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Flashes of Hope | Camp Sunshine at Camp Twin Lakes

Yesterday morning I got up before the sun.  Those of you who know me know that I am not ever up before sunrise without a good reason.

I had a great reason.

I drove down to Camp Twin Lakes in Rutledge to take pictures of the teenagers who were part of Camp Sunshine, a camp for children living with cancer.

I was there as a volunteer on behalf of  Flashes of Hope, a nonprofit organization that strives to use photography as a tool to change the way children with serious illnesses see themselves.

Unsure of what to expect, I was excited and a little nervous as I walked up to the entrance of the camp.  I was immediately greeted by smiling camp counselors who let me know that everyone who comes to Camp Sunshine gets a hug and a bracelet.  After happily receiving both, it was time to head out with the other photographers and start the day.

The kids I met were just fantastic.  What struck me most was how incredibly normal they were.  They were running in circles around each other, teasing and laughing as they made their way through camp.  The girls were all HUGE Justin Bieber fans and some of them even sang one of his songs for me.

The counselors were energetic and upbeat and you could tell that they were thrilled to be there.

I spoke with some of the older kids who had just graduated from high school and every single one of them was going away to college. We talked about leaving home, and I asked them if they were looking forward to it.  They were all very excited to move on to a place where they would be able to have more independence and not always be under the watchful eye of their parents.

We talked about life and family and plans for the future and being sick didn’t really come up.

That’s the point of Camp Sunshine.

The only thing that makes them different from any other kids is that they have cancer.  When they’re surrounded by kids who have cancer, everything is equalized and everyone gets to be normal.  For a whole week these kids don’t have to answer questions about what it’s like to be sick or when the next round of treatment is.

They get to splash each other in the pool.  They get to zipline across the lake.  They get to learn to play drums.  They get to write for the camp newspaper.  The girls get to giggle about boys and the boys get to try and play it cool.

They get to live.

To Jane at Flashes of Hope, thank you so very much for letting me be a part of such a wonderful organization and allowing me to meet such a fantastic group of people.

XOXO,

B

Each year campers and counselors get a new bracelet, and some of them have quite the collection!

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  • Lula - Thank you to The Studio B Photography for these spactacular images! I especially loved the slide show with additional images and the music! How wonderful of you to volunteer to be ‘one of the rays of sunshine’ at Camp Sunshine for these children! LM

  • Amber Hughes - Really great… I love how much personality you’ve captured in these images 🙂

  • Phill - Such a vibrant, spirited and optimistic set of portraits and it was great to delve into the life of the camp through your images.

  • Amanda Carol - Very cool Becca! I bet that was an amazing experience!

  • LR - Hi Becca

    I”m a parent of one of the children at Camp Twin Lake this week with Camp Sunshine. Thank you for taking the time to visit camp and take pictures of the kids. They are truly an inspiring group of young adults. The pictures are beautiful and the slide show with the music brought tears to my eyes as I saw the faces of these young heros.

  • Tammy - Thank you for capturing the images of my heroes!

  • Jennifer Crusselle - Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to photograph these amazing kids. My son is at camp this week. He is 15 and it is his first year. I was so excited to hear that Flashes of Hope would be there. I look foward to seeing all the photos. Thanks for marking the memories.

  • Kay Barfield - as a parent of one of these amazing kids, thank you for taking your time to go and take their picture! My son is 15 and has been a part of Camp Sunshine since he was 7 after being diagnosed at 5. He is my hero, and all the camp sunshine volunteers are my heroes too for making him smile!

  • Kyle - oh wow, these images are so vibrant and beautiful and full of life.

  • Shella - These are beautiful in so many ways!

  • Jen deVos - Such beautiful portraits. So happy and relaxed 🙂

  • Amanda Hoffman - What a beautiful bunch! I just want to hug them all. 🙂

  • Hannah Loudermilk - I’m Hannah, I’m a camper at Camp Sunshine, and I wanted to tell you guys THANK YOU SO MUCH!! It was really fun and made everyone feel good. (:

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