Living Our Core Values

IMG_0762-2Gals from Pine Valley Church in Bayfield at Sonlight this weekend, so great to have them with us. We’ve hosted their retreat for years, and it’s like returning family when they come each March. Many of the gals have kids who come to camp in the summer, and it’s such an affirmation to connect to the mom’s for a weekend retreat, then to the kids in the summer.

Fresh snow, snow shoes, a great speaker and lots of coffee add up to such a delightful weekend.

PS: Winston keeps a weekend ‘coffee pot count':IMG_0897

Get Kids Outside!

findYourPark2_520 (1)The President of the United States recently announced “Every Kid In A Park” initiative, aimed at providing opportunities for America’s youth to enjoy the nation’s beautiful, history-rich outdoor spaces. In September, every fourth grader in the country will receive a pass allowing them and their family members to explore all of America’s federal lands and waters for a year, free of charge.

It’s what we do at camp! Get kids outside! So great that the President places value on getting kids into the amazing out of doors that we have in our backyards.

And It Snows!

photo1 (5)  photo2 (1)  photo3 (1)So glad for snow! 23″ fresh snow out of this storm, and more maybe coming in this week. So great for the moisture, the beauty and the opportunity to build strong arms shoveling! Winston spent a day plowing, so roads and parking lots are clear. How we love winter!


Season Of Lent

lent  Lent is the season before Easter, lasting 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. In the 4th Century, Lent was started as a period of fasting and repentance in preparation for Easter. During this time, people often give up a particular food or habit, and set aside time to focus on the sacrifice Jesus made for us. His death and resurrection.  As Western Christians we skip through Lent, celebrate Palm Sunday, and then slide into Easter. Somehow we fail to ponder the darkness of this season, and the death of Jesus.

lent2“Lent is upon us, inviting us to dwell in the valley of the shadow of death, yet without fear, for the good shepherd is with us. If we remain open and receptive in the darkness of Lent, if we remember that growth most often occurs in darkness and in secret, if we let God teach us in that darkness, and if we surrender the darkness when it is time to embrace new life, we can more deeply experience Easter joy. We can rejoice, as always, that Christ has defeated death’s finality. And we can also rejoice that we have been brought from the valley of death’s shadow into the marvelous light of our resurrected Lord.”

(Kimberlee Ireton. Relevant Magazine)

Payment Plans

Sonlight is amazing.

Today is the 6-month plan deadline

Payment plans help manage the financial aspect of camp. Complete the form to enroll, and Sara, our Sonlight registrar, will charge your credit or debit card monthly for the length of plan you request. There is no fee or expense to enroll. To use the calculator system to figure out the best plan for you, and learn more:  Sonlight Payment Plans.  Today is the final day to enroll for the 6-month plan. 2 and 4 month plans will still be available.

Sonlight Camp: New York

While it sounds like some prime-time show spin-off, in actuality, much of Sonlight’s registration work and parent communications actually take place through a home office in New York State.  In 2010, Sara’s heart for the mission of Sonlight collided with Sonlight’s need for a new registrar. Thanks to modern technology and Mary and Winston’s innovative thinking, she is able to work remotely for Sonlight while staying home with her two young children. Don’t be deceived by that 970 area code-it travels! From two time zones away, campers are registered, questions are answered, Health Form and Physicals are processed and e-mailings are sent out.

So on a rural road in Central New York, where a dirt road meets old asphalt, there is a house in the woods.  The “campers” there are a little younger, the meadow covered in a little more snow and while the marshmallows are  abundant, the bon fires are usually little smaller.  Sara’s favorite day of the year is the spring day when it’s warm enough to work from her back porch while the kids play outside.



Imagine : Inspire : Impact- ACA National Conference

slide-2015conflogoThe 2015 National American Camp Association Conference. Winston, Chelsea and Mary are glad to be in New Orleans with the opportunity to spend 4 days with 1500 camp people. Some are colleagues we have known for 30+ years, others are brand new to camping.

The day was great, with a keynote address by Jessica Lahey. (Educator, Speaker, Author.) She spoke about Intrinsic Motivation- how to build that character trait in kids. Her book “The Gift Of Failure: How The Best Parents Learn To Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed” will be released August, 2015. We learned much, and are encouraged about things we are intentional about doing every day at Sonlight – it’s affirming to hear how we are impacting kids in a positive way.

IMG_0802  IMG_0804  IMG_0805

We’re enjoying New Orleans- great food and the sights!

2015 Is For Climbing A Peak

0K9A1658_8Sonlight 2015 Backpack Trip

for 8th graders thru Graduating Seniors. Don’t miss the opportunity to get out and get above the clouds!

July 6-11, 2015

Cost:  $195 (includes everything)

A co-ed trip

Climb Mountains!








Behind the Programs: The Numbers


2014 Annual Report

Friendships, laughter, discovering who God created us to be. Sonlight is intentional about programming. An independent not-for-profit organization, Sonlight operates with a balanced budget. The tuitions of summer campers, fall retreats and winter ski trips come together to provide funds for all operating costs. Contributions are designated for the Scholarship fund, Program Excellence, or the Endowment.

An easy read- take a look at the 2014 Annual Report to get a good snapshot of the financials, camper and guest numbers behind the programs.