“While we wish a million times over that our family was not affected by this horrible disease, we cannot feel more blessed to know and love our ‘Sunrise Family’, because that is what it is –
not just a day camp, but a family.”
– Maura, Sunrise Day Camp-Long Island Parent (2012)
Summers of Smiles
Often isolated from the normal activities of childhood, children with cancer rarely have a chance to see beyond the closed worlds of home, hospital and doctors’ offices. Sunrise Day Camps changes that by opening the door to a new world, making it possible for children to enjoy a summer filled with exciting daily activities, enduring friendships and laughter, while paying careful attention to their special medical and emotional needs
Sunrise Day Camps are open to children ages 3 ½–16 who are in active or follow-up treatment for cancer, including a special, modified, three day a week program for preschoolers. The camp is open on a non-sectarian basis to all children who are coping with any type of cancer at any stage, provided their doctor clears them to participate.
Siblings – who often feel ignored since much of their parents’ time needs to be devoted to the ill child – have the opportunity to play and interact as other brothers and sisters do at Sunrise. They are free to be with friends in a very normal, fun way while escaping the constant worry often found in a a home with a chronically ill child. It also helps them better understand and deal with their sibling’s illness and their own feelings.
While the physical and mental effects of cancer are hard to ignore, the financial impact on the family is often overlooked. It is common for one parent to stop working to manage their child’s disease – hospital stays, doctors’ appointments and chemotherapy. Having one less source of income, combined with endless medical bills, takes a devastating toll on the family’s financial health. That is why all Sunrise programs are free of charge and made possible through the generosity of our donors.
Each of Sunrise Day Camps’ beautiful locations is unique onto itself, boasting lush woods, grassy hills, open meadows and private swim complexes.
Daily activities include:
Indoor air-conditioned facilities complement outdoor open-air shelters, wooded campsites, lush ball fields, playground, sports courts, multiple swimming pools, and a misting tent for those who are unable to swim.
Sunrise Day Camp truly rivals the best sleep-away camps. Yet unlike sleep-away camps, we provide a true camping experience while maintaining our children in the familiar surroundings of home, family, and the treatment centers they have become accustomed to.
Sunrise Day Camp opened its doors on Long Island in 2006; today there are currently seven camps in operation:
The Sunrise Association’s future plans include bringing the Sunrise magic created in New York, Maryland, Georgia and Israel to children everywhere, through the opening of new camps. For more information, please contact Michele Vernon at 516.634.4146.