I first started going to Camp Joy when I was in 6th grade with my elementary school. I had recently been diagnosed with type one diabetes. I was worried about going to camp even just for the few days. It was the first time I had been away from my mom and dad since I was diagnosed. I ended up loving it there. All my doctors and nurses afterward were telling me I should go to a summer camp there called Camp Korelitz. I ended up going and loving it. I’ve been going to Korelitz for 5 years now.
This summer will be my 6th year there but this time will be different because I will be a counselor there. Camp holds a dear spot in my heart because it’s the one place where I don’t have to feel like I need to be anyone but myself. It’s an amazing feeling to connect with people just like me. There was a little boy in foster care that I connected with last summer as a C.I.T. It was special because connecting with him brought back memories from when I was in foster care. I believe it made me respect what Camp Joy does even more. The fact that it makes kids who feel like they have no one in the world who cares about them, feel loved, valued and they can do anything in the world.
The past week I have been at my very first staff training at Camp Joy, honestly, it’s been amazing. I connected with all kinds of different personalities and meet many people with different life obstacles. I personally don’t have the same as some of the other staff members but their stories touch a special place in my heart. It was amazing hearing them talk about past memories from camp and help them make new memories.
Camp Joy is a special place for too many reasons to fit into one page. I love it and all the wonderful staff there who help make not only the campers but the families and other counselors feel loved and valued. I know in my heart Camp Joy will always be the place I call home.