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 Mount Hermon Special Camp 2017 is a wrap! Thanks to all the dedicated and committed volunteers and helpers for making this year's camp possible. It was a very memorable time as we (both campers and aides) were reminded of our common identity in Christ and how wonderfully each of us have been crafted by a loving Heavenly Father. We also had a special time of remembering and appreciating Jiane and Don and their gift of friendship over the past many years as co-laborers with us as part of the Special Camp core planning team. We look forward to the day when we will see them both again in heaven!
Please mark your calendars for JEMS Mount Hermon Special Camp 2018, which is currently scheduled for July 1-7, 2018. If you're interested in volunteering for the 2018 camp, please visit this site in early February 2018 in order to apply.
JEMS Special Camp enlists volunteers primarily through the JEMS-affiliated network of churches across California and the Pacific Northwest. No previous experience working with individuals with special needs is required; regional training will be provided prior to camp. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older to apply.
Applications to serve at JEMS Special Camp 2018 are not yet being accepted. Please check back in early February 2018 to apply.
If you are 18 years or older, you’ve never served as an aide at Special Camp before, and would like more information on applying as a new aide at Special Camp (as reference for applying to next year's camp), you can download new aide information here.
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.
Applications are not yet being accepted for JEMS Special Camp 2018. Application packets are sent to interested campers' parents/guardians only on a per-request basis. To inquire about registering a camper to attend Special Camp for this coming year's camp or in a future year, please feel free to e-mail the Special Camp camper registrar at:
Please note that campers must be 13 years of age or older in order to apply.
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.