Camp Joy is a ministry of Highland Park Baptist Church, reaching out to children ages 8-12. Our goal is to provide a week of exciting activities in a Christian atmosphere, where children can have fun and learn about God.
We strive to maximize the growth of the Kingdom by sharing the Gospel through a camping experience, with an emphasis on reaching special needs and at-risk youth, and serving the church. Our vision is to see 1000 people brought to Christ annually by building a venue that can support enough people to meet this goal.
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twitter.com/campjoytn Description/Activities: The camp sits on 100-plus acres of land, and features dozens of horses, a gymnasium, volleyball courts, baseball fields, ropes courses, canoes, and swimming pool complete with waterslide. Campers also hear bible stories, learn memory verses, and attend chapel services. Above all else, the camp was established on the principle that the greatest need of boys and girls is Jesus Christ as savior. Camp Director: Tim Walterbach Camp Board: Scotty Marcum, Wes Hughen, Cabot Barbour, William Sexton Located on Hunter Road in Harrison, TN, Camp Joy was founded in 1946 by former Highland Park Baptist Church pastor and Tennessee Temple University founder, Dr. Lee Roberson. The camp was named after his baby daughter, Joy Caroline, who died that same year at nine weeks of age. Dr. Roberson was preaching during a series of revival meetings in Alabama when his secretary called with the news of Joy’s sudden and unexpected passing—likely due to SIDS. He quickly left to drive back home to Chattanooga, and during the trip, the Lord seemed to speak to his heart and give him the idea to rename the camp he’d recently opened for kids—initially named “Children’s Bible Camp”—after Joy. “The Holy Spirit had impressed upon me to start a work for children,” Dr. Roberson would explain. “The church at the time had no money, no land, and no organization; but I had the ‘impression’ from God—we had to respond.” Looking at the newspaper one day, Dr. Roberson had noticed that TVA was selling some land on Lake Chickamauga. He and his associate pastor attended the auction, and won the land with a starting bid of $3000. The land was worth much more, but nobody else even bid. Despite the surprisingly low winning bid, Dr. Roberson still had to ask the auctioneer for 30 days to come up with the money. For years, however, he had preached and lived by the motto, “Where God guides, he provides,” and God provided. Church members and other friends donated all of the needed funds within a month, and TVA even let Dr. Roberson use an additional 20 acres of land for the camp. “Where Boys and Girls Begin to Live” Over the years, kids have enjoyed the camp’s 100-plus acres of land, dozens of horses, gymnasium, volleyball courts, baseball fields, ropes courses, canoes, and swimming pool complete with water slide. Campers also hear bible stories, learn memory verses, and attend chapel services. Above all else, the camp was established on the principle that the greatest need of boys and girls is Jesus Christ as Savior. More than 128,000 kids have attended the camp since 1946, with more 28,000 making decisions for Christ. 1,700 young men who attended Camp Joy were also called by God to preach. Dr. Roberson had grown up poor, and he wanted as many children as possible to be able to attend Camp Joy for free. Of the 1,260 kids who attended Camp Joy in 2011, 78 percent received a full scholarship. The 2012 session was put in jeopardy, however, as tornadoes ripped through Camp Joy in March, causing damage to the dorm and leveling the camp’s open-air tabernacle. Rebuilding a Tradition - 2012 Recognizing the importance Camp Joy has had in the lives in scores of children over past six decades, thousands of people from across the nation are coming together this spring to rebuild and transform it. Local businesses, current and former members of Highland Park, faculty and graduates of Tennessee Temple, current and former campers and camp staffers, and other volunteers will spend two weeks collaborating on an “Extreme Camp Makeover.” Craig Smith of Vision Home Builders, who supervised the 2011 “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” build for the Sharrock family of Rossville, GA, has volunteered to lead the project, set to be complete before the start of this year’s camp season. Smith will be joined by crewmembers from the ABC show, as well as local construction professionals who are donating their efforts to ensure that Camp Joy will thrive for another six decades. Skilled and unskilled volunteers are still needed for the project, as are donations of money, food, and building materials. Want to volunteer? Or donate? We’d love your help! Get more information not the "Extreme Camp Makeover" project atwww.extremecampmakeover.com.
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