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.
Additionally, during a family’s first summer with us, each camper must meet one of the three qualifications:
- Qualify for the school free or reduced lunch program (see chart here); OR
- Be a sibling of a returning camper; 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. For summer 2024, there will be one shorter session of seven days and 6 nights offered for campers ages 8 & 9.
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?
Activities vary between each camp location, but some activities include: swimming, canoeing, sports, challenge course, arts and crafts, exploring the outdoors, and much more.
Each camper selects one Track (such as Culinary Arts, Concoctions, Workshop, Outdoor Adventure, and others) to specialize in each afternoon over the course of their camp session.
Additionally, each camper is assigned to 1 of 4 camp teams, which compete in activities throughout the session.
Each evening will have a unique all-camp activity or event for campers to participate in, such as Carnival Night, Camp Olympics, Canoe Night, Field Day, Camp-A-Tition, and others.
ARE THE CABINS AIR CONDITIONED?
WHERE DO CAMPERS SHOWER?
Zilker Lodge and Lake Travis each have centralized bathrooms with shower areas that have individual shower stalls.
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 prior to their first time attending camp. Our staff will contact you within three 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 email@example.com or call us at 512-505-0908.
CAN MY CAMPER TAKE ELECTRONICS TO CAMP?
Electronics are not allowed at camp, including cell phones and smart watches. Camp is about connecting with others around you and being engaged in activities with your peers. ASC has a communication system set up for families to send letters to their campers and for campers to respond.
WHAT DOES MY CHILD NEED TO BRING TO CAMP?
Please refer to the packing list that is in the Family Guide.
WHAT IF MY CHILD TAKES MEDICATION?
ASC has Camp Health Officers at each location that have a minimum qualification meeting DSHS and American Camp Association standards. 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.
Campers with emergency medications (such as epi-pens and rescue inhalers) MUST bring them to camp.
WHAT DOES SWIM TIME LOOK LIKE?
Most days of camp, we swim for approximately an hour. We require staff members 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 typically swim in water that is deeper than 3.5 feet so that all campers can stand at all times. At both camp locations, regardless of swimming ability, we require all of our campers to wear lifejackets at all times when in the water. Though 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?
Assistant Camp Director
Camper Support Coordinator
CIT and Collegiate Volunteer Coordinator
Parent Communications Coordinator
Summer Camp Counselor
Camp Health Officer
WHAT QUALIFICATIONS ARE REQUIRED TO WORK AT AUSTIN SUNSHINE CAMPS?
- Must be 18 years of age or older
- Must have graduated from high school
- 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):
- 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 in Central Texas that is free of charge for families on free/reduced lunch or campers in foster care. We envision a world where all children have a place to grow, connect, and explore. Austin Sunshine Camps does their part by providing the magic of overnight camp without the barrier of cost.
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.
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 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.
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 counselor, directors, or other ASC staff. ASC follows the American Camp Association requirements for camper-to-staff ratios. Two adult staff members 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 based on their age and gender. They are supervised by a counselor at all times. Campers who have bunkmate requests can do so via their camper application.