Frequently Asked Questions

How much does camp cost?

Through the generous support of our stakeholders, Austin Sunshine Camps provides FREE, fun-filled overnight summer camp programs for youth ages 8-15 who live in central Texas, and who meet the qualifications listed below.

What are the summer camp enrollment qualifications?

Youth must be 8-15 years old during the time of summer camp and have someone within two hours of the camp location that could pick your child up. Furthermore, each camper must meet one of the three qualifications:

Qualify for the school free or reduced lunch program,, qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or be a child in foster care.

Is ASC a Day or Overnight Camp?

ASC is a fun-filled overnight summer camp program for youth who meet the qualifications listed above. Each summer camp session brings campers together for ten days and nine nights. Campers ages 8-11 stay at our 21,000 square foot Zilker Lodge in Zilker Park and campers ages 12-15 stay in our rustic cabins on the shore of Lake Travis.

What do Campers do During Camp?

Some activities include: swimming, canoeing, sports, ropes courses, arts and crafts, exploring the outdoors, archery (Lake Travis only), LEGO robot building (Zilker only) and much more.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR MY APPLICATION TO BE PROCESSED?

Complete applications will be read on a first come, first serve basis, and campers are selected based on meeting income qualifications and being “camp ready” based on our camper readiness assessment. Our staff will contact you within four weeks of the date you submit your complete application regarding your child’s admittance into summer camp. If you have any questions, please email us at programs@sunshinecamps.org or call us at 512-472-8107.

CAN MY CAMPER TAKE ELECTRONICS TO CAMP?

Electronics are not allowed at camp, including cell phones. Camp is about connecting with others around you and being engaged in activities with your peers. If you need to contact your child while he/she is at camp, you will be given a phone number to reach the Camp Director.

WHAT DOES MY CHILD NEED TO BRING TO CAMP?

If your child is accepted into camp this summer, we will send you a full list of items to send with your child. Here is a sneak peek at the list: clothes for 10 days, undergarments, sleepwear, shower sandals, tennis shoes, bathing suit, hat or ball cap, blanket or sleeping bag, pillow, tooth brush, toothpaste, hair brush, deodorant, traveling soap, traveling shampoo, bug spray, sunscreen, towel, and sheets/sleeping bag.

WHAT IF MY CHILD TAKES MEDICATION?

ASC has Camp Health Officers at each location that have a minimum qualification of an EMT. All parents/guardians must accurately report medication on camper applications, and check-in all medication on the first day of camp. Over the counter medications, such as ibuprofen, Advil, and vitamins must be in the original bottles and preferably a zip-lock bag. Prescription medications must be in the original prescription bottle with pharmacy label included.

WHAT IF MY CHILD CANNOT SWIM?

Each day of camp, we swim for approximately two hours. We require all of our camp counselors to be lifeguard certified and create a designated swimming area that all campers must stay inside of at both camps to ensure high levels of monitoring at all times. At our Zilker location, we do not swim in water that is deeper than 3.5 feet so that all campers can stand at all times. At our Lake Travis location, we require all of our campers to wear lifejackets at all times when in the water. Through we encourage all of our campers to swim, we also provide an area at both camps for campers who do not want to swim to relax while being supervised.

WHAT DOES ACA ACCREDITATION MEAN?

ACA Accreditation means that we underwent a thorough peer review of its operation — from staff qualifications and training to emergency management. ASC and ACA have a partnership that promotes growth and fun in an environment committed to safety.

HOW DO I APPLY FOR SEASONAL SUMMER STAFF JOBS?

All of our current seasonal jobs are posted here.

WHAT SEASONAL EMPLOYEE OPPORTUNITIES DOES ASC HAVE?

Camp Director
Summer Camp Counselor
Food Service Manager
Kitchen Assistant
Camp Photographer
Camp Health Officer

WHAT QUALIFICATIONS ARE REQUIRED TO WORK AT AUSTIN SUNSHINE CAMPS?

Each position plays a vital role in the success of our summer camp programs. We are looking for energetic and committed people who are excited to make a difference in the lives of our campers. Below are some MINIMUM qualifications of our summer stuff:

Must be 18 years of age or older
Must pass a national criminal background check
Must provide three professional references
Must be able to attend our mandatory training before camp

WHAT TRAINING DOES EACH SUMMER STAFF RECEIVE PRIOR TO CAMP?

Safety is our number one concern; therefore, our staff is required to go through a variety of training sessions to ensure the welfare of every camper. Training varies depending on each position, but positions working directly with campers will be trained on the following items (this is not an extensive list):

  • Red Cross deep water lifeguard, waterfront and CPR certification (provided by ASC at no cost)
  • Mandatory reporter
  • Youth Protection
  • Sexual harassment
  • Code of conduct
  • Behavior management
  • Health and safety
  • Activities and games
  • State of Texas and Austin Sunshine Camps Youth Camp Policies and Procedures

WHY AUSTIN SUNSHINE CAMPS?

Austin Sunshine Camps is unique in that we are one of the only overnight camp experiences for low-income youth in Central Texas that is free of charge. We believe in engaging and empowering youth through education and outdoor experiences. Our Zilker Lodge facility is in the heart of the beautiful Zilker Park and boosts 21,000 square feet of meeting space, a commercial kitchen, bunkrooms, a covered pavilion and more. Our Lake Travis facility is located on the shores of beautiful Lake Travis and provides a rustic experience for our campers as they navigate their way through the treeline of our high-ropes course.

Furthermore, by attending Austin Sunshine Camps, campers take home increased confidence, leadership abilities, newfound problem-solving skills and friendships that last a lifetime. They learn to resolve conflicts, value diversity and to share in the success of their group. Fun becomes the foundation on which courage, self-respect, cooperation and leadership are built.

Austin Sunshine Camps dedicates a significant amount of time and energy to our summer staff. We believe in giving each staff member the training and experience that will serve them well in their future careers.

HOW DOES AUSTIN SUNSHINE CAMPS ENSURE THE SAFETY OF CAMPERS AND STAFF DURING CAMP?

The safety of our campers and staff are of the utmost importance. All full-time, part-time and seasonal staff receives extensive training on safety and risk management, including Red Cross lifeguard and CPR certifications.

Austin Sunshine Camps is licensed each year by the State of Texas to run a Youth Camp. As such, we adhere to strict regulations set forth by the State such as a 1-to-10 staff-to-camper ratio at all times. We maintain up-to-date inspections and certifications on all facilities and equipment.

I AM SENDING MY CHILD TO CAMP FOR THE FIRST TIME. WILL I BE ABLE TO CALL MY CHILD TO CHECK IN ON THEM?

Parents will be receiving the direct phone numbers of the Camp Directors of their Zilker or Lake Travis Camp. Parents can call the directors at any time and the they will put the parents in contact with their child.

WHAT IS THE DAILY CAMP SCHEDULE?

Below is a sample camp schedule. Please note that daily activities may vary by camp and time tables may change dependent on weather, or on the camp directors discretion.

7:30am – 8:00am – Wake Up Call
8:00am – 9:00am – Breakfast
9:00am – 9:30am – Benches
9:30am – 10:30am – Group Activity
10:30am – 10:45am – Transition
10:45am – 11:45am – Group Activity
11:45am – 12:00pm – Transition
12:00pm – 1:00pm – Group Activity
1:00pm – 1:45pm – Lunch
1:45pm – 3:15pm – Free Time/Swimming
3:15pm – 4:00pm – Cabin Time/Snack
4:00pm – 5:00pm – Choice Activity
5:00pm – 5:15pm – Transition
5:15pm – 6:15pm – Dinner
6:15pm – 6:45pm – Break/Night Event Prep
6:45pm – 8:30pm – Night Event
8:30pm – 9:00pm – Shower
9:00pm – 9:30pm – Cabin Time
9:30pm – 10:30pm – Lights Out

HOW ARE CAMPERS SUPERVISED DURING THE DAY AND AT NIGHT?

Campers while at camp will always be supervised either by their camp couselor, directors, or other ASC staff. Camp counselors oversee a group of 10 campers during the day and a smaller group of about five campers in the evening. Two counselors are also assigned to sleep in the same bunk as campers to ensure safety of all campers at all times.

HOW ARE CAMPERS ASSIGNED TO CABIN GROUPS?

Campers are assigned to a bunk with nine other kids based on their age and gender. They are supervised by a counselor of the same gender at all times. Campers who have bunkmate requests can do so via their camper application.