Camp Sunshine underway

Excited cheers and laughs bellowed from a green and white striped tent, as campers and counselors rapidly shook a multi-colored parachute to bounce rubber chickens and pigs around the material.
Krystle Wagner
Aug 9, 2014


The game was part of a morning activity at Camp Sunshine, going on now at Camp Blodgett on the Lake Michigan shore near West Olive.

More than 70 campers participated in the first of two sessions of this year’s Farm Fest 2014 camp. The camp is open to people ages 12-50 who have mild to moderate developmental disabilities.

This year, Camp Sunshine offered new opportunities for campers.

Although the camp is normally technology-free, 16 campers and their counselors, along with four nurses, used iPads. Maureen Sullivan, the marketing and development manager for the camp, said the iPads have enhanced the experience for some campers who are non-verbal by allowing staff to communicate with them in ways that might not have otherwise been possible.

Camp Sunshine received grants for the iPad program from the Community Foundation of Holland/Zeeland. The camp also received a grant from the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation to offer two additional sessions at Camp Henry in Newaygo.

Although Camp Sunshine has a physical location, Sullivan said it’s a state of mind and not a place.

“It’s the feeling you get when you’re all together at camp,” she said.

A smile lit up Kylee VanTol’s face as she thought about why she returned to camp for a second year.

“I love it,” the Spring Lake resident said.

VanTol said she’s made friends as she’s enjoyed swimming, singing and dancing at the camp. And she’s looking forward to the upcoming talent show because she plans to sing “Jesus Loves Me.”

Read the complete story in Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



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