JHC stands for Junior High Camp, a camp that is geared towards incoming 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. We are part of the National Japanese American United Methodist Caucus, a connection of churches underneath the United Methodist Church.
Although there are ties to the NJAUMC, we strive to not exclude others based on race or ethnicity. In addition, we love people of all ethinicities, genders, sexual orientations, faith experiences, or economic situations. We try to offer a community of acceptance, support, guidance, and fellowship that strengthens their spiritual journey and encourages not only participation in their local church but the awareness and response of social injustices in our community and world.
Originally, the camp was owned and operated under an ecumenical federation of Japanese-American churches in the Northern California Area. Although the specifc year cannot be pinpointed due to the fact that the camp name has changed numerous times, the history of JHC goes back over 60 years. Over the years, the ownership of the camp transferred under the NJAUMC and is now governed by the NJAUMC Camping Board, who oversees JHC, Asian Camp (high-school age Summer camp), and our AO retreat (college-age).
In 2004, a movement began to expand towards the Southern California area. They had a total of 6 counselors on staff and brought 3 campers from their region. Since then the Southern California churches have been influential with their numbers of campers, counselors, and directors. In 2007, we held JHC for the first time in Southern California at Camp Colby located in Angeles Crest. Since our addition with the Southern California region, we rotate the campsite every couple of years.
4 years ago, we began including churches from Washington, which has been a growing strength in the North. We trained our first counselor from the Washington area last year by our first director in Washington (2012). We hope that this growth in attendance and leadership continues for many years to come.
Our goals for JHC are related to creating everlasting relationships with God that will last a lifetime. Counselors are trained for six months to work with junior highers to have an amazing experience with their peers as well as understanding the life and teachings of Christ.
It should be understood that our secondary goal is geared towards the counselors themselves, as part of their training begins with their own faith journey and how to express various forms of leadership.
In these two understandings, we strive for our youth to leave with a sense of relationship to Christ through tangible and practical life applications. In addition, we encourage their growth towards outreach through their local churches and leadership in their own communities.
We are connected to other camps, creating the bridges and foundations to Christ for High-school and college-age young adults. We work together to provide not only the best experience, but a lasting experience of the presence of Christ in the lives of the youth.
You may find more information about these camps and retreats here: