Teen runs youth summer camp for third year
August 31, 2010
By Tim Pfarr
Event profits go to cancer research
Many summer camps cost parents hundreds of dollars or exclude children younger than 5 or 6. Such is not the case for Sun Shine Day Camp, the brainchild of 13-year-old Maywood Middle School student Sada Adams, which benefits leukemia and lymphoma research.
For the third year, Adams organized and managed the weeklong camp for children, potty-trained to 8 years old. For $15 – $20, children were treated to five days of songs and games from morning until early afternoon.
“It’s something I truly believe in,” said Adams, who recently began eighth grade. “I would like it to grow into something bigger than a little day camp.”
Adams is already on her way to making her dream a reality. In just two years, the number of attendees rocketed from less than a dozen to more than 30 preregistered campers. She said the idea for the camp originally grew out of a pipedream with friend Claire Moore when they were 11.
“We were bored one day and like, ‘How do you start a summer camp?’” Adams said.
They moved forward with the project, and it soon became a reality. By the second year, Adams built a website, and the camp grew enough to turn a profit of almost $100. Instead of pocketing the profit, Adams and her counselors decided to donate the money, eventually choosing to give the money to the Make Leukemia and Lymphoma Disappear fundraiser, which is held at Maywood each year.
This year, Adams expanded the website to include online registration, and she had a team of six counselors ranging from ages 11-14 to help lead the group. Each day of the camp had a theme, such as music day and beach day, and counselors said they had as much fun as the campers.
“I really love singing the songs with the kids, because they get so excited,” said counselor Signe Stroming, 13. “It’s really fun to watch.”
Adams used songs from Girl Scout and Boy Scout camps, but wrote several herself.
“It’s pretty amazing,” said Kathy Zold, Adams’ mother. “A lot of kids just spend their days going to the mall.”
Zold stays nearby during the camp in case of an emergency, and she said many campers’ parents approach her and tell her how much their children enjoy the week of activities. However, Zold said she has to tell them she has nothing to do with it, and that her daughter is responsible for organizing and managing it all.
Heather Berry said her 6-year-old daughter, Aresa, and 3-year-old son, Eliot, loved the camp. She stood by Aug. 13 as they played a game, but Eliot had to come by for a quick hug.
“It’s just amazing,” Berry said, adding that it is one of the only camps 3-year-olds can attend, and that the cost is unbeatable.
“I think these guys are having an equal or better time,” she said, comparing the camp to its more expensive counterparts.
This year, the camp raised $300, and Adams said she hopes to continue hosting the camp and donating the proceeds in coming summers.
Tim Pfarr: 392-6434, ext. 239, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.