Some of Our Proud Camp History:

In 1932 Lions Walter T. Bridges and Duane K. Lewis sprouted the idea of Helena having a Lions Club. They started lining up members and were convinced a Lions Club would soon be a reality for Helena. Lions Bridges and Lewis knew that to be successful they needed a definite and challenging project for the Club. To this end they decided to sponsor a camp for deserving children of the Helena community.

Helena Lions Club was chartered on May 3rd, 1933. The idea and location of this camp was accepted as a challenge by the infant Club on May 30th, 1933. The location chosen was that of the disbanding YMCA Camp Miracle. The YMCA had previously decided to relocate their camp to what is now Camp Child located about two miles away. What became the Sunshine Camp Rec Hall was the only building while this location served as the YMCA Camp Miracle. This original building was known as Miricle Hall during the YMCA era.

Lions obtained rough lumber from Holter Hardware Company’s old Monarch Mining camp which is located about seven miles up Little Blackfoot and Telegraph Creek . With lumber in hand and a camp to be built, the young Lions Club eagerly went to work on their mission. This lumber was quickly used to: put a floor in the Camp Miracle building (now the Rec Hall); erect the Mess Hall; erect the Administrative Cabin, and; erect the first three guest cabins.

Just weeks later, Helena Lions Club proudly conducted their first camp season hosting 20 deserving boys. The follow summer of 1934 saw 24 deserving boys and 24 deserving girls proudly hosted by Helena Lions Club for 15-days each. For years Helena Lions Club fully hosted camp sessions providing transportation, meals, accommodations and lasting memories to thousands of youth. Youth were invited to Helena Lions Club's Sunshine Camp at no expense to themselves or their families. The camp was fully staffed to meet the needs of serving youth.The name 'Helena Lions Sunshine Camp' was given in recognition of the organization who makes this possible, and in recognition of how the Camp brightens the faces of all who visit.

Early Sunshine Camp revenue of about $2250 per year was raised by holding a summer dance in the Recreation Hall and through the sale of $1/day camp sponsorship certificates which were proudly purchased and displayed by Helena area businesses.

From the first 20 campers in 1933 to 48 campers in 1934, the number of deserving youth served annuallyt by Helena Lions Club Sunshine Camp has grown to hundreds. Approximately 1200 youth utilized Lions Sunshine Camp over the camp's 77th season during the summer of 2010.

In 1944 local Lions expanded the mission of the Helena Lions Club Sunshine Camp by additionally sponsoring the Lions Sunshine Camp for the Blind. This was a logical tie for Lions since Helen Keller herself had challenged The International Association of Lions Clubs to be “Knights for the Blind” . This event was held for 15 days each year until the event became too large for this facility. The event continues to be held elsewhere today.

While we no longer host camps for children today, our mission still requires us to provide such opportunities to youth of our community. Helena Lions Club Sunshine Camp provides deserving youth “camperships” to the YMCA Camp Child as one way of carrying out this original mission. Our Sunshine Camp Committee also institutes special pricing for youth related groups and organizations who are the focus of this camp.Today, Helena Lions Sunshine Camp remains a popular destination for memorable activities. This site provides additional information about the camp and details to request your future reservation.


Lions Sunshine Camp Notes


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