2017 Parent Guide

Camp Sonshine Parent Guide

Most of your questions about day camp at Camp Sonshine will be answered here. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call the office at 402.423.8746 or email us at info@campsonshinememories.org!


First of all, allow us to thank you for choosing Camp Sonshine this summer. We are so excited to be a part of your family’s life and look forward to providing your child and the rest of your family with an exciting and positive camp experience.

In order to provide you with the best service possible, and to answer any questions that you may have about camp, we have put together this guide. The following pages are filled with valuable information that will enable you and your child to make the most of your experience at Camp Sonshine this summer.

Our commitment to your satisfaction extends to all of our planning and preparations for the summer, so we are working long and hard to make this the best season ever. We are dedicated to providing a safe, fun-filled, and rewarding summer camp experience for your child, so he or she will come away with positive, unforgettable “memories that last a lifetime.”

Please know that we are available to discuss your child’s progress and development at camp at any time. We welcome your comments, suggestions, and any questions you may have.

Again, we thank you for joining the Camp Sonshine family and for allowing us to serve you and your family this summer.


Jeff & Trisha Keiser, Camp Sonshine Directors


Contact Us

Address: 13440 South 25th St. Roca, NE 68430
Email: info@CampSonshineMemories.org
Web: www.CampSonshineMemories.org
Phone:(402) 423-8746

Camp Office Hours

Please feel free to call Camp Sonshine during our office hours.
Camp Season (June 1 – August 6)
Mon – Fri 7:00am – 6:00pm

Non-Camp Season (August 7 – May 31)
Monday – Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm

Please note that during the summer, the directors are often out with the campers during the day. If they are unable to return your call during the day, they will do so in the evening. If no one is available to take your call, please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.


Following are the dates for our 2017 Camp Sonshine Day Camp Sessions:
Session 1 June 5 – 10
Session 2 June 12 – 17
Session 3 June 19 – 24
Session 4 June 26 – July 1
Session 5 July 5 – 7 (Family Programs)
Session 6 July 10 – 15
Session 7 July 17 – 22
Session 8 July 24 – 29
Session 9 July 31 – Aug 5

The Camp Day 9:00am – 4:30pm
AM Extended Camp 7:30am – 9:00am
PM Extended Camp 4:30pm – 6:00pm
(Extended Camp services are optional)

There is an Overnighter held on the Friday night of each session and runs through 10:00 AM on Saturday morning.


We always want to make sure that your experience with Camp Sonshine is as effortless as possible, but there is so much information to know before you drive on to camp grounds. We’re launching “Camp Sonshine Go!”, an app that will be a hub for information and resources for camp families! Find our app in the Apple Store or Google Play Store!


Here’s what you’ll find in the app:

  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Parent Guides
  • Session Specific News
  • Easy access to Contact Information
  • Calendar of Camp Events
  • Early Pick Up and Swim Level Forms
  • Session Videos & Assembly Songs!

Don’t forget to “subscribe” to the sessions your family will be a part of for the quickest news and updates!



Please drop off your child between 9:00 – 9:20 AM. During this time, our staff will be fully available to guide and assist you.

First Day of a Session Drop-Off:

On the first day of each session, we require all cars to park and for each camper to be walked to his or her appropriate arrival area. This offers parents/guardians an opportunity to meet the Group Counselor and Head Counselor. A table will also be available for you to deposit money into your child’s Snack Shack account. Even if you have been to camp multiple sessions, we still ask that you assist in a smooth arrival by parking and escorting your camper to his or her group.

Regular Day Drop-Off Options:

Regular Drop-Off Starts at 9:00 – start lining up as early as 8:45!
Parking Lot- You may always park in one of the lots and bring your child to the appropriate arrival area.
Quick-Drop Lane – You may utilize the Quick-Drop Lane at the appropriate arrival area to drop off your child, and one of our staff members will take your child to his or her group.


Please plan to pick up your child between 4:20 – 4:40 PM. During this time our staff will be available to guide and assist you with a smooth and quick departure. Please have your “Authorized Pick-up Person Card” out and visible for our staff to see when you arrive.

Authorized Pick-Up Person Cards

The Saturday before your session, you will receive two “Authorized Pick-up Person” cards in the mail that MUST be shown to pick up your child/children.

GET A DIGITAL COPY! If you download the Camp Sonshine Go! App, you may also scan the QR code on your cards to obtain a digital copy!

If you did not receive cards by the Saturday before your session or if you need additional cards, please call the office and we will send them to you.

Regular Day Pick-Up Options:

Parking – You are always welcome to park your car and walk to the appropriate area to pick up your child from his/her group.
Quick Pick-up – Our staff members will be there to assist you and to get your child for you. When using the quick pick-up lane, please stay in your vehicle and pull all the way forward. Your child’s name will be called out and a staff member will walk them to your car.

Last Day of a Session Pick-up:

If your child will not be staying for the Overnighter on Friday evening, regardless of camper age, you will pick up at the White Tent! There will be a check-out table for you to stop at to pick-up your child and all of his or her belongings.


Please park on the first day of a session…even if you were at camp for a previous session.

If using the Quick-Drop Off Lane, please do not exit your vehicle for any reason. If you wish to hug your camper good-bye, apply sunscreen/bug spray, or check backpacks for lunches or water bottles, then we ask that you pull forward to a parking lot so the drop-off lane can continue to move quickly and efficiently. When using the Quick-Drop Off Lane, pull your car as far forward as possible and wait for a staff member to signal to you that it is safe to unload.

If you have campers at multiple arrival areas, you may park in one lot and walk with each of them to their groups, or you may drop each camper off using the drop-off lane that corresponds with each arrival area.


Special Drop Off Situations

Early Drop-Offs: If you arrive before 8:45 AM, your child will be checked in at Extended Camp (see more info below) and you will be charged, unless you have already signed up for Extended Camp in advance. The cost is $5 per morning for a one-time use of Extended Camp, and the fee must be paid at the time the camper is dropped off.

If using Extended Camp, please arrive before 8:45. Line for regular drop-off starts at this time.

Late Drop-Offs: If you arrive late, please park your vehicle and bring your child to the Camp Office in the New Barn. For safety purposes, the Directors need to know which campers are on grounds at all times, as well as any visitors that are on the grounds. After updating our attendance records, we will take your child to his or her group.

Special Pick Up Situations

Late Pick-Ups: If you arrive after 4:40 PM, your child will have been checked in at Extended Camp and you will be charged for its use, unless you have already signed up for Extended Camp in advance. The cost is $5 per afternoon for a one-time use of Extended Camp, and the fee must be paid at the time the camper is picked up.

Early Pick-ups: If you need to pick up your child early, you must  notify the office at least 30 minutes in advance, so we can have your child ready to go. There’s also a form on the Camp Sonshine Go! App to notify us of an Early Pick-Up! To prepare all of our campers for a positive and safe departure, no early pick-ups will be granted between 3:45 – 4:15 PM.

Please let us know if someone other than the regular caregiver must pick up your child, and make sure that person has an “Authorized Pick-Up Person” card. ALL EARLY PICK-UPS MUST BE SCHEDULED TO TAKE PLACE PRIOR TO 3:45 PM.



Extended hours are offered as a convenience option for parents. Campers dropped off before 9:00 AM or not picked up by 4:40 PM will be in Extended Camp. The cost is the same whether you use all or part of the maximum time each morning or afternoon. Enrollment in Extended Camp covers each morning or each afternoon for the entire session. The cost is $40 per week or $20 for AM or PM only. The one-time use rate is $5 for AM or PM care. Be prepared to show your “Authorized Pick-Up Person” card upon request.


Navigating the Curves

As many of you know, Camp Sonshine is situated between two 90 degree turns. Use extreme caution as you drive through these turns. Stay in your lane, drive slowly and keep your eyes looking ahead for oncoming traffic. Always look both ways prior to turning into camp’s driveway. See map on previous page.

Depending on your starting location, please note that if using a GPS or other online mapping tool,

the results will often direct you to use Bennet Road to get to camp, which is an unmaintained dirt road that can be virtually impassable when wet and should be avoided. Use South 25th Street to get to camp!

If you have any questions, comments or concerns regarding the traffic as you travel to and from Camp Sonshine, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Thanks for your help! By each person doing their part we can ensure the safest, most enjoyable arrivals and departures possible.


Due to the popularity and growing size of Camp Sonshine and its programs, it is important for us to work together to create the safest and most efficient arrival and departure times as possible. Below are a few areas that we would like to highlight for all of our camp families to not only be aware of, but for you to personally take responsibility for as you travel to and from Camp Sonshine.


One easy way to reduce the amount of traffic coming and going each day at camp is to participate in one of our many great car pools. Many camp families participate in a carpool and have enjoyed the opportunity to meet new families from their neighborhood as well as saving a pretty penny at the pump from not having to drive out every day. If you are interested in being added to our carpool list, to be distributed in May, please contact the camp office to let us know.

Driving On Gravel

Regardless of which direction you come from, in order to get to camp, you will have to drive down our gravel road. We are grateful for all the work our county puts into maintaining our road and want to do our part to ensure the road is not only safe, but not being abused.

important tips for driving on gravel:

Speed – Although the allowable speed is much greater, we would ask that all camp families greatly limit their speed during peak camp traffic times.

Wash-boards – A natural phenomenon of gravel roads is the wash board effect that occurs. Caution should be used when driving over these to avoid loss of control.

Soft Shoulders – Gravel roads are notorious for having soft shoulders. Take care not to get too close to the edge and risk being pulled into the ditch. Additional caution should be used when approaching oncoming cars.

Rain – During times of heavy and frequent rain, gravel roads may become softer than normal and pot-holes can develop. Watch your speed to avoid sliding, mud-slinging or hitting a pot-hole.

Dust – Dust is just a natural part of driving on a gravel road, however steps can be taken to reduce the risk of dust becoming a danger to yourself and others. Slower speeds kick-up less dust and less dust creates less risk. If a large amount of dust is “hanging” in the air and reducing visibility, use extra caution and lower your speed even further.



Campers will have the opportunity to try many different types of activities over the course of the week. Some of the activities that campers will rotate through include: Archery, Off-road Go-karts, Crafts, Nature, Sports, Swimming, Bible Discovery Time, Counselor Planned Activity Time, and more!

Swimming & Water Activities

Camp Sonshine campers and their counselors have always loved the fun and games associated with swimming and water activities. This is always a great time to cool off, play games, and to spend some time with friends. This summer we will continue to provide high energy water activities for campers and counselors to stay cool, and are excited to be using our new swimming pool facility!

Pool Location: Our new pool area is located just behind the Brown Barn. The pool is surrounded by a gated fence and contains an automatic safety cover to prevent unauthorized access outside of scheduled swim times. The pool is primarily 3½‘ – 4’ in depth with a roped off landing zone for the water slide that reaches 5’.

Personnel: Camp Sonshine hires a certified lifeguard to monitor all swimming activities and to maintain a safe pool experience for our campers. Group counselors are always present and actively participating in pool activities.

Swimming Ability: On our camper application form you were asked to select a swim level that best represents the swimming ability of your child. If you have not done so, please go online to your registration and select a swim level for your camper(s). We use this information to guide us as we conduct swimming evaluations with the kids. Any rating system can be objective so it is important to us that our counselors are familiar and comfortable with your child’s swimming ability. We will never move a camper to a higher level without parental approval, but a camper may be moved to a lower level if it is determined to be best for the safety of the child.

Level 1 – No Swim
Level 2 – Must Use Life Jacket
Level 3 – May Swim Unrestricted

Need to change a swim level? Go to the Camp Sonshine Go! App and fill out the Swim Level Form!

Life Jackets: Campers needing to swim with a life jacket will need to bring one from home. Life jackets need to be checked in with a Head Counselor on Monday morning. It will be tagged with the camper & counselor name and stored in the pool shed until the group’s swim time. Life jackets can be picked up at the end of the week.

Bathing Suits: As always, it is important to pack a modest bathing suit and towel for your child on the days he or she has water activities scheduled.


Kids are different, and have different interests…we get that. That is why we’ve created our Elective Program. Each session, High Adventure Campers will have the opportunity to spend extra time doing the type of activities that they are most interested in. Electives are included in the cost of tuition for High Adventure and will take place for 90 minutes on Tuesday & Friday afternoons each session.

Signing up for Electives – Every High Adventure Camper will have the opportunity to choose their electives on the first day of the session. Campers may select a different elective option for each day.

2017 Elective Options (subject to change):

X-Treme Art & Pottery: Take your art to the extreme as you create a variety of art projects using all sorts of techniques and “canvases.” Campers will get to paint and glaze a ceramic piece to take home with them at the end of the session.

Airsoft Adventures: A closely supervised environment for campers to safely learn Airsoft as they practice their speed and accuracy. Teamwork and communication are key as each squad of campers attempt to successfully complete a variety of challenges and scenarios.

***All personal equipment must be brought to camp in a black trash bag with the camper’s name printed on a piece of masking tape. Trash bags must be sealed and checked in with the camp staff immediately upon arrival at camp. Any Airsoft equipment carried by campers throughout the day will be confiscated and returned to a parent at the end of the week.

Sports Spectacular: Every camper is an all-star in this action packed, game-oriented elective. Groups will participate in a variety of games and sports from a wide range of themes and styles including classic American sports, dodge ball games and international sports.

Culinary Creations: Try your hand at creating a culinary masterpiece. Add some special ingredients and enjoy the flavor of what could be the beginning of your new secret family recipe.

Wet n’ Wild: A closely supervised extra swim time in our new pool! Campers will be able to swim in our pool, and do other activities like Oasis and fun water games.


Nana’s Snack Shack

Throughout the week, groups will be able to stop by “Nana’s Snack Shack” to purchase a small treat or a refreshing ice cream. There will be free flavor ice available during group visits for those campers who did not bring any money. Special camp items are also available as well, including additional camp clothing and other Camp Sonshine memorabilia.

Campers may deposit their money into their snack shack account to avoid carrying their money all day. Nana will have a table set-up at each arrival area on the first day of a session to collect deposits for the snack shack. Additional deposits can be made throughout the week by going to the snack shack directly. Account credits may be used for the snack shack upon request.


Some of the best memories of camp come from the overnighters. Instead of being picked up on Friday afternoon, campers have the option to stay overnight. Campers will participate in various special activities and themed events. We will be cooking dinner over the fire and roasting plenty of marshmallows throughout the evening.

The cost of the Overnighter is $25 ($60 family maximum), which covers dinner, activities, and breakfast in the morning. Please alert the office of any food allergies your child may have. Campers who are unsure about staying all night can still sign-up to enjoy dinner and all the activities, but can get picked up at 10:00 PM. Please notify the office by noon on Friday if you’d like to utilize the 10:00 pick-up option.

Pancake Breakfast: Parents, Grandparents & other family members are invited to join us at 9:00 AM for breakfast with their camper and the rest of the Camp Sonshine staff. We will also have some closing activities and the showing of the End of Session Video. This video is a special time for each of our campers and a great way for you to see some of the things your camper has done during the week.

WHAT TO BRING for the Overnighter:

  • Sleeping Bag & Pillow
  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste
  • Change of Clothes for overnight & for the morning
  • Flashlight


  • Matches, Knives or Weapons
  • Cell Phones, iPods or any handheld video game devices
  • Anything else that is valuable or could be considered dangerous.




Please send your camper with a complete sack lunch including a beverage. You will want to send the same type of lunch your child takes to school, where lunches are not refrigerated.

Clothing & Swimsuits

Camp Sonshine is an outdoor-experience-based camp. Children are encouraged to wear washable, lightweight, and inexpensive play clothing that will not be harmed by water games or nature exploration. Please send a modest swimsuit with your camper each day in their backpack. Groups may do water games or other activities during which campers may want to wear swimwear.

Name It!

All articles (clothing, towels, goggles, lunch boxes, sneakers, etc.) should be labeled with your child’s first and last name in permanent marker. This ensures that personal items will be returned to the proper camper. We strongly suggest the use of these or other types of identification on your child’s possessions.

No Open-Toed Shoes

For the safety of your child, we ask that no open-toed shoes or soft sole shoes such as sandals, flip-flops, or crocs be worn at any time while on the campgrounds. Your child will be walking on big rocks, mulch, through the woods, and should have his or her feet protected at all times. Please note: If your child comes to camp in open-toed shoes, you will be called and asked to bring shoes for your child.

Sun & Heat Protection

We want to make sure your child is protected from the heat and sun, yet still allowed to have fun outside. We encourage campers to bring a water bottle each day (with their name on it), apply waterproof sunscreen and wear a hat when possible for protection from the sun. It is important to remember that campers cannot get all the water they need during the daytime alone. Please make sure your child drinks water at home in the evenings as well.

Bug Tips

There will be bugs at camp. Our groups generally stay on paths, but from time to time may go exploring. We recommend that campers wear bug repellant everywhere – even on socks. If your camper has any allergies, please notify our office. We also encourage parents to do daily tick checks at home with their campers.

Camp Sonshine is pleased to be offering an all-natural, chemical free insect repellent for families to purchase. Contact the office for further details.

Visiting Your Camper

For safety and security reasons, campers are NOT permitted to bring guests to camp at any time or for any reason.

Parents sometimes ask if they may visit their camper’s group for a while. While it may sound like a great way to see how your camper interacts with others, we have found that when a parent joins a group, two things frequently happen: the group dynamics change and the other campers ask for their parents. In addition, each adult in direct contact with campers must have a background check performed. For this reason, visitors are not allowed to join groups.

If you would like to see your camper during the day, you will be asked to do the following:

  • Stop in the office to sign-in and get a visitor’s badge.
  • One of our staff members will take you to the location of your camper’s group where you may observe the group from a distance and say a quick hello if you wish.

What should I send?

Please send the following things with your child every day:

  • A sack-lunch. Some parents also include a healthy snack.
  • A modest swimsuit & beach towel.
  • Water-shoes (optional)
  • Water bottle each day.
  • A dry change of clothes.
  • Send your camper in sturdy, closed-toe shoes.
    Campers will not be able to participate in activities in any type of sandal or flip-flop.
  • Sunscreen and a hat
  • Parents are reminded to bring the “Authorized Pick-Up Person” card daily.
  • For information on sending medications, see the Health Procedures & Medications section.


  • Do Not Send – Large amounts of money other than snack shack money.
  • Do Not Send – Valuables such as electronics, jewelry, watches, cell phones, iPods, etc.
  • Do Not Send – Chewing gum.
  • Do Not Send – Water guns
  • Do Not Send – Animals or bring them among the campers at drop-off and pick-up.
  • Do Not Send – Knives or anything else that may be perceived as a danger to others.
  • No Notes Please – All communication with the camp should be called in to the office.
  • Do Not Send – Trading cards (such as Baseball, Yu-Gi-Oh or Pokemon)
  • Campers should never carry daily medications with them (Emergency Medication Only).
    Parents must bring ALL medications, accompanied by a Drug Authorization Form, to the office.
  • Please, NO open-toed shoes, sandals or flip-flops.

Key leadership staff at Camp Sonshine have been trained in CPR and First Aid and will take care of any basic first aid needs of the campers. It is important to remember that the staff members are not doctors and cannot diagnose injuries/illnesses or prescribe/recommend medication. Please notify the office of any medication your child is presently taking or any condition that you have not specified on the registration form. If your child is sick or recovering, please keep him or her at home as a protection to the other children. Any child having a communicable disease must have a release note sent to the office by a physician.

Medications at Camp

If your child will need to take any medications during the camp day, please visit the website to obtain a Drug Authorization Form. This form will need to be signed by your child’s physician and returned to the office, along with the medicine. For the safety of your child and the other children at camp, Please DO NOT Send any medication to camp with your child in his or her backpack. An adult needs to bring any medication into the office or give it to a director.

Emergency Contact Person(s)

Please be certain that you have designated someone in the immediate vicinity who will be free to pick up your child if you are not available. If you have specific instructions in regards to calling you during the day, please call and let us know (i.e. “call father first, he’s easier to reach”, etc.). Please be sure to update us regarding any changes in home, business, or cell phone numbers.

Illness or Injury at Camp

Parents will be contacted to take campers home for the following reasons:

  • Fever
  • Nausea/Diarrhea/Vomiting
  • Earache
  • Suspected strep throat
  • Suspected Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Suspected Chicken Pox, measles or other contagious rashes
  • Pediculosis (head lice)
  • Scabies
  • Skin rashes
  • Any injury requiring a doctor’s care
  • When the Camp Directors deem it to be in the best interest of the camper.

What if my child wakes up sick?

We realize that keeping an ill child at home may be difficult for working parents. However, for the protection of your child and others, we ask for your cooperation. The Camp First Aid Station is primarily a short-term treatment center, not one that is equipped to handle full-day nursing care. If your child wakes up and does not feel well, please allow him or her to spend the day resting comfortably at home in bed. We have found that children who come to camp not feeling well do not improve as the day goes on and eventually do need to be picked up. Younger children especially do not have the stamina required to get through a day at camp when they are not feeling well. If your child comes to camp sick, one of our Camp Directors will call you to pick him or her up.


All fees are due May 1, 2017. Full payment must accompany any registrations that are submitted on or after May 1, 2017. Payments can be made by check, cash, credit card (MasterCard or Visa only), or money order. There is a $25 fee charged for returned checks.

Requests for tuition refunds (excluding the deposit) must be received in writing at the camp office prior to May 31, 2017. No tuition refunds will be granted on or after June 1, 2017.

Fee Amounts & Explanations
Realizing that families have different abilities to pay, we’ve instituted a voluntary tiered pricing program. This pricing structure is voluntary, requires no paper work and in no way will affect the experience each child receives.



Camp Solaris is Camp Sonshine’s Overnight Facility located just south of Firth, NE (25 minutes south of Lincoln). We are so excited to give our campers and their families an overnight camp experience with the same great staff and quality programs that families have come to expect from Camp Sonshine. Here are just a few of the programs & new activities to be looking for over at Camp Solaris this summer:

Introducing the NEW Camp Solaris Sky Park & Other Solaris Improvements

We have finished construction of a brand-new, one-of-a-kind Aerial Park. This 30-foot high challenge course will come with over a dozen team and individual challenges for our campers to explore and conquer. A variety of elements await participants of all experiences and abilities.

Not only have we built a new Aerial Park, we have also dredged the north end of our Camp Solaris pond to create a more user friendly experience for a variety of water activities, as well as a new location for groups to gather in a natural outdoor setting by the water. These and other improvements have been made to allow for a quality experience!


SOLARIS ADVENTURES (3rd – 6th Grade)
3 Nights (Sessions – 3, 4)
This special one-week program opens up the fun and adventure of Camp Solaris to a younger group of campers. This program will begin on Monday evening and give campers a 4-day, 3-night experience filled with fun activities, encouraging team experiences, and constructive and
caring adult leadership.

JOURNEY (5th – 6th Grade)
5 Nights (Sessions – 1, 2, 6, 7)
This is the “overnight” version of our already popular High Adventure program at Camp Sonshine. Campers will experience days filled with classic camp activities and evening programs that are planned to build friendships and personal growth.

EXPEDITION (7th – 9th Grade)
5 Nights (Sessions – 1, 2, 6, 7)
This program is designed to create an enriching environment for teens during a pivotal time in their lives. Combining favorite camp activities, team challenges, community services projects, and off-site field trips, Expedition provides opportunities for teens to learn and grow with a positive and constructive community of peers and leaders.

4 Nights (Sessions – 8, 9)
Camp Sonshine and Brothers Baseball Club are teaming up again this summer to bring you an amazing week of baseball camp! College & Professional level coaching on the field will be combined with Camp Sonshine counselors and programming off the field to create the most amazing week of baseball camp ever!


Can my kiddos attend more than one week?

YES – Each week is completely unique and many families already attend camp more than one week

Where do you get your amazing staff and are they trained?

Camp Sonshine counselors come from all over the world.  Most are college students working towards a degree in a field working with children.  Each person goes through a thorough application process including reference & background checks as well as a team interview conducted by full-time camp staff.  Counselors also undergo an intense week of classroom and hands-on training.  They truly are the best, are well trained, and all have amazing hearts ready to serve kids.

Where did the director’s hair go?

Contrary to popular belief, it is not from working with too many kids over the years. ϑ It was originally cut after campers reached a service project fundraising goal and it’s been that way ever since.

Have more questions? Write them down here, and do not hesitate to contact us!


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