SIKA COMMUNITY OUTREACH: CAMP SUNSHINE
Life’s Most Urgent question: what are you doing for others?
Martin Luther King, Jr.
The picturesque campus of Camp Sunshine, located on the edge of Sebago Lake in Maine, looks like many deluxe camps that offer summer activities such as swimming and kayaking along with winter fun like sledding or skiing. But unlike other camps, Camp Sunshine was created for children affected by a life-threatening disease to include recreation and relaxation activities for the ailing child as well as their family.
Camp Sunshine’s unique philosophy is that when a child faces serious illness, everyone in the family is affected, so they must be provided with support, comfort, and hope in a nurturing and relaxed retreat environment. Since it opened in 1984, Camp Sunshine has served more than 60,000 children, siblings and parents from all 50 US states and 27 countries.
When the pandemic closed the facility in March 2020, the Camp decided to use that opportunity to make renovations to its Viterbi Family Activity Center, which features an indoor swimming pool, game room, dining facility, mixed use auditorium, arts and crafts studio, a medical clinic, and administrative offices, among other areas. This 30,000 square-foot building was built in 2001, and many parts of the building needed repairs or replacement. One particular element slated for renovation was the original vinyl composition tile flooring that was in deteriorating condition.
Sika and Saulnier Epoxy Floors Join Forces to Give Back
“The old vinyl floor was discolored, stained, cracking and was really starting to show its age,” said Mike Katz, executive director at Camp Sunshine. Jake Andrews, president of Saulnier Epoxy Floors in Peabody, Massachusetts, heard about the flooring project through a family friend, so he met with Anna Gould, a Camp Sunshine founder and board chair. “After speaking to Anna about Camp Sunshine’s flooring needs, it was clear that the project was going to be over their budget,” Andrews explained.
“I reached out to one of my contacts at Sika Corporation to see if they could help. I went to Sika because I trust them and they are the company I go to when I’m looking to nail a job with a flooring system that is long-lasting, durable, and installs with no issues. They have an extensive portfolio of excellent products.”
“After Jake approached us with his request, I did some research on the camp and was immediately engaged with their mission and vision for helping these families. Camp Sunshine, and organizations like it, provide vital services at the community level that Sika is proud to endorse and support. How could we say no?”, commented Brad Weil, Eastern Regional Manager for Sika Corporation - Flooring.
Camp Sunshine needed a floor surface that was low maintenance, long-lasting, and didn’t have an institutional look and feel, and the Sikafloor DecoDur Flake FX System met all these requirements.
“These families spend a lot of time in hospitals, so we wanted a floor with a clean, fun feel,” Katz remarked. The DecoDur Flake System is not only easy-to-clean, but it is also durable and has visual impact. It consists of a pigmented epoxy binder, broadcast with multicolor vinyl chips and sealed with a clear, UV stable top coat.
Sika offered to donate the Sikafloor materials and Saulnier Epoxy Floors donated labor and sundry materials, making the normally $250,000 flooring project easily affordable for the camp. “In fact, we contacted our supplier of decorative vinyl flakes, Torginol Incorporated, who readily agreed to join in on the project” Weil added. The Sheboygan, WI company donated over 20,000 square feet of flake materials.
A Labor of Love
The first phase of the floor renovation ran over two weeks and included the clinical, leisure, and dining areas. Saulnier’s first task was to remove the existing vinyl flooring and then grind the substrate to remove the tile adhesive residue. The installation crew then further ground the substrate to create a profile that would provide a strong bond between it and the new floor. The Saulnier technicians then patched cracks and defects to complete the substrate preparation.
A four-inch cove base using Sikafloor MultiDur DC epoxy cove base was installed, joining the walls and floor to create a seamless surface for easy cleaning and maintenance. “This was challenging because of some of the angles on the walls,” Andrews explained. After the 2,500 linear feet of the cove base was in place, the Saulnier crew applied Sikafloor 161 epoxy primer and Sikafloor 264 pigmented epoxy coating to the floor and cove surfaces.
Sikafloor decorative vinyl flake in a “Lakeshore” blend was then broadcast into the wet surfaces and sealed with Sikafloor 217, a durable, UV stable epoxy top coat that will keep the floor looking like new for many years to come.
The project’s second phase, which took about a week and a half, was to replace the current surface in the pool area, which over the years had become a trip and slip hazard. “I don’t usually like to take on projects near water, but my crew is so skilled that I knew they could handle it,” Andrews stated.
The initial plan was to remove the original flooring in the pool area, but the crew discovered that would leave the supporting substrate three inches below the level needed, so they preserved the old floor, prepared it with a suitable profile and applied Sikafloor 161 epoxy primer followed by an application of Sikafloor 217 epoxy coating, into which Sikafloor decorative quartz was broadcast that addressed cracks and flaws in the original surface. A second application of Sikafloor 217 and decorative quartz was used to reduce the slipperiness of the floor when wet. The surface was finished with a protective top coat of Sikafloor 217.
The camp staff and Andrews had high praise for diligence and attention of the installation crew, even though it meant time away from home for days at a time. “The professionalism of my crew, and the fact that they took time away from their families to do this job so professionally and perfectly was very touching,” Andrews commented. “Each area came out beautifully and I couldn’t’ be prouder.” Andrews added that Sika also played an important role in the project beyond the materials donation. “Sika representatives kept checking in to see how the project was going --- it was nice to see how involved they were,” he explained. “Their support behind this entire project was awesome.”
Floored By The Results
The end result was just what Camp Sunshine was hoping for. “We had a fabulous experience with the Sika representatives and Saulnier did a great job of installing the floors,” Katz exclaimed. “In the long run we will be saving a lot of expense normally spent on upkeep and cleaning of the floor, because with this system we won’t need to strip and wax the floor, burnish or buff it,” he added. “These savings will pay off for years.”
Another much-loved benefit of the new floor is its appearance. “The old floor was very institutional-looking, but the new floor makes the entire building look like a much happier place,” Andrews stated. “I think Camp Sunshine did a great job picking the “Lakeshore” blend, which really fits with the lakeside setting of the camp.”
“The new floor is really beautiful, and gives a friendly, magical and clean feel,” Katz commented. “We would definitely use this system again, although probably not soon, since I expect this floor to last about 30 years.”
Camp Sunshine inspires hope in families affected by life-threatening childhood illness through our unique, supportive program at its beautiful campus on Maine’s Sebago Lake. When a child faces serious illness, the entire family is affected. Camp Sunshine’s program is offered year-round and has the distinction of having been designed to serve the entire family in a retreat model. Since its inception in 1984, Camp Sunshine has offered comfort, hope, and support to over 60,000 ill children, siblings and parents from all 50 US states and 27 countries.
Recreational activities allow children and adults to relax and enjoy the simplicity and beauty of life along the pristine shores of Sebago Lake. Camp Sunshine’s extensive program and other events foster family involvement, encouraging joy and laughter. While at Camp Sunshine, each family stays in their own suite, equipped with two twin beds, bunk beds, a futon, full bathroom, microwave oven, and refrigerator. Chef-prepared mealtimes in our cafeteria style dining room are occasions for socializing and unwinding.
The Camp Sunshine Program is FREE to all families that attend. They are supported by generous donations from individuals, civic groups, corporations, and foundations. To learn more about donating or volunteering to support Camp Sunshine’s mission, please visit www.campsunshine.org.
Saulnier Epoxy Floors
Kevin Dow, Sika Corporation
Brad Weil, Sika Corporation
Jake Andrews, Saulnier Epoxy Floors
Jason LaBouve, Torginol, Inc.
Flooring SystemSikafloor® DecoDur Flake FX
(16,000 sq. ft.)
Sikafloor® DecoDur Quartz FX
(2,500 sq. ft.)
Sikafloor® MultiDur DC (2,500 lin. ft.)
20,000 sq. ft.
ABOUT THE SIKAFLOOR SYSTEMS
Sikafloor DecoDur Flake FX - is an aesthetic, easy to clean, seamless floor using a clear epoxy binder that is broadcast with a multi-colored vinyl chip blend and sealed with a transparent, UV stable top coat.
Sikafloor DecoDur Quartz FX -is a decorative, seamless, broadcast, and sealed epoxy floor system, using colored quartz aggregates and finished with a transparent top coat. The system provides a durable, slip-resistant finish with excellent mechanical and chemical resistance.
Sikafloor MultiDur DC - is pigmented, decorative cove base that provides a seamless transition between walls and floors to create a sanitary, easy-to-clean surface.
Sika has engineered a wide range of floor and wall systems for virtually every work space and facility. Our experts can even custom craft a specialized surface to fit your unique environment.
Visit SikafloorUSA.com to learn about Sika’s complete line up of floor and wall systems.