Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Austin Sunshine Camps

The summer, it seems, already is drawing to a close, and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention an organization I have worked with quite a bit this year. It is the Austin Sunshine Camps, which are funded and run by the Young Men's Business League. Every year, they put close to a thousand at-risk and disadvantaged kids through a week-long, overnight summer camp. Filled with lots of fun activities, this really is these kids' only opportunity to have this kind of experience.

Each week a new batch of kids would come to the camps, all excited, some a little scared to be away from home. I volunteered twice with each group, helping with Carnival Nights and Canoe Nights. For Carnival Nights, I somewhat commandeered the face painting booth (first, out of a fear of being put near the dunking booth, then just because I liked it so much.) We painted rainbows, hearts, butterflies, and many, many other designs and had a lot of fun doing it. Canoe nights were fun, too. And dirty. Especially when the water guns, paddle splashing, and seaweed fights took place. It was like a little bit of kid fun for all us adults!

I really admire all the efforts of the so many people who choose to make a difference in children's lives through this organization. It has been a great experience for me, and from seeing the older kids who have been through the program, a great experience and learning tool for thousands and thousands of kids. I hope they continue to be able to impact so many children. While volunteering is strong, they are greatly in need of a new building to house the campers and to host their year-round Leadership Program, and I hope they soon find a way to make that happen.

1 comment:

El Jefe Maximo said...

That would not be the booth for me. I can barely write my name legibly. . .let alone paint butterflies.

Spiffy pic, BTW ;-)