“I have worn a lot of hats for Camp Joy – a lot of enjoyable hats! It all started when I was a young attorney and my law firm put out a communication asking for an interested candidate to serve on Camp Joy’s Board. I had gone to summer camps, loved the outdoors and am very pro-environment so it seemed like a good fit.” Thus, Carol Martin donned her first Joy hat.
When Carol held her Board seat, one of the Board’s endeavors she recalled was the first ropes course being built and the birth of the Venture Out! Leadership Program. Board goals included a capital campaign for building Venture Out facilities and repairing youth cabins. There was also a strong focus on the school Outdoor Education Program emphasizing nature and the environment. “An important aim of the program was to help students understand their prejudices, by allowing them to interact with students from different schools/backgrounds (social, economic, and racial) in a natural setting. The idea was to get students, who were not ordinarily around each other, to interact, learn from each other and realize they had things in common,” Carol reflected.
Carol loved and believed in Joy’s mission and after she finished her Board term, she put on her second hat – that of avid supporter. And she wore it well, supporting Joy financially (which was very much appreciated!)
In 2003, she saw a job posting from Joy seeking someone proficient in fund raising and grant writing. Carol interviewed and earned a new hat – Camp Joy employee. She began working at Joy in 2004. She was initially hired part time and eventually channeled into the role of full-time staff member. “Joy is a wonderful place to work and you feel like you are making a difference every day. The people, clients and partnerships were fun! The work was inspiring and it was easy to seek funds because Joy did such wonderful things that made a difference in kid’s lives.”
After Carol left in 2009 to care for an aging parent, she put on yet another hat – that of independent contractor. She initially wrote grant applications and then took on the monumental challenge of authoring the history of Joy. “It took me two years to research and finish ‘Ode to Joy.’ What really stuck out to me was the consistency of Joy’s mission over its lengthy existence. It has always been about empowering people to succeed in life – guiding them in the skill of getting along with others – helping people believe in themselves – and serving people in underserved communities.”
Carol has never taken off the Supporter Hat, and today it remains squarely planted atop her blonde hair. “I was lucky to find Joy! It’s a wonderful organization!” And Carol Martin, Camp Joy was lucky to find you! Thank you for your time, your love and your invaluable thirty-three years of service. Please keep on wearing those hats…who knows what the next one might be? Our hats are off to you, indeed!