The mission of JOY Summer Camp is to provide a fun, safe, and faith based environment where campers can acquire skills, develop friendships, and grow spiritually through imaginative play and experiencing God’s creation in Jackson Hole.
One goal of JOY Summer Camps is to provide the best camp experience for all who are apart of it. We believe that Summer Camp can be and should be a special time in a child’s life. For this reason, we take these three areas of camp seriously.
Fun: We believe in getting outside and that is where the most fun will be had. The vast majority of our activities and daily routines will be held outside on the church grounds, throughout the Jackson Hole community, and in the National Park and Forests that surround us. We start each camp day with Opening Ceremonies, where campers will sing camp songs and chants as well as participate in skits that introduce an activity or weekly theme. Similarly, we cap off each camp day with Closing Ceremonies with additional camp songs and chants, along with sharing our experiences of the day. Finally, throughout the week, campers at each camp will have opportunities to participate in imaginative play. We believe that campers have the most fun when they get a chance to steal back the stolen pirate treasure, fly a space ship to another planet, help the super hero take back the town, and much more. Creativity is encouraged at JOY Summer Camps, both among the campers and our staff.
Safe: When growth of a camper is a major goal and part of our mission, then safety is of high importance as the two are linked. We believe that when a camper feels safe, they are more willing to take healthy risks and therefore grow. A camper feels safe when the adults around them feel safe, including their parents and the camp staff. We feel that effective communication will go along way to help our parents and staff feel safe in all camp situations. We also put a high importance on the training of our staff so that they are well prepared and are ready for all circumstances. Finally, we have partnered with the American Camp Association and follow their safety protocols and are currently invested in their accreditation process. We understand that there are no shortcuts to safety and we hope our diligence in this will earn your trust.
Faith-Based: Our staff and program are rooted in Christ. Through Him, he is our engine that provides strength, community, stability, and accountability. We hope and pray that campers see Christ-like examples in our staff and programming. Through our daily devotionals and experiences out in God’s creation, we that campers leave each day filled with awe and joy, along with a better understanding of His love.
Growth And Connections
When campers are having fun, feel safe, and are exploring their faith, they are most likely to grow. We believe this is what makes JOY Summer Camps a special place. Growth can come in many ways, such as individually or as a team and in many areas. There are three areas of growth that we focus on at JOY Summer Camps which are highlighted below.
Skills: Campers, guided by encouraging staff, will develop essential life skills such as responsibility, respect, integrity, and resiliency. JOY Summer Camps are a place where technological toys stay at home and instead creative and imaginative play abounds. Through this environment, campers will pick up collaboration, critical thinking, and social skills.
Relationships: Making new friends can be difficult throughout our lives and keeping good friends even more so. Camp is a fantastic place to acquire and develop these relationship skills. Having a staff member at camp to connect with and help guide the campers through these relationships is an essential piece.
Faith: There is no better place than Jackson Hole to see God. It is our goal at each camp that campers see God not only by experiencing His creation, but also see God in each other and the staff through Bible stories, songs, and teachable moments. In doing so they will also learn about God’s love!
Another component for growth is through connections. Through time together with similar-aged campers and mentor-like staff, along with shared experiences throughout camp, connections are made. They could be camper to camper and/or camper to staff. Regardless, when these connections are made, learning and growth soon follow. It is our hope and prayer that all campers experience these connections. At JOY Summer Camp we are purposeful about providing opportunities to make connections happen. Here are a few examples of how we do this:
Flock Groups: At JOY Summer Camp we will gather in camp groups called Flock Groups, which are purposefully arranged by age and/or grade level as to provide optimal friendship and skill building. Each Flock Group will consist of 6-8 campers and one consistent counselor for the whole week. Flock Groups in our joy JR camp will have an additional support through a junior counselor. An additional trained and certified activity leader will accompany Flock Groups groups for specialized activities such as adventure games, arts and crafts, nature hikes, among others.
Shared Experiences: At JOY Summer Camps, each week campers will be going out and experiencing many of the amazing and unique natural wonders that this valley has to offer. Exploration of this awe-inspiring landscape will take place through nature hikes, bike rides, horsemanship, and a variety of water activities which will be led by a trained/certified staff member or a qualified and experienced community member. Jackson Hole is not only amazing and unique in its natural wonders, but in it’s rich history and deep sense of community. Campers at each camp will also experience these great attributes by working or playing alongside many community centered organizations in Jackson Hole.