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Camp Office

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 1480 - Bancroft, Ontario, Canada K0L 1C0
Phone: (613) 332-3696 | Fax: (613) 332-3541
Click Here to see our Facilities.

Executive Director - David Belch  x229
General Office Inquiries - Leah Forde x221
Registrar - Sherry Torrens  x221

Board of Directors

Chairman - Reg Lewicki
Vice-Chair - Tim Greene
Secretary - Debb Guneyler
Treasurer - David Dimarco

Program Directors

Explorer Camp - Darci Kovac & Tracy Gecas
Boys Adventure Camp - Luke Bramer
Girls Adventure Camp -  Mike & Cheryl Hodgson
Jr. Youth Camp - Graeme & Jen Kirk
Sr. Youth Camp - Tyler & Allie Hyndman
Family Camps - Richard & Sharon Hetke, Paul & Elizabeth Millar, Shaun & Amy Turner, Graeme & Jen Kirk
Trailer Park - Dick Dombroski, Erica Brewster

Joy Bible Camp is located in the heart of Eastern Ontario, directly between Ottawa, Toronto and beautiful Algonquin Park. Within minutes of Bancroft, JOY has access to all the services that this thriving community has to offer. Just 2.5 hours from the GTA, Joy Camp provides a beauty and serenity that cannot be missed. Combined with our excellent facilities, great food, and top notch staff, your experience will be something worth talking about.


MISSION.

Place: A natural northern lake front facility with year round recreation and opportunities.
Programs: We provide camp experiences for children, youth, families and retreat groups year round.
People: We invite people into an authentic relationship with God.

VISION.

We long for generations of people transformed forever through JOY Bible Camp - cultivating in others a growing, authentic, contagious relationship with God.

lives changed ... forever
through the Gospel of Jesus Christ

VALUES.

Christian: profoundly committed to the truth and grace of Jesus.
Fun: taking every opportunity to celebrate, laugh and enjoy life.
Relationship: we encourage people to make deep, meaningful and lasting connections.
Re-"Creation"/ Recreation: engaging people with what matters most through nature, worship, friendship and play in God's creation.
Service: giving of ourselves sacrificially for the benefit of others.
Love: welcoming people to a place where they are safe, encouraged and respected.

HISTORY

Getting Started
Joy Bible Camp started as a result of the vision of William Belch, an itinerant Brethren preacher based in Stirling, Ontario. In 1946 Mr. Belch was invited to speak at a children's camp in Minnesota for one week. He was so impressed at what he saw happening in the lives of the children there that he felt compelled to begin a similar camp ministry to serve the Belleville, Peterborough, and Bancroft areas.

In the summer of 1947, Mr. Belch obtained the use of an empty one-room school just north of Bancroft. A large gospel tent served as chapel and dining room; smaller tents housed staff and campers; a woodshed was converted into a kitchen. There were two ten-day camp sessions, one for boys and one for girls, costing $10 per camper. During the Girls Camp session, a contest was held to suggest a name for the fledgling camp. The winning suggestion: JOY BIBLE CAMP, 'Joy' being an anagram for 'Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last'.

Following that first encouraging summer, Mr. Belch sought out people committed to the same vision of seeing lives transformed through Christian camping. Men from chapels in Belleville, Bancroft, and Kingston came together to form a board of directors, and seek a more permanent ministry site for JOY. In the spring of 1948, a 2-acre piece of property was purchased on Faraday Lake, a few minutes west of Bancroft. Boys' and Girls' sessions were held again, and a Family Camp was added for adults.

Growing Larger
In the 50's and 60's, youth camps were added to serve older teens. Family Camp was expanded to 4 weeks, with children's and youth camps filling the other 5 weeks of the summer. A 40-site trailer park was added, giving families more options for a vacation in a Christian setting. More motel-style accommodations were built to replace small cabins and dorms, so that we could reach 100-150 youth per session. By the 80's, facilities were winterized to allow retreat ministry year-round, including retreats for married couples and seniors.

Today & Tomorrow
As God has provided over almost 70 years, we've replaced and renovated those original buildings, providing comfortable accommodations that meet today's expectations. Our modern dining room and kitchen accommodate 240 people; our beautiful chapel can hold 300 people. A gymnasium allows indoor recreation in any weather. JOY has been able to purchase a number of adjacent parcels of land over the years until today we own almost 700 acres, with waterfront footage on both Faraday and Card lakes.

We continue to be committed to the vision of Bill Belch, who was passionate to see a place where people could come away from their normal routines and enjoy the outdoors; where children could hear the Gospel for the first time; where families could be built up with great biblical teaching.


WHO WE ARE

Board of Directors

  • Reg Lewicki
  • Tim Greene
  • David DiMarco
  • Deb Guneyler
  • Barry Kirk
  • Luke Bramer
  • Aaron Stone

Staff

  • David Belch
  • Sherry Torrens
  • Richard Provost
  • Richard Fogarty
  • Sarah Rallison
  • Leah Forde

 

  • Stephanie Webster
  • Jordan Webster
  • Rosemary Rallison
  • Kim Sargent
  • Jamie Martin

Program Directors

  • Explorer Camp - Darci Kovac & Tracy Gecas
  • Boys Adventure Camp - Luke Bramer
  • Girls Adventure Camp - Mike & Cheryl Hodgson
  • Jr. Youth Camp - Graeme & Jen Kirk
  • Sr. Youth Camp - Tyler & Allie Hyndman
  • Family Camps - Richard & Sharon Hetke, Paul & Elizabeth Millar, Shaun & Amy Turner, Graeme & Jen Kirk
  • Trailer Park - Dick Dombroski  and Erica Brewster