Camp Joy Bible Camp

A nonprofit organization

$1,000 raised by 6 donors

Founded by P.C. and Lillian Sorensen, Camp Joy first took place in 1939 at Lake Lida. It started as a small camp that was only one week long in the summer. The main building was the dining room, kitchen, and cooks' room. Boys slept in an old boat house, and the girls slept above the main building. If there was not enough room in the boat house or the dining room, some children would sleep in tents outside. Classes and services would take place in tents and the Sorensens slept in a trailer house.

It was in 1941 that Camp made a big move. A small strip of land was bought on Star Lake in Dent, Minnesota. The piece of land was so small that each end of the main building (the dining hall) touched the border of the land that camp owned. The boys now had to climb up the wall of the kitchen to get to their quarters, which they affectionately called "Tumble Inn" and "Cubby Hole Inn."

Water was heated for dishes over an outdoor fireplace. Campers would then wash and dry their own dishes in two tubs outside. There was also no food or mail delivered to camp, so Mr. Sorenson would drive to the local farm for milk every morning and pick up the mail that was dropped off in a box by the highway. There was no electricity, so gasoline and kerosene lamps were often used. However, lamps weren't permitted in the dormitories due to safety concerns, so flashlights were used instead. Some children still had to sleep in tents. 

 It was a small start, but the Lord blessed the early beginnings of Camp Joy.

From there, camp grew. In 1942, it was expanded to two weeks; one junior week and one senior week. On one of the opening days, there was such a large crowd that some of the boys had to sleep in a shed. By 1944, bread was delivered to camp by a truck from Fergus Falls. During the same year, 74 children registered for camp. Three weeks of camp were introduced in 1945, and by 1948 Camp Joy had electricity!

Fast forward to 2023 and we see God continuing to bless Camp Joy. Camp Joy serves over 400 campers each year. In addition, Camp Joy hired their first full time Executive Director. 

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Organization Data


Organization name

Camp Joy Bible Camp

other names

Star Lake Bible Camp Association

Tax id (EIN)



Faith Children & Family Community


32521 380th St.
Dent, MN 56528



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