Camp I AM is our co-ed residential summer camp program designed specifically for children ages 6 – 12 with a diagnosis of Autism or other neurological condition. Camp I AM’s emphasis is ‘personal growth’. The program is designed for children who would benefit from structure, small group dynamics and individual attention all in a private setting where the campers enjoy typical outdoor camp activities. All campers participate in a daily rotation of non-competitive camp activities with their cabin groups. We encourage camper participation and inspire them to reach their full potential by realizing their best is ‘the best’. Our curriculum focuses on improving physical health, problem solving, team-building, starting and finishing tasks as well as many other objectives including having fun!
Quality services are provided at Camp I AM including accommodations and meals, onsite medical support, and recreational facilities. A tasty, healthy and hearty breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served each day and snacks and beverages are provided throughout the entire program. We also provide for the campers with special dietary needs.
Camp I AM welcomes children ages 6 – 12 with a diagnosis of Autism or other neurological condition. Camp I AM does not offer a clinical setting and therefore, cannot accept children who have a history of aggressive, abusive or violent behaviors.
A unique feature of Camp I AM is the Camper Passport. The majority of our parents are most interested in helping their child improve their social skills, learn new activities, develop a better sense of self, and to take greater responsibility for themselves. The Camper Passport is a tool that Counselors use while at camp, to keep written record in a non-intrusive way, of each camper’s personal experience while staying with us at camp. It’s nice to know that your quiet, softly spoken child was front and center on the stage during the camp talent show singing their heart out. The Camper Passport is gifted to each camper’s parents after camp allowing the parents to benefit from and enjoy their child’s personal journey through Camp I AM. Although the campers learn many new “camp” skills from participating in activities, it’s the skills that are less visible that are the most recognized when returning home. The campers feel very empowered to share new things with their family.
Our one-to-one adult counselor to camper ratio, plus activity instructors and safety staff, allows us to work closely with each camper to provide individualized attention to their special needs. Our counselors are adults who are experienced in working with children with Autism or are pursuing a degree in special education or a related field. Each camper cabin group is assigned 1-2 non-disabled Peer Buddies. Camp I AM is run by a group of highly skilled, experienced and caring professionals who work in collaboration with our community affiliates to provide the highest quality of service to each camper. Campers attend two – three activities in the morning and two – three activities in the afternoon. Evening activities serve as opportunities for the entire camp to come together for structured entertainment such as campfires, dances, movies, and music. Picture schedules are used throughout the day to support communication between campers and staff if needed.
Sunshine Nevada’s camp program staff consists of dozens of individuals who are experienced with our programs and facility, many of which have been working with Sunshine Nevada for over ten years.
Our Volunteer counselors and Activity staff undergo intensive training to ensure they are fully equipped to meet our campers’ needs and provide them with the most enriching experiences possible.
Medical Staff stay at camp during the entire duration of the program to ensure each camper has consistency in a supportive environment.
A Bit About Torino Ranch
Nestled in the Spring Valley Mountains west of Las Vegas, Torino ranch offers a supportive environment for campers of all ages to meet other peers with critical illnesses, disabilities, or life-altering situations. The ranch is a pristine oasis with spring-fed streams, crystal clear lakes and waterfalls, and hundreds of organic fruit trees and organic gardens. The ranch is a sparkling jewel of natural beauty complete with camper villages, lodge, amphitheater, and many other amenities. The ranch is a playground and a sanctuary – a place of peace. Campers have the opportunity to make friends, enjoy nature, gain self-confidence, create wonderful camp memories and develop skills for increased independence. They can leave their worries behind while laughing, playing and enjoying life.
Due to the generous support of The Brett Torino Foundation and many individuals, corporations, and foundations, we are able to provide life-changing programs, at a very low cost (only $100 application fee per camper) to Nevada’s most seriously in-need children, and their families.
The cost of operating the Sunshine Nevada’s camp programs is higher than others for two reasons:
1. Our enrollment capacity is lower than most, yet we require a high staff/camper ratio
2. Our campers have unique needs that require a bit more investment to ensure their experience is rewarding
Actual costs to host one camper are $560 per camper per day. That makes participation out-of-reach for the families of most campers. However, we aim to keep our camp programs accessible to as many participants as possible. We are fortunate to have a donor that significantly reduces participation costs by covering half of that expense.
The Brett Torino Foundation helps make camp programs affordable by underwriting all of the facility expenses for each of our camps. The only expenses we are required to fund are direct expenses such as food, staff, and other program-related costs. But even with this substantial gift, we are still responsible for approximately $250 per camper per day. This financial gap must be covered through fundraising.
Sunshine Nevada is a registered public charity, providing individuals, organizations, and corporations the option to make a tax-deductible donation to the foundation to help us continue providing our programs free of charge to all participants.
We hope that you will give Sunshine Nevada your kind consideration. Your generosity, no matter the amount, is greatly appreciated.