Not sure what to expect? Check out the information below to find out what Camp Rising Sun is like!

A Note from Dr. Joe

docjoe“Hi, I’m Dr. Joe, a pediatric oncologist at the Yale Cancer Center. I’ve been volunteering at Camp Rising Sun for over 20 years. If you’re concerned about sending your child to camp (and who wouldn’t be?) please keep reading.

Take comfort in knowing I am personally on site the entire week. Additionally, there is a full staff of chemo-certified nurses available to dispense oral meds, give injections and IV medications such as antibiotics, and even chemotherapy if your child needs it. And as our campers know well, I like to take naps in the afternoon, so that means everyone at camp takes an hour to rest!

While the medical staff and I are there to keep everyone safe and healthy, it’s the counselors who provide the fun! All of our counselors are volunteers who generously give up a week of their time to ensure that your child has a wonderful week. Approximately 1/3 of our counselors are former campers who come back to Camp Rising Sun to pass along their appreciation of camp. We have around 120 campers every summer, all of whom look forward to coming back to camp year after year to renew old friendships and make new ones.

Camp Rising Sun is a special, magical place — I love it, and I’m sure that your child will, too.”

What is Camp Rising Sun?

Camp Rising Sun is a summer camp program that is open to all Connecticut and Rhode Island children, ages 5 – 17, who have had cancer or are currently being treated for it. Children from other states are also eligible and will be considered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Camp Rising Sun is an opportunity for these children to experience summer camp in a safe, nurturing environment under the supervision of a well-trained and caring staff.

Camp Rising Sun’s “Camp Week” takes place in late August, and we also have a “Mini-Camp Weekend” in March/April where new campers can get a taste of what camp is like and returning campers can reunite with old friends.

What to Expect:

The goal of Camp Rising Sun is essentially to give our campers the most fun experience we possibly can. Campers will participate in a wide variety of activities — everything from typical summer camp fare like horseback riding, rock climbing, and arts and crafts to special events like our talent show, dance, and our own fireworks show. All activities are under the supervision of trained leaders and each camper can participate at his or her own level.

To get a flavor of what life is like at Camp Rising Sun, here’s what a typical day’s schedule might look like.


Camp Rising Sun takes place at the YMCA’s Camp Jewell in Colebrook, CT. All campers stay in modern, heated cabins with fireplaces, carpeting, and lounge areas, with 10-15 campers per cabin. Meals are provided either buffet or family style in the Dining Hall with plenty of options for campers with dietary restrictions.

Camp Jewell has a variety of indoor and outdoor recreation facilities, including a waterfront and beach on the shores of Triangle Lake, an arts and crafts studio, and even a wiffleball stadium. The campground is continually improving and adding new facilities for our campers to make use of during Camp Week.


Camp Rising Sun counselors are an extraordinary group of generous, caring, dedicated, and fun-loving individuals. All counselors undergo background checks as well as 24 hours of staff training every year. Cabin counselors sleep in the cabins with their campers and there’s generally no more than 3 campers per cabin counselor.

Approximately a third of our counselors are former campers who have come back to share their love of Camp Rising Sun with the next generation of campers.

Medical Staff

The Health Center at Camp Rising Sun is staffed 24 hours a day by a pediatric oncologist and a full nursing staff. Campers are able to take their prescribed medications under proper supervision and can even receive chemotherapy or blood tests right on campus. All camper medications are checked in with the medical staff when campers arrive and are checked out at the end of the week.

Camper Packing List:

We’ve put together a comprehensive packing list for your camper — check it out!


We’ve put together Frequently Asked Questions pages for both Camp Week and Mini-Camp Weekend — head over there to see if we’ve already answered your questions!