The Benefits of Having a Retreat

By Miriam Ankerbrand, Group Events Coordinator One of my best memories as a teen was going with my church to a nearby camp for a Christian retreat weekend.  The teachings learned over that weekend have resonated in my mind to this day almost 40 years later!  Now as an adult, I look forward to those…

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A Lasting Impact

This is my 31st year serving as a public school missionary.  What a joy to start another year of Bible Adventure classes!  Another year of sharing the love of Jesus with students.  Another year of mentoring students in their Christian walk.  I have seen so many lives transformed.  Recently, I attended back to school night…

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A Weekend to Reflect

By Rachel Shively, 4.12 Coordinator In a very fast paced culture, most people quickly move from one season of life to the next and never truly take time to reflect on what has brought them to a specific moment in life.  However, when the season of summer camp wraps up here at Joy El, a…

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The Power of Removing Distractions

By Justin Kipe Director of Camping Ministries One of the key benefits of holding a Christian retreat at Joy El is the time spent away from the routines and distractions in everyday life that keep us from connecting deeply with the Lord. We often hear from retreat leaders of the value their campers experienced in…

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Where it started

By: Jackie Boyer, Assistant Director for Bible Adventure/CIA As Assistant Director for Bible Adventure/CIA, I’m always interested in learning how people became involved with our Bible Adventure (formerly released time) and CIA (Christians in Acton for Middle School Students) programs. Last month, I was talking with summer staffer Winter Saunders and she told me how…

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Safe? Will my child be safe at sleep-away camp?

By Aaron E. Ziebarth, Executive Director Every once in a while I receive a question something like this from a parent. They haven’t sent their child to camp before and they’re a little unsure.  I’d like to assure you that this is a wise decision developmentally for your child. The sense of community and life…

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What is the impact of bad news?

By Aaron E. Ziebarth, Executive Director Recently while reading the book “Good to Great in God’s Eyes” by Chip Ingram, I saw the significant value of a week-long Christian summer camp experience. Ingram writes, “Dr. Jack Haskins, a professor at the University of Tennessee, spent 12 years researching the effects of media and how people…

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