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01/17/2017 New!

The Tennessee Jaycee Foundation, Inc. announced the dates for summer 2017.

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Contact Us

Camp Discovery
TN Jaycees Foundation, Inc.
Chester Lowe
2072 Catalina Way
Nolensville, TN 37135
C: 615-504-1727
vicepresident@jayceecamp.org



History of Camp Discovery

Cabin

It all started in 1971 when the Association for Retarded Citizens of Tennessee (ARC) asked the Jaycees if we would take on a project to fund a pilot program called "Foster Grandparents" in Greeneville, Tennessee. John Germ, then State President of the Tennessee Jaycees, endorsed the involvement of Jaycees in this project.

Man holding fish that he caught

On February 17, 1977, the Tennessee Jaycee Foundation, Inc. ,was founded as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization and Mr. John Germ was named President. The principal project of the Tennessee Jaycee Foundation was then changed to help the financing and operation of Camp Jaycee (renamed Camp Discovery in February 1982).

The lease was granted in November, 1981, for the site inGainesboro which is about 75 miles east of Nashville. Having obtained the site, fund raising efforts began. Funds for construction came from Jaycees, Jayceetes, individuals, corporations and foundations. From major manufacturers we received donated equipment, air conditioners, fencing, water heaters, beds, flooring material, lumber, etc. Architectural and engineering services were also donated, as was a lot of the labor. Jerry Cooper, President of the Tennessee Jaycees in 1981-82, dedicated his year to "Follow That Dream" and build Camp Discovery. The camp was planned and designed so that all activities, buildings and recreation areas were easily accessible, permitting program traffic to flow easily from one participation orinstructional area to another. The site provides for a network of nature trails, overnight wilderness camp out locations and overlook areas.

Swimmers

On July 31, 1983, the first campers arrived. Camp Discovery '83 lasted 4 weeks and saw 125 campers served. Conditions at the first camping session were challenging, but once again, Jaycees came through with imagination and initiative. Water had to be hauled in, and once again, our friends from Fort Campbell were called upon and responded. They became so involved that they served as teachers and assisted with recreational activities at this first session. Tents had to be used as the dining facility and cooking equipment had to be borrowed.

Men playing with big bubbles

Since that first year, we've built 3 cabins (housing 30 campers and8 counselors each), a dining hall, a camp infirmary andoffice, an amphitheater/campfire area, and a large barn for indoor and evening activities. These additions and changes further enhance the effectiveness of Camp Discovery on those who, all year long, look forward to their week camping experience. However, we've only begun in fulfilling the dream of the Tennessee Jaycees and the Tennessee Jaycee Foundation. Plans include more cabins, a permanent caretaker's cabin, and a therapy building. Camp Discovery continues to lead the nation in providing therapists and recreational activities for individuals with disabilities.