel totally accepted by their peers, thus enjoying everything the camp has to offer without inhibition.
What is the purpose of Camp Sunshine?
- Psycho-social support for children who have similar experience of illness
- Learning through play and fun
- Encouraging self esteem and self-awareness through activities which require mental, physical and emotional energy
- Rewarding each child individually with a certificate ceremony
We try to ensure that every moment on camp creates fun-filled memories for the children which will last forever. On the last day of camp, every child receives a Camp Sunshine certificate when their name is called at the certificate ceremony, a reminder of their weekend adventure. We often hear stories of children crying when the bus arrives to take them back to the hospital, as they have had so much fun that they do not want to go home. Children have written cards saying ‘you have given us a special gift this weekend, the gift of love. Please do not forget about us!’. These special words remind us over and over again of how precious it is to invest in the life of a child, even if it is only for a few hours over a weekend.
Doctors and parents report that when children return from camps, they seem happier and are able to cope better. Care-givers, volunteers and Reach For A Dream staff are all on hand 24 hours a day during the camp to attend to each child's needs and to support them.