frequently asked questions

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 Travis, Williamson, Hays, Caldwell or Bastrop county, and who meet the qualifications listed below.

Youth must be 8-15 years old during the time of summer camp and live in Travis, Williamson, Hays, Caldwell or Bastrop county.  Furthermore, each camper must meet one of the three qualifications:

Qualify for the school free or reduced lunch program, or qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or be a foster child (Note: we currently accept children at the basic level only).

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 five days and four 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.

At ASC, we focus on our SHINE values while at camp: We put SAFETY first, we are HONEST, we INCLUDE EVERYONE, we NEVER GIVE UP, and we are EMPOWERED.  All activities are focused on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts or Math), The Great Outdoors and/or Health and Wellness. 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.

Austin Sunshine Camps, c/o The Programs Team, P.O. Box 161270, Austin, TX 78716

Complete applications will be read on a first come, first serve basis.  Applications will not be considered complete until all forms are submitted under the “Forms” tab of your application.  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 programs@sunshinecamps.org or call us at 512-472-8107. Camp applications can be found here.

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.

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 five days, undergarments, sleepwear, shower sandals, tennis shoes, bathing suit, hat or ball cap, blanket or sleeping bag, pillow, tooth brush, tooth paste, hair brush, deodorant, traveling soap and traveling shampoo.

ASC will provide sunscreen, bug spray, towels and sheets for each bed.

ASC does not have a trained nurse onsite, however the Directors are trained to administer medications. All parents/guardians must 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.

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.

All of our current seasonal jobs are posted here.

  • Camp Director
  • Summer Camp Counselor
  • Food Service Manager

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 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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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