Camp Sunshine brightens girls' futures; makes a difference - Montgomery Alabama news.

Camp Sunshine brightens girls' futures; makes a difference


It's fun and games at Camp Sunshine this week! We found little girls playing a cup game, and in another room at The Montgomery Academy vital lessons were handed down on the importance of personal hygiene and exercise.

For the 25th consecutive year Laurie Jean Weil has tried to instill the notion to these girls their current situation should never dictate what they can become.

"We want to give them hope and understand through hard work they can become very successful," Weil explains.

The girls range in age from 6 to teenage and they come from financially disadvantaged families, children who have never been to a real camp before, such as 11-year-old Jayla Lee. Lee is among 56 campers attending this summer.

"I like it. It's better than I thought it would be," Lee admits.

Kathy Sawyer has seen the positive results of a camper come through Camp Sunshine years later.

"I remember seeing a lady recently who is now close to 30. She has a college degree and is about to receive her Masters," said Sawyer, co-director of Camp Sunshine.

It's only day two of the camp and Jayla Lee says she's having a lot of fun. Lee has met new friends and wants to come back again next year.

"My favorite parts are the activities," Lee said.

There are clear signs that Camp Sunshine is spreading a little light on a whole new world of possibilities.

The camp has 69 volunteers like Phylicia Hill. She's attending for the 11th year. She's a law student in Washington, D.C.

"I love the children and it helps me stay connected to the community," Hill said of her volunteer work.

Back to the woman who started it in 1970, Weil refuses to take any credit.

"Camp Sunshine belongs to everybody. I'm just glad be part of it,' Weil would say.

The camp is a week long with the highlight coming Thursday night at Lake Martin when the girls perform a skit and sing their camp song, 'Hold Fast To Dreams.'

Those involved in keeping Camp Sunshine going are truly making a difference.

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