About Camp Discovery
Camp Discovery exists to allow anyone with special needs to experience the joy that is summer camp. The memories created at camp can have profound and lasting positive effects.
In 1971, the ARC asked the Jaycees to open a Foster Grandparent Program. Two years later, the ARC returned and asked to start another program for the mentally challenged, afterwards the Tennessee Jaycees Foundation was established in 1977 with John Germ as President. Less than a year later, a permanent camp site selection began for Camp Jaycee (renamed Camp Discovery in 1982 to avoid confusion). An application was made in 1980 and a lease was granted a year later to begin construction, then in 1983, the camp officially opens, and the first 125 campers arrived.
Camp Discovery is located on the Flynn’s Creek area of Cordell Hull Lake in Jackson County, Tennessee. Nestled in the beautiful rolling hills approximately midway between Nashville and Knoxville, our camp facilities spread across a beautiful 186 acres, which run adjacent to Cordell Hull Lake. The surrounding land is undeveloped and remains a sanctuary to local plant and wildlife.
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 or instructional area to another. The site provides for a network of nature trails, overnight wilderness campout locations and overlook areas.
We strive to provide a safe and fun camping experience including campfires, arts, crafts, swimming and fishing, music, dancing and indoor/outdoor activities for Tennessee-area children and adults with special needs such as muscular dystrophy, cancer, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, as well as various other special needs.