I was at Camp Joy from April 2016-July 2017
What Camp Joy means to me:
Once, whilst sipping my morning tea and admiring the glorious garden covered in thousands of radiant dewdrops as wisps of condensation rose to meet the misty clouds of the mountains beyond, I thought I was standing in the Garden of Eden. Nobody knows what the Garden of Eden looks like, yet I felt certain in that moment, Camp Joy is it. It is a sacred place where we remember our union with all living things. It is where we remember that death – ever present all around us – is the source of life. It is where poetry is written on every petal and art painted on every branch.
As a living expression of careful, intentional cultivation over the course of many years, Camp Joy offers me the beautiful possibilities of what human beings can do in harmony with nature. I am neither the destroyer nor the savior of nature. I do not have to feel powerless to my generation’s egregious destruction. Instead, I can take part in the co-creation of a better, more beautiful vision. A vision in which we – people, plants, animals, and microorganisms – all live together in recognition and respect of our undeniable connection with each other and our shared fate. And in taking part in this vision, I enjoy a great gift – that of understanding my own nature, purpose, and place in the family of things.
This is what Camp Joy taught me, and so much more, and I am eternally grateful for this invaluable experience. Wherever I go, I will be spreading the metaphorical and literal seeds of Camp Joy’s vision.
I currently reside in Applegate, Oregon, with my partner, Noel. We are stewarding a 10 acre homestead, where we are growing flowers, fruits, herbs, and vegetables using a mix of French intensive, permaculture, and natural farming techniques. I continue to dry flowers and make wreaths, which I sell at local shops and online.