June 30, 2020
Northside Neighbor - Everett Catts
Gardner is one of 14 former and/or current campers whose stories have been compiled into a book, “It’s Like Heaven: Stories from Camp Sunshine,” edited by Dorothy Jordan, who founded the camp in 1982.
Each chapter includes both a camper’s first-person account of childhood cancer and reflections by the camper's nurse or another camp staff member or volunteer or even the camper’s doctor.
The book also includes a foreword by Georgia Bulldogs head football coach Kirby Smart and his brother, Karl Smart, a former camper and counselor at Camp Sunshine, and an endorsement from former President Jimmy Carter.
“It’s Like Heaven” was published June 1 by University of Georgia Press and costs $27.95. All proceeds from the book’s sales will benefit Camp Sunshine.
Atlanta, GA - June 28, 2020
WSBTV People 2 People
WSB covered this news story featuring the efforts of Camp Sunshine and how a virtual camp made a difference to the children with cancer in Georgia. Sunshine 2.0 was Camp Sunshine's answer to providing a virtual camp this summer. Campers connected safely online - one week for teens and one week for our junior campers. Hear one camper's story of her first experience with Camp Sunshine.
Camp Sunshine is not just a place, it’s a community! This summer sure looked different as we gathered in virtual Zoom rooms instead of cabins for Sunshine 2.0. But some very important things stayed the same…
Children with cancer still received the infusion of joy, hope, and love of Summer Camp
270 campers registered to experience the fun and traditions of camp from their homes
100 dedicated volunteer counselors led live and interactive online programs over two weeks
ATHENS — June 18, 2020
by Chip Towers - Atlanta-Journal Constitution
About this time every year, Georgia football players head to Rutledge by the busloads to hang out with special-needs kids, critically ill patients and cancer survivors for what they call “Camp Sunshine.”
The coronavirus pandemic prevented the Bulldogs from going there this year, but not from doing their self-proclaimed duty to raise spirits of the camp attendees.
Instead, coach Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs conducted a “Virtual Dance-off” with the children via a massive video conference call Friday. Hosted by Smart and his brother, Karl, a leukemia survivor who attended Camp Sunshine during his treatments, two DJs played music while children logging in from all over competed against football players to determine who had the best dance moves.“I know our players are pumped about it because every day in the locker room they turn the music up so loud that the floor in my office literally shakes,” Smart told the would-be campers. “These guys throw down and dance all the time.”
With that, Smart introduced the players participating on the call, including All-SEC cornerback Eric Stokes, defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt and punter/place-kicker Jake Camarda. Each claimed to have the best dance moves. None of them unequivocally proved it.
In the end, no winner was determined. You can see an edited replay of the Zoom call on the UGA Athletics website.
Camp Sunshine actually is the special name given to one day each year when the Georgia Bulldogs visit Camp Twin Lakes and spend the entire day touring the expansive grounds and interacting with the kids. The highlight always is a dodge-ball game between mixed teams of campers, football players and Smart.“Camp Sunshine has meant so much to our family,” Smart said. “I’m so sad that this year the kids don’t get to actually go to camp. But you know what? Camp Sunshine can make the best of whatever they get, and this virtual party tonight is going to be better than anything we’ve had.”
April 23, 2020 - Athens, GA - ugasports.com
One of Georgia football’s most beloved summer traditions is visiting with kids at Camp Sunshine, a program that serves Georgia children who have been diagnosed with cancer.
Camp Sunshine notified families last week that it could not offer camp in the traditional sense due to the coronavirus pandemic and medical recommendations from the CDC.
“For 37 years we have had that summer camp, so we're in new, uncharted territory,” said Sally Hale, executive director of Camp Sunshine since 1987. She was a volunteer nurse at the first year of the camp in 1983.
February 17, 2020 - SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - It may have been a dreary weather day for most on Monday.
But for patients at the Dwaine and Cynthia Willett Children’s Hospital at Memorial Health of Savannah, the weather was perfect for a snow day.
Camp Sunshine sponsors the 5th Annual Snow Day in Savannah got underway at 10 AM, offering patients plenty of laughter, smiles and good old fashion fun.
The snow itself was made by Reddy Ice, or perhaps they had a little help from a certain Disney princess. Either way for many of these children the scene was pure magic.
Savannah, GA November 24, 2019
Icing, gingerbread, and sprinkles flowed freely at the Alida Hotel on Sunday during the fifth annual Camp Sunshine Gingerbread House Decorating.
The event was put on through a partnership with the Alida and Camp Sunshine, a statewide program that offers support, recreation and education to families of children diagnosed with cancer.
November 18, 2019
Camp Sunshine was represented at The Atlanta Festival of Trees 2019 at Embassy Suites by Hilton at Centennial Olympic Park. We were interviewed on FOX 5 Atlanta Good Day with Paul Milliken to share the inspiration behind the design of our tree. As with all Camp Sunshine's programs, our amazing volunteers orchestrated this beautiful tree highlighting Camp Sunshine's year-round programs.
June 18, 2019, 11Alive News with Jeff Hullinger
It is tradition during both weeks of summer camp at Camp Sunshine that the UGA football players visit the children with cancer. Busloads of players arrive ready to enjoy all the fun camp activities with the campers ending with a robust game of dodgeball. This year had special meaning because Coach Kirby Smart and his brother Karl were reunited at camp. Karl is a childhood cancer survivor, a former Camp Sunshine camper and volunteer. Thank you to 11 Alive for sharing this story of the UGA players giving back at Camp Sunshine. We're never sure who enjoys it the most-the campers or the players.
June 18, 2019, Fox 5 News Atlanta with Cody Chaffins
"It was a big day for the Georgia Bulldogs as they made one of their annual trips to Camp Sunshine. A place that is extra special for Coach Kirby Smart." His brother Karl, a childhood cancer survivor, attended and volunteered at Camp Sunshine. It's been a UGA tradition for many years and they are welcomed with Camp Sunshine's tradition of a friendship bracelet and a hug. Thanks Cody Chaffins at FOX 5 for spreading sunshine with your story.
June 18, 2019 report from DawgNation
Karl Smart, the older brother of Kirby Smart Head Coach of the University of Georgia Bulldog football team, discussed the postive role attending Camp Sunshine played in his battle.
June 20, 2019 ABC World News Tonight with David Muir
We first met Montana Brown when she started as a pediatric nurse at the same hospital where she was treated for her own cancer as a child; now, she’s got an update for David Muir -- introducing a fiance who is also a fellow cancer survivor.
February 25, 2019 - SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - This is a sense of normalcy during a time of childhood cancer, diagnosis and treatment," said Dr. Evangeline Brown, Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist at Memorial Health. "It’s a time to have fun which is what we’re so thankful for Camp Sunshine to be able to provide, not only in the Summer Camp - Family Camp setting, but also support in our clinics.” The snow day also included hot chocolate, arts and crafts, princesses and more!
June 19, 2018 - 11Alive - It is a dream that started in difficult times. A 3rd grader named Hayes Burrow who hoped to beat cancer and grow up to help other kids one day. That day is getting closer as Hayes is now Dr. Burrow. Camp Sunshine shapes the lives of children with cancer. They survive and thrive and often strive to give back in the medical field. Hayes was a camper from 1999 to 2008 and then became a counselor in training. Thank you 11Alive for airing this about Camp Sunshine during our weeks at camp.
June 20, 2018 - It was a big day for the Georgia Bulldogs as they made one of their annual trips to Camp Sunshine. A place that is special for coach Kirby Smart because his brother Karl was a camper and a counselor. Located in Rutledge, Georgia, about 30 miles southwest of Athens, Camp Sunshine has been around since 1982, serving as a getaway retreat for kids going through and recovering from various forms of cancer.
February 21, 2017 - Camp Sunshine sponsored a fun, surprise snow day of the children with cancer at
September 30, 2017 - After Montana Brown beat cancer twice, she vowed to return to the same hospital that treated her to help others in similar fights, a promise she’s now made good on as a pediatric oncology nurse at CHOA in Atlanta.
August 8, 2017 - Cancer and laughter aren't two words that normally go together, but Crazy Good Turns came out to camp to interview campers, counselors, Sally, our Executive Director and Tenise, a Program Director and found out differently. Listen to the history of camp and what a week at summer camp means to the children with cancer. The sounds of camp are delightful sound in the background.
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month proclaimed at State Capitol
September 21, 2016 - Atlanta, GA - More than 24 childhood cancer organizations and supporting groups gathered at the Georgia State Capitol to witness the proclaiming of September to be Childhood Cancer Awareness month.
September 12, 2016 - Atlanta, GA - Nanci “Bubbles” Dubin was honored for her years of community service to volunteering at Camp Sunshine.
Camp Sunshine family inspires at UGA game
September 12, 2016 - Athens, GA One of our own Camp Sunshine families were honored and received standing ovation of support during half time at the UGA vs game in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness month.
August 10, 2016 - Rutledge, GA Our very own Nanci “Bubbles” Dubin was interviewed by Jaye Watson of 11 Alive while at Camp Sunshine as part of being honored as 11Who Care Community Service Awards.
TEGNA Grant from 11Alive awarded to Camp Sunshine
June 27, 2016 - Atlanta, GA Camp Sunshine awarded TEGNA Grant.
When Georgia cornerback Sheldon Dawson stepped out of the van at Camp Sunshine in Rutledge on Wednesday, he could feel something different in the air. Read more
Having the Bulldogs at summer camp has become a tradition that campers look forward to every year. 11Alive was at camp to cover a pretty serious game of dodgeball during teen week. Read all about it here!