Sunshine. Slushies. Swimming. Sunscreen. Sweet Shop. Songs. Sports. Sleepovers. Smiling Faces. Staff. Salvations. While each of these accurately depicts an aspect of Day Camp Sunshine (DCS), none describes the true essence and nature of DCS. The singular word that would truly capture and portray the ministry of DCS is relationships.
Having been involved in nineteen summers of sleep away camp, I felt confident and knowledgeable jumping into the day camp environment. I was blown away with the deep connection and close relationships the staff developed with their campers as well as with each other over the course of nine weeks. The very foundation and roots of DCS also boils down to one significant relationship. Our staff poured out their heart and soul introducing their campers to Jesus Christ and cultivating a personal relationship with Him.
As we inched closer to our ninth and final week of camp, campers responded to their counselors with deeper questions about Heaven & God. When that final day of camp arrived, tears trickled down the faces of the veteran counselor, the macho twelve year old boy and the youngest, most innocent Kindergarten girl. The final chapter of the summer had come and like every amazing book, you wanted it to continue. Why? Campers felt loved and accepted by their counselors, while counselors loved ministering to their kids and showing them God’s love.
All in all, over 50 counselors representing 6 continents, 11 different countries and 4 states ministered to 391 families, 547 campers and a total of 2,437 youth over 9 weeks. Countless spiritual discussions took place, numerous seeds planted, and God rewarded the staff in seeing the fruit of their labor with many kids accepting Christ. Praise God for the lives impacted at Day Camp Sunshine in 2015.