The feeling of accomplishment and confidence is one echoed by many campers, but especially by 13 year- old Maggie, a 2nd year camper from northern Kentucky: “Camp taught me that if I set my mind to it, I can accomplish anything that I want and that makes me feel amazing.”
Maggie first came to Camp Joy through a program for grieving youth. After the loss of her mother, Maggie was encouraged to come to camp by one of her teachers and a former Camp Joy staff member. Now in her second year at Camp Joy, Maggie is a participant in Teen Camp and has had the opportunity to participate in self- reflection. Maggie’s ability to reflect and take in every experience at Camp Joy helped her overcome sadness and isolation over the years: “When I came with Camp Erin, the grieving camp, I got to meet other kids my age with similar experiences which made me happy because I realized that I wasn’t alone.”
Through activities like the ropes course and “sharing circles” she has gained more confidence and pushed herself to step out of her comfort zone. The “challenge by choice” philosophy at Camp Joy allowed Maggie to come out of her shell and meet new friends along the way: “When I came to Camp Joy we all had a bonding session and through that I was able to meet a girl that would become my best friend, and that is just amazing to me.” Maggie’s experience at Camp Joy over the last two years has fostered her desire to help others build confidence and overcome adversity.