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This year we are celebrating 50 Years of Summer Camp! Join us June 9th to celebrate with us!

Guest Speakers

Jerry Traister

Jerry Traister is a former Executive director of Joy El Ministries (back when it was CBM). Serving from 1968-1984, Jerry helped form the Released Time Bible Program (now known as Bible Adventure) and the beginnings of Joy El’s camp site. Jerry began to speak with farmers in the area about the possibility of donating land for this effort, of which 3 provided the 1st nineteen acres of land that would create the campground we know today. Jerry left the ministry in 1984 to serve with CBM Ministries as their general director. After, he formerly served as the C.O.O. of Davis College and serves at the Open Door Church.

John Bayer

John Bayer served at Joy El for many years. John worked a lot with the Jr. High students in the ministry. He would do this with Camp Retreats and also through Saturday Happenings, events held on Saturdays for junior high students. He also helped develop a lot of the Christians in Action (CIA) curriculum. John was very known for his creativity in the ministry when it came to ministering the youth.

Gregg Garman

Gregg Garman was familiar with this ministry ever since his childhood days. His father served on the board during Miss McEvers’ time. Gregg’s mother also served on the board until Gregg became director in 1983.

“I heard many stories about Miss McEvers ever since I was a small kid.” Miss McEvers would live with Gregg’s family until her death in 1959.

Gregg taught school in Chambersburg, but spent his summers serving at Joy El. He directed Living Miracles, a choir formed by the ministry. For a while after directing, Gregg served overseas as volunteer teacher, assistant principal, and Director at schools in South Korea.

Gregg now currently volunteers often up at camp by helping with mailings, registrations, and by even mentoring young men in the 4.12 Leadership Training Program.

Gary Hornbaker

Gary Hornbaker served at Joy El as Director of Youth Ministries, and later as Director of Bible Adventure. Gary was heavily involved with youth ministry at Joy El as he led during the beginnings of the 4.12 Leadership Training Program. Gary also met his wife, Joyce up at Joy El through the Koinonia Klub, a single, young adult ministry. His children have also been involved in the ministry. He continued being a part of the ministry as a mentor to young men in the 4.12 Program.

Miss Jackie

Jackie Pegram is a beloved speaker at Joy El. Her and her husband, Ron Pegram, reside in Winston Salem, North Carolina. They currently direct Kidz Xtreme, a ministry to children in poverty communities in North Carolina and Jacksonville, Florida. Jackie teaches weekly chapels in Christian Schools and elementary children at their home church, Reynolda Presbyterian Church.  Her favorite speaking is at Christian camps and many Vacation Bible Schools.

Miss Jackie, as she is lovingly called, has been teaching the Word of God for over 54 years. Her and Ron have traveled around the world sharing Christ.  They continue to minister to over 2800 orphans in South Africa.  For 16 years they traveled to nearly every NASCAR race as chaplains with Motor Racing Outreach, ministering to the NASCAR community.  Miss Jackie started the children’s and women’s ministry.

And More!

History of Our Camp

1938: Joy El Ministries begins in PA under the name of Children’s Bible Mission (CBM)

Miss Mildred McEvers was CBM’s home missionary assigned to South Central PA. She began teaching the Word of God to boys and girls in Franklin and Perry Counties in public schools.

1965: U.S. Supreme Court declares it illegal to have Bible reading and prayer in public schools

Guided by the Lord in their effort to reach children, the local CBM Committee discovered that Pennsylvania had a law lying dormant, which permits students to be released from public school for the purpose of religious instruction. CBM developed the Released Time Bible Program (Currently the Bible Adventure Program), which allowed students to be released from their classrooms once a week to go to an offsite location to receive Bible teaching.

1967: Released Time began in two elementary schools

The program met with favor from parents, churches, the community and the students. Soon “Released Time” became a familiar phrase. In the succeeding years, it has expanded into more than 21 school districts, reaching over 3000 students weekly with the Word of God, and the program is still growing today.

Early 1970's: CBM holds summer camp at local rented summer facility

From its inception, Released Time included scripture memorization. To encourage students to memorize verses, incentive awards were offered for various levels of points each student accumulated. The maximum award was a free week of summer camp. Initially CBM held its summer camps at a rented summer facility local to Greencastle, PA. However, as more and more students earned free summer camp, CBM considered building its own facility. A search began for a piece of land that was located in central Franklin County, had water (stream or pond), and some flat land for the buildings. The students involved in Released Time shared the prayer request of the ministry with their parents and one parent offered the first parcel of land, followed later by a second donation of land. The two parcels together were not sufficient for the camp and the prayers continued until a third farmer donated the final acreage. The three area farmers donated nineteen acres of land, which began the site of Camp Joy El.

March 17, 1974: CBM holds its groundbreaking for the new christian retreat center

Giving the name Camp Joy El to the site, CBM Ministries needed to raise $200,000 for the original buildings: a dining hall/chapel and ten cabins.

July 7, 1974: Camp Joy El's first summer camp opens

The local community provided a majority of the labor. Local churches and businesses donated their time, talents and tools to erect the

buildings. With that Camp Joy El opened its doors for the first time to campers that summer.

2004: Board of Directors renames the entire organization “Joy El Ministries”

Over time Camp Joy El became the identity focus of the ministry and the name by which the whole of CBM Ministries was most widely known. Responding to that, the Board of Directors took action to rename the entire organization “Joy El Ministries,” which is who we are today.

Camp Then And Now

Dining Hall






As We Celebrate 50 Years Consider Giving to The Following

Image5Image6Our cabin bathrooms need renovated as they have withstood much wear and tear over the years The renovations include repairing deterioration, which will provide a fresh, clean environment for campers.

Estimated Cost: $100,000

Strengthen the camp endowment fund goal of $550,000. Annual income from this fund will provide for camperships, summer staff scholarships and Bible Adventure discounts toward earning free camp. To learn more, e-mail [email protected].

Much of our parking lot and driveways are well beyond their life-expectancy. Repaving them will help to prevent injury of children and provide a more welcoming environment for guests.

Estimated Cost: $100,000