For as long as I can remember, I have known about or been involved with Camp Joy. When I
was growing up, we always had individuals with special needs in our church. Every year they
would talk about Camp Joy and how they couldn’t wait to go back, and I knew I had to check out
this special place. I have now worked two years at Camp Joy and will be working my third this
People do not realize how much one week with a camper can impact and change your life
forever. You learn many spiritual and life lessons while working at Camp Joy. It is not easy
working with people who are different from you, especially those who work and process
information at a different pace. It is especially hard when we live in a world where we can obtain
anything we need at the snap of our fingers, so taking a week with your special friend and
slowing down turns out to be one of the biggest blessings.
Another lesson that I learned at camp was patience. Patience is one of the fruits of the Spirit
that I find personally challenging. I enjoy having things my way and on my time, but for this one
week I had to put all of that aside and turn the focus away from me. I had to be patient in
listening to my campers and helping their needs over mine. Through all of this I gained a greater
perspective on not only them but also the world. Camp Joy has opened my eyes to see other
people in need around me.
Camp Joy has also helped me appreciate life more. No matter what circumstances the campers
come with, they are always so excited to be at camp and to be learning about God. I believe the
most important aspect Camp Joy has helped me appreciate is the joy that is found in Christ.
These campers have such a great joy and love for Jesus that is very impacting. They are not
angry for the way they were created by God. They embrace who they are and praise him
without a care in the world. They have taught me to live my life for the Lord and be grateful in
any situation because Christ is a better joy than anything this world can offer.