Some people spend their whole lives searching for the Blue Bird of Happiness. What if I told you I found Joy thirty minutes outside of Greenville.
Nestled in the mountains, just across the South Carolina line, there’s a quaint town called Flat Rock. Tucked off the side of the two lane Main street, you’ll find Bonclarken Retreat Center. Opened in 1921, Bonclarken is a conference center operated by the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. Don’t be surprised if you feel twenty pounds lighter driving through the front gate. Worries of the world and anxieties from your daily grind slip off your shoulders as you are welcomed by this historic oasis. Rolling hills, wooded areas, and calming waters make up the picturesque landscape of Bonclarken.
The real magic happens four weeks every summer at Camp Joy. Established July 4, 1980, Camp Joy provides teens and adults, with mental challenges, a week long camp experience. Campers must be at least thirteen years of age and have self-help skills. Each camper is assigned a buddy to help them through the week, often resulting in lifelong friendships. A nurse on staff is available to help with medical needs.
Activities include paddle boating, swimming, recreation and crafts. Every evening, special friends gather to experience a time of worship and interactive music in the chapel. Camp culminates with a talent show on Thursday night. Each camper is encouraged to showcase their unique talent for family and friends. You’ll want to have plenty of tissues on hand. It’s not uncommon for drops of sheer happiness to spill over and run down your cheeks while watching this precious community of friends perform.
Campers come from all over the southeast to Find Joy in Flat Rock!
Feel free to check out their website here for additional information.