Ready to Start!

Staff arrived this morning, and we are so excited for our upcoming camps! This morning we are welcoming Mini Camp campers, and we can’t wait for them to get their first overnight camp experience. Their action packed two days will include activities like visiting the Nature Center, water skiing, and an amazing vespers on Second Peninsula. This afternoon, our Senior High Adventure campers will join us for their incredible week and a half. Every day will be a new activity like white-water canoeing or spelunking. Keep checking back this week for pictures and updates!

Service Day

Today our theme was service, and each family group was given a service project to do around camp. Assignments ranged from cleaning Second Peninsula to building new fire circles. It was really cool to walk around camp and find campers having fun while learning the value in giving back. Our Bible Study also focused on the importance of serving others, and our morning worship service allowed campers to reflect on the importance of services as a part of faith. 

After a day of hard work, campers were given a chance to get fancy at our “Elegant Dinner.” Non-Counselors started preparing the meal at 1:30, and by dinner at seven our dining hall had been transformed into a high-class eatery. Campers dressed in their finest and were waited on by staff who became servers for the evening. We loved getting to see kids try new foods and have a chance to relax, and from all the laughter and “compliments to the chef” I heard, the kids really enjoyed the dinner too.

Tomorrow, campers will have another choice day where they’ll try our different activities we don’t usually offer. 


Choice Day!

One of the best parts of marathon camp is ‘Choice Day’. On this special day, counselors and volunteers give campers the opportunity to do activities outside the usual Camp John Knox offerings. The kids have a chance to participate in two activities; one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Junior marathon campers also had the option of an all-day white water canoe trip down the Hiawassee River.

In Iron Chef, campers learned knife skills and other cooking essentials, and then put their newly acquired talents to use making a meal that included Thai chicken lettuce wraps with peanut sauce and cheesecake. Extreme versions of high ropes and challenge courses allowed campers to try these classic activities at more intense (and fun!) level. Senior high marathon campers could also participate in a movie making session and a nature hike. Campers could also take a tour of the Mayfield Milk Dairy, complete with ice cream sampling and then work off their frozen treat at Eighties Iron Man, a high energy Zumba relay that had our campers dancing all afternoon.

I had a blast running extreme arts and crafts, an option for our elementary and junior marathon campers. Campers created beautiful paintings, worked on string bracelets, tie dyed bandannas, and splatter painted a huge sheet. I even let my first session have an impromptu “shaving cream war” with left over supplies. They all left smiling and in the words of one camper, smelling like their dads. Seeing my crafters create awesome reminders (and memories) of their time at camp made me remember why Camp John Knox is so special! My campers made up a variety of ages, interests, and personalities, but as they playfully threw shaving cream blobs at each other, those differences did not matter. I love that CJK is a place where kids can enjoy the outdoors, make new friends, try new things, and where all you need is excitement and a good attitude to have a great time!

With this reminder, I am eager to see the friendships that form as we move into our second week of camp, and I know the other staff members are equally excited. Stay tuned for more posts both on the blog and on Facebook!

-Anna Rennich, Program Assistant 

Advent Dinner Save The Date!

All Presbytery of East Tennessee church professionals SAVE THIS DATE: December 2nd.

Our Annual Advent Dinner will be the evening of December 2nd,the John Knox Center staff would like to invite all pastors, DCE’s, secretaries, youth leaders, and other church professionals to join us for an evening of celebration, fellowship, and a wonderful meal.

The evening will be a special time for you to enjoy time with others from the Presbytery without the stress of meetings, budgets, and business! New this year, along with our program we will be hosting a Silent Auction. Start your Christmas shopping with handmade goods from across East Tennessee including items from folks in our Presbytery! All funds raised will support our ministry here at JKC.

More info and invitations to come soon!


50% OFF Lodging!

50% OFF ANY LODGING ACCOMMODATIONS for any group the weekend of August 26, 27, 28, 2011! We have had a last minute cancellation that has opened up a prime weekend for fun in the sun. All lodging has AIR CONDITIONING and most with bathrooms in your room or cabin. Want to stay in a new B Unit cabin for less than $7 per person? Book your retreat, fill the cabin (8) and have cash left over for fun extras like ZIP LINE or KAYAKING!

Discount applies to any type of group: church, school, business, non-profit, etc. Entire dorm must be reserved, rooms can not be rented individually. Meal & program fees are not discounted. Overall 20 person minimum applies to foodservice, so if your group is under 20, invite another group to book too! Groups may not prepare their own meals. First come, first serve. We will book groups at this rate until will fill all 144 overnight spaces! Call our office to reserve (865) 376-2236 and rally your group for an experience in a haven amid God’s creation!

Tell us what you think!

Hello to all 2011 campers and camper parents!!

We need your help! We want your feedback! Tell us what you think!

Robert & Carl are desperate for you to fill out the survey!

Each year we strive to improve our camp experience for you all. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by you, the campers and parents, telling us about that very thing. Let us know what you thought about everything from registration, to food, to programs, to vespers. If you haven’t completed the survey yet, please take time to do this.

I try my hardest to think up all the coolest ideas, best ways to do things, and the next big thing; but even I know that I don’t have all the answers!! Let us know what you think! The survey is very short and sweet, it should only take 5 minutes or so. And it’s all online, no emailing or printing involved. The survey is via Survey Monkey and there is no login or registration necessary.

Camper Survey Link

Copyright Survey Monkey.

Simple click here to complete the survey! or type this URL in the address bar :

Thank you for your time and I hope you enjoyed your summer!

See (& hear) you soon!


It’s a Picnic at camp!

A Picnic at camp, that sounds like a great idea, huh? Camp’s going to provide the food? Even better! And there will be activities for my kids and me to do together? Wow – can’t get any better I would say!

The Annual JKC Family Picnic is coming up right around the corner and, in my humble opinion, it is a thoroughly enjoyable day to spend at camp. We as staff get to see a lot of different people come through these gates for their own individual specialized events. Whether it is kids as campers, church members for their weekend retreat, women at the Women’s Retreat, or sewers here to do their thing; the great thing about the Family Picnic is there are no requirements to attend! You don’t have to be a certain age, go to a particular church, be a certain gender, have any skills, or wear the coolest gear!

I also love that I get the chance to work with former staff again. Often times many of the current year’s summer staff will come back for one more hurrah at JKC for the year to help lead all the activities. Also, we get a few past staff (from way back, too, sometimes!) that will reappear for a return weekend to lend a helping hand. This is great fun for me to see familiar faces and work with the folks that make a large part of this ministry run, past and present.

Mark your calendar to join us for the Family Picnic on Sunday, September 18th from 2-6pm. It is surely going to be an amazing day of play and fellowship –  you wouldn’t want to miss out. Check back for more details about the picnic closer to the date.

See you soon!


Night Owl in Full Swing

My apologies for the great lack of blog posts this week, but due to unforeseen circumstances our internet has been down. I have been blessed with a short time of internet access to inform you of the goings-ons of camp thus far.

Let's all enjoy a s'mores

Having fun together


Waterfront fun

Waterskiing like a boss