Camp Sidekicks 2016 – Day 5

The week might be winding down here at Camp Sidekicks 2016, but the excitement is ramping up!

Today was the second to last day of classes, with campers enjoying some basketball, ultimate frisbee, and even a hike to the top of the mountain. At the end of classes, an afternoon activity involving Westerns and Fantasies before everyone prepped for dinner.

thumb_DSC02451_1024With the campers and staff in their best story-based costumes, our Leaders-in-Training hosted a night of fine Italian dining, followed by our world-famous dance. DJ Falling Rock and Mix Master Keegs spun tracks well into the night, giving our Sidekicks the ultimate opportunity to Celebrate Life.

Tomorrow is the last full day of camp for our Sidekicks, and another full day of activities awaits!

Camp Sidekicks 2016 – Day 4

Although today might be Tuesday, here at Camp Sidekicks we call it Lake Day! After another wonderful breakfast from our kitchen staff, our campers loaded up the buses and headed off to Willow Springs Lake. The campers took advantage of a warm, sunny day by hiking, swimming, fishing, and filling the lake with canoes. Not even the early afternoon wind could deter the fun!

Upon arrival back at Camp, outreach teams from Nike and Beads of Courage were waiting to provide the campers with an afternoon of fun activities. Nike played a myriad of outdoor games with the kids, while Beads of Courage helped the kids make symbolic jewelry.

In case that was not enough, we wound down the evening with a movie and popcorn, before the campers mosied back to their bunks after our most active day yet!

Tomorrow is one of our camper’s favorite days, as DJ Falling Rock and Mix Master Keegs light up the night at the annual Camp Dance!


Camp Sidekicks 2016 – Day 3

Camp Sidekicks woke up to another beautiful, sunny day today! After breakfast, the campers continued their adventures in their classes, experiencing everything from ultimate frisbee, to soap making, to a unique game call KUBB.

thumb_DSC02163_1024A last minute scheduling change brought a story-themed Field Day to our slate of afternoon activities. The activities were based on stories such as the Bridge to Terabithia, Holes, Avatar, and many more!

The senior campers ventured out on their Senior Overnight on the Mogollian Rim where they watched the sun set over the valley before setting up a traditional camp site. STEM Education has seeped into Camp life as our juniors enjoyed a night full of science and physics experiments.

We are calling it an early night here at Camp Sidekicks in order to be well rested for Lake Day tomorrow!

Camp Sidekicks 2016 – Day 2

Day 2 of Arizona Camp Sidekicks is in the books!

After breakfast, the campers ventured off to their first day of classes. In addition to traditional favorites like fishing, hiking, and archery, this year’s Sidekicks enjoyed classes like rock climbing, Mao, and the Art of Relaxation.

Water Day Sidekicks 2016The afternoon brought a wet and wild Water Day, thanks to a mountain of water balloons and a fire engine from the Christopher-Kohls Fire Department imitating an impromptu rain shower.

After drying off and enjoying some cabin camaraderie, the campers descended on the fire pit for a night of singing, dancing, an good old fashioned camp fun.

Until tomorrow, good night from AZ Camp Sidekicks! Remember to check out Facebook for updates throughout the week!

Camp Sidekicks 2016 – Day 1

Our AZ Camp Sidekicks campers travelled up to Payson, AZ this morning, and wow, what a day! Day One has been filled with lots of excitement and adventure. The campers were escorted to camp by the C4 Motorcycle Ministry and greeted with a full-day planned with cabin activities, camp tours, group activities, and of course getting their iconic lanyard photos taken.

13633347_10205041116946360_1892896019_oThis week’s theme is “Adventure is out there,” a wild and wooly ride through storytelling and adventure. We kicked off the theme with a rousing edition of Storytime with Uncle Bob (featuring a cameo from Lizard), and wound down the night with each cabin group imagining and creating their very own cabin characters and mascots.

The campers might be falling asleep in their bunks, but we are already looking forward to another full day tomorrow and lots of sunshine!

What Does AZ Camp Sidekicks Mean to Siblings?

The volunteers at Arizona Camp Sunrise & Sidekicks have always been proud of the programming that we offer to siblings of children affected by cancer. Barb Nicholas, Executive Director of AZ Camp Sunrise & Sidekicks shares the following story, showing why we are so passionate about sibling programming.

I received a call from a parent (Mary) of a sibling camper (Sidekick) (Nick) before summer camp began. She was concerned about sending her son to camp. He was having such a hard time with the fact that his younger bother (John) had been diagnosed with cancer.

Mary wanted to be sure that Nick would be ok coming to camp. “What if he doesn’t make friends”, “What if he has a hard time being away from us”? All very normal questions from a parent sending her child to camp for the first time. She went on to tell me that Nick was so angry that his brother was sick , he was so quiet and sad and she wanted to be sure that we would be extra sensitive to his needs. I assured her that Nick would be well taken care of, at the end of the conversation she decided Nick would come to camp.

At camp Nick thrived, he made friends, took Archery class, rode in a canoe. Did all the things that kids do at camp, and he did another thing as well…he talked to other kids who were just like him. He listened to other kids talk about cancer, how they were afraid too. He came to understand that even though you are afraid and scared you can get through it.

I got another call from Mary a few days after camp ended. They had come up to camp and picked Nick up. She said “Barb I don’t know what you did to/for Nick at camp, but on the way home from camp it was the first time since his brother was diagnosed with cancer that he actually talked about it! He asked us questions and he told us stories about the other kids he had met that had siblings with the same kind of cancer as his brother had. He had hope Barb. For the first time he had hope.”

She was so thankful, so amazed at what had happened. This is what camps does for kids, gives them opportunities to be kids, to have that attention they need and to give them hope. Nick continues to come to camp and now his little brother goes to camp as well. He is in his 3rd year of remission. Now they both have something to look forward to each summer. They get to go to camp, they get to be kids and they get to have hope.

Date Change for Spring Retreat 2016

The dates for Spring Retreat have changed. Spring Retreat 2016 will now occur April 1-3, 2016. Update you calendars accordingly!

We look forward to seeing all of our 8-12 year old campers this Spring!

Spring Retreat – April 17-19, 2015

Spring Retreat is just around the corner! On April 17, our 8 – 12 year old Sunrise and Sidekicks campers are invited to join us for a weekend in Payson, full of fun in the sun, music, building friendships, and of course: Celebrating Life.

This year’s retreat will revolve around the world of music. We’ll dance! We’ll sing! We’ll beat on drums and make our own musical instruments!

Register now by visiting your Parent Dashboard at

To start the registration process for a NEW CAMPER, create an account for your Parent Dashboard.

For returning campers, visit your Parent Dashboard at:

2015 Camp Registration is Live!

AZ Camp Sunrise & Sidekicks is coming off a record year, with both camps serving more families affected by childhood cancer than ever before. Your campers are the reason our all-volunteer staff continues to strive to offer the best experience possible, year after year. And our staff is ready to move forward and tackle another year of activities!

We are excited to announce that registration for our 2015 camping season is now available! This includes our Summer Camps as well as our retreats, family camps, and day camps. For a full list of activities and dates, please visit our Calendar.

Our amazing campers come from all over the Southwest United States and have one thing in common: their lives have been directly impacted by cancer. Arizona Camp Sunrise exists because of the strength and hope inherent in each and every one of our campers. Arizona Camp Sunrise programs are for children who have or have had cancer, ages 3-18. Arizona Camp Sidekicks programs are for the brothers and sisters (ages 3-18) of those who have or have had cancer.

For RETURNING CAMPERS, you will use the same account created last year. Sign into your Parent Dashboard, and fill out a new Enrollment Form for each of your campers.

For NEW CAMPERS, registration for Arizona Camp Sunrise and Sidekicks is a two step process.

  1. Create an account for a Parent Dashboard, add your campers, and answer some basic questions.
  2. Once your camper is approved, return to your dashboard and fill out your camper’s forms.

If you have any questions about this process, or about your camper’s attendance at AZ Camp Sunrise and Sidekicks, please contact our Camper Coordinator, Pam Metzger, at [email protected].

To start the registration process for a NEW CAMPER, create an account for your Parent Dashboard.

For returning campers, visit your Parent Dashboard at:



We are also accepting applications for volunteers for the 2015 Camp Season. If you are a new volunteer, please visit our Volunteer Page to get started. Returning volunteers can log into their Staff Dashboard to apply for the upcoming season.