The Sun Lakes Rock, Gem and Silver Club helps Camp Sunshine

Joe Schwab

The below was taken from an article submitted last year. This year it will be repeated and members should get their donations in at the next general meeting or get them to Nancy Hibbard who will be repeating her visit. She indicated she had run out of stones on her trip last year. Let’s help her out early this year.

“The Cottonwood Rock, Gem and Silver shop buzzed with activity on Monday, May 5. Stones were being cut, shaped and polished for a project spearheaded by Dianna Ahart, a member of Sun Lakes Rock Gem and Silver club on behalf of another member, Nancy Hibbard, who volunteers at Camp Sunshine, a retreat center for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families, located in Casco, Maine.

Nancy worked at the camp at one time and now volunteers, teaching parents of the children to create rock art, wire wrap and jewelry while their children are engaged in camp activities. Dianna has selflessly put the effort together here at Sun Lakes to provide polished stones for use by the parents Nancy works with. With a different group of parents attending each week throughout the summer, the need for stones is obvious. Even though the program is just one of a few available to the parents, it is a popular diversion at Camp Sunshine.”

From the Camp Sunshine brochure:

The Family Sponsorship Program is supported by individuals, civic groups, foundations and corporate donors. A contribution of just $1500 covers the cost of an entire family to attend Camp Sunshine.”

“Camp Sunshine volunteers collectively invest over 50,000 hours each year to our program. This results in a cost savings to Camp Sunshine of several hundred thousands of dollars annually.”

“The demand for volunteers increases annually as our program sessions continue to expand.” 75-80 volunteers, including Navy Seals, attend each week to help families escape from the strains they face every day. A group of four Navy Seals swam 13 miles across Sebago Lake raising $100,000 for Camp Sunshine! Their Commander commented, “FAILURE WAS NOT AN OPTION!” Got to love those Navy Seals!

I can’t think of anything more worthy of volunteer efforts put together by Dianna than helping children and their families cope with life-threatening illnesses. What a great way to escape the heat of summer in the valley and do something that helps those less fortunate!

As activity at Sun Lakes Rock Gem and Silver club settles down a bit during the summer months, it would be a great opportunity to buff up more of those stones for a use many of us never knew existed. To see more about Camp Sunshine, go to

It was noted that last year our effort was started late in the season and this year we will repeat it at all of the club Lapidary shops. Thanks to all who participated in this effort.