Camp Joy provides monthly respite programs for youth in foster care that teaches life skills, provides role models, and gives them a positive outlook for their future
Camp Joy provides more than 7,000 youth per year with the opportunity to reconnect with nature, get their hands dirty, and unplug from technology.
Going to camp, wearing tank tops, changing clothes in front of other kids, and swimming have always meant answering lots of questions about, “What happened to you,” or, “How did you get those scars?” I have complex heart defects and have had one closed and three open heart surgeries. These surgeries left permanent scars all over my body that everyone always seems to notice. The biggest difference between Camp Joy and any other camp is that no one ever noticed the scars on my chest, side and back. Various scars, oxygen tanks, breathing treatments and lots of medicines handed out all day and evening were as common as the meals, swimming, canoeing, archery and other camp activities. Camp allowed me to talk with kids who had been through similar surgeries and had the same scars.