Austin Sunshine Camps Ignite Possibilities with New Lodge
“There’s something real secret about this place,” says one young camper. So far this summer she’s learned “to always have fun and treat people the way you want to be treated.” At Austin Sunshine Camps, founded by the Young Men’s Business League (YMBL), “fun” is the foundation on which courage, self-respect, cooperation, and leadership are built.
That’s not the only thing YMBL members have built. This summer, thanks to the generosity and work of YMBL members, campers at Zilker Park are enjoying a brand-new lodge for crafts, nature talks, three healthy meals and resting after outdoor activities like swimming, fishing and a ropes course.
Austin Community Foundation also played a key role in building the new facility. Two years ago when Austin Sunshine Camp sought to expand their programming by replacing their old 1930s lodge building, they submitted a grant request. The Foundation helped provide access to funding streams by sharing the grant request with donors who had charitable funds at the Foundation. Several wanted to invest in the project. Now the Zilker location welcomes 80 campers a week.
Austin Sunshine Camps provides free week-long summer camp experiences to children from families with low incomes. Campers take home increased confidence and leadership abilities, better problem-solving skills, and friendships that last a lifetime. They also learn to resolve conflicts, value diversity, and to share in the success of the group.
Over its long history, Austin Sunshine Camps has hosted over 48,000 campers. Thanks to YMBL’s countless volunteer hours, leadership and generous support, Austin Sunshine Camps ignite infinite possibilities for our community’s youth.