Get to Know Austin Sunshine Camps

Through our work with the Young Men's Business League we have developed a lifelong passion for their main philanthropic endeavor, the Austin Sunshine Camp. 

In 1928, The Young Men’s Business League (YMBL) of Austin recognized the serious community threat of youth tuberculosis and established the Austin YMBL Summer Sunshine Camps in Zilker Park, as it was said that exposure to sunshine could promote healing from the disease. The park provided a space in which local economically disadvantaged children could gain weight, grow strong and spend time outdoors. Today, Austin YMBL Sunshine Camps (ASC) is still serving youth living near or below the poverty line. The programs enrich the community by encouraging and facilitating the power to succeed through education and healthy living.  Austin YMBL Sunshine Camps renders the space and comfort kids need to look beyond their current situation and dream big.

Our main area of focus has been the Zilker camp - where Patrick serves as the Chair of the Zilker Rental Committee and Melody is on the Development Advisory Committee and is Chair of the 2nd Annul Fall Festival happening October 29th at the Sunshine Camps. Since it first opened in 1928, the Austin YMBL Sunshine Camps has opened a world of possibilities to the youth of Central Texas by providing free week long summer camps to low-income families. The Zilker Park camp is located inside Zilker Park near Barton Springs Pool; it serves campers 7 – 11 years of age. The camp program, under the supervision of experienced counselors, offers activities such as swimming in Barton Springs or Deep Eddy pool, fishing, canoeing, handicrafts, nature study, hikes, games, and a ropes course with a variety of elements including a team wall, and trust fall. Transportation to camp and three meals a day is included.

Campers take home increased confidence and leadership abilities, better problem-solving skills, and friendships that last a lifetime. They learn to resolve conflicts, value diversity, and to share in the success of the group. Fun becomes the foundation on which courage, self-respect, cooperation, and leadership are built.