JEMS Special Camp is a week-long Christian camp, primarily for individuals with developmental disabilities of Asian descent. Sponsored by the Japanese Evangelical Missionary Society (JEMS), Special Camp runs concurrently with the other JEMS summer camps in the Santa Cruz area of Northern California. The mission of JEMS Special Camp is:
To share the message and model the love of Christ to those with developmental disabilities, primarily of Asian Pacific American descent.
The goal of our camps is to provide an opportunity for the developmentally challenged to experience a fun-filled time of activities in an atmosphere of Christian love.
Joint worship with College Camp
JEMS Special Camp 2021 is scheduled for June 27 - July 3, 2021. Mark your calendars!
This year, JEMS Mount Hermon Special Camp was to be held at CityTeam's Camp MayMac. As compared to the school campus which hosted Special Camp for many years, Camp MayMac is a more traditional camp with cabin-style accommodations. Unfortunately, this year no in-person camp will be held due to health and safety concerns regarding the current COVID-19 pandemic. We hope to hold camp at Camp MayMac in 2022.
The theme verse for this year's camp is:
"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12
This year, we enthusiastically welcome back Mrs. Bev Hoshi as Bible teacher for Special Camp 2021. To read more about Bev, please click here.
Due to the fact that no in-person camp will be held for camp year 2021, we are sorry to inform you that applications to volunteer to serve at Special Camp are not currently being accepted.
To inquire about applying to serve at a future year's camp, feel free to e-mail:
If you have any further questions about what is involved to serve as a Special Camp aide, feel free to e-mail:
A typical day at camp begins with everyone getting ready for breakfast, followed by morning exercises, worship, Bible lessons, and arts and crafts. After lunch, activities vary daily such as bowling, swimming, a presentation at JEMS Family Camp, a carnival, and Special Camp field games. After dinner, we have a time of worship followed by a special evening activity and cabin time. After the campers go to bed, staff enjoy worship and a brief devotional time, staff meeting, and fellowship.
All of these events and activities add up to a fun-filled and meaningful program geared specifically for individuals with developmental disabilities. Special Camp is a place where they can come to learn, fellowship, worship, and grow in the Lord.
Due to the fact that no in-person camp will be held for camp year 2021, camper applications are not being accepted for this year's camp.
To inquire regarding enrolling a new camper for Special Camp 2022, please e-mail the Special Camp camper registrar at:
to request more information on how to apply for next year's camp.
This "Special Camp", first started in 1975, originated under the direction of Rev. Saburo and Marion Masada. This couple's daughter who is developmentally disabled, and others like her, needed a camp program designed specifically for their special needs. Over the years, the ministry of this camp has changed the lives of many people - both conferees and volunteer staff. JEMS Special Camp continues under the leadership of co-directors Bruce and Val Satow and a committed core team who have served as Special Camp volunteers in various capacities for many years.
There are several ways that you can support JEMS Special Camp. The first and most important is through prayer. Special Camp volunteers are sustained by the prayers of JEMS Special Camp supporters, especially during camp week. Please pray that each volunteer would be renewed and refreshed each day, as the Lord reveals Himself in new ways through our Special Campers. Please pray that the Lord would sustain each volunteer throughout camp week, as days are long and can be tiring as the volunteers care for the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of each camper. Pray that our Special Campers will enjoy their week at camp, adjust well to the site at Monte Vista school, and feel God's presence close to them as we worship Him together as one body. Pray that the campers' families and caregivers would enjoy their week of much-needed respite from the care they provide to their loved ones the remaining 51 weeks of the year. And above all, pray that God would glorify Himself through this very special ministry called JEMS Special Camp.