Some 20 years ago, my father purchased a thatch of land in the mountains of Virginia. To be exact, the land is located in Rustburg, a small town outside of Lynchburg. Many times over that time period he would ask me to make the journey with him to visit. Work schedules, family obligations and many other excuses abounded. Finally, this past July, I loaded my two sons, Jonathan and Jackson and my father into my truck and we ventured off to his Virginia retreat. Just a few minutes into the visit, I realized why these trips were so important to my father! What a beautiful experience to visit with nature in its purest state!

One night while sitting on the porch, the Lord spoke to my spirit. I thought about all of the work I had been doing for years with young people all across this country through my fraternity, church school and other charities I’ve been
associated with. I also thought about my professional experience. I’ve spent the last six years of my life as a sales leader for 77 WABC in New York City. Our primary personality is Don Imus. Don Imus, a little over two decades ago, opened a ranch in Ribera, New Mexico for kids with cancer. Each week of every summer, he brings sick children or the siblings of children who have died from one of these terrible diseases, out to the ranch to teach them that they do not have to be defined by their circumstances. He and his family have changed the lives of hundreds of young people through their efforts.

As the Lord continued to speak to me, he revealed to me that there are young people in cities all across this country that are being defined by their circumstances. They are being type cast as a result of their zip code. Mental road blocks are being placed in their way early in life that will stop them from stepping into their greatness if caring individuals don’t step in and show them that ‘THEY CAN’ succeed in spite of it all!

Believe it or not, some of these young people never get an opportunity to leave their cities of origin. They never get a
chance to go to camp or experience a different way of life. Some operate within a ten mile radius of their birthplace for the first sixteen years of their lives! Think about how blessed some of you were growing up and think about how sad that thought is!

Sitting there, I realized that the first forty years of my life were preparing me for my true life’s work. That work is to
develop and bring to fruition Camp New Joy!