Reminiscences from Camp Joy Apprentice Maria Jackson, 2016-2019

Camp Joy means a family away from my family. It means a place where I can feel at home– be surrounded by good people, fabulous food, beauty, and love. It is a place where you know someone will always be around (probably Jim), tending, talking, mending… and you are always welcome to join.

Camp Joy is where I have distilled my thoughts about the kind of homestead and community I want. It is so unique in that it really is more of a homestead than a farm; I have learned how to grow food, of course, but more importantly, I have learned how to live off the land. I know how to can my fruits and vegetables, how to dry flowers and make teas and salve. I know how to milk a goat and make cheese and yogurt from it. How many places still exist where you can learn these things? I am so grateful there is still at least one.

Some of my richest experiences have come from within the fences of Camp Joy–I have watched animals and plants grow. I have watched animals and plants die. I have watched parts of myself grow and other parts of myself die. Camp Joy is always changing and invites its inhabitants to change along with it.

Maria L. Jackson

College of Charleston ’12

B.S. Psychology, B.A. Women’s and Gender Studies

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