CLARKSVILLE — The children of military families swam, climbed rock walls, completed rope courses, shot bows, fished, canoed and did other outdoor activities at Camp Joy as part of a free, week-long summer camp held last week.
The 120 children, sponsored by the North Carolina-based Camp Corral, which partnered with Camp Joy, enjoyed the activities, according to 13-year-old Madison Caudill and 11-year-old Verrazano “Zano” Sgroi, both of whom have attended multiple Camp Corral events.
Caudill, who learned to play floor hockey and make new kinds of friendship bracelets, said Camp Joy was “better than any other camp.”
Camp Corral “is an opportunity you don’t want to miss,” she said, urging other children of military families to consider the event.
Sgroi, meanwhile, said, “We learned about surviving, and we learned about Canada.”
Sgroi said one of the counselors started telling a joke about another counselor’s accent. The punchline of it was that the counselor with the funny accent was from Canada. That joke inspired Sgroi and others to research Canada while they were at the camp.
One of the factoids he uncovered about Canada involved the beach at Prince Edwards Island. Apparently, sand there makes noise when you step on it, a sound Sgroi compared to squeaking.
As much fun as Sgroi said he had on his trip, he said he was ready to return home – he missed his dad.
Camp Joy aims to help people grow and succeed through life-long experience based learning and inspire guests to become better people, influence their community and create a better world.
Camp Joy holds an annual Dance for Joy fundraising event and offers camps, an outdoor school program, leadership and team development and more, according to Ellie Thiemann, a marketing intern and previously a camper with Camp Joy.
Thiemann said the staff accommodates campers’ health needs and individual needs. For instance, Thiemann said, the Camp Corral campers discussed what it’s like to live in veteran families.
Camp Corral, headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, is a free, week-long summer camp for military children, ages 8 to 15, with priority given to children of wounded, disabled or fallen military service members.
Camp Corral was founded by Golden Corral in 2011 as a way to give back to veteran families by giving their children an opportunity to be children.
Reach Nathan Kraatz at 937-382-2574, ext. 2510 or on Twitter @NathanKraatz.