Meet Joy Engel! As Joy, the founder of Camp Fun Brain and mom of two answered my questions, I felt several things: I want to be best friends, how can I sign up my kids for Camp Fun Brain?, and there is so much I could learn from her! Joy has 12 years of teaching experience and is passionate about making learning fun for all kids.

 

Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?

I grew up in Austin, so a long time!

 

What is your favorite thing about living here?

I’m a book lover and I feel like Austin is just the right place for me. This community is really into great lit!

 

Tell us about your kids… 

I have two daughters. Carolyn is 9 and Lydia is 18 months.

 

What do you love to do with your family around town?

I love checking out parks and trails with my girls. There are so many great nature spots tucked away in town, and visits to those spots are a great recharge for the three of us.

 

Tell us about Camp Fun Brain and how it came to be, and what makes it so unique…

After teaching elementary for ten years, I started Camp Fun Brain as a summer reading enrichment camp for elementary aged kids.  It’s unique because it’s taught by certified teachers. With the current state of affairs in public schools, teachers have so much red tape that keeps them from doing a lot of the fun stuff that really sparks a love of reading and learning in general. At camp, we’re not restricted that way. It’s kind of a teaching utopia! We get to facilitate what’s best for kids: joyful learning!

 

Are you involved in anything else within the community?

I’m a dyslexia specialist and a dance mom.

 

I feel like I’d love to pick your brain (dyslexia mom) and be your bff (fellow book-lover here!). How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?

Austin has been so welcoming of my camp concept! I’ve been amazed at all the love from parents of campers. They’ve really helped bring my idea to life. 

 

Is there one thing people would be surprised to know about you…

I had cancer five years ago. At the time it felt like life would never be normal again, and now sometimes I forget that I even had that experience.

 

Wow, that is a part of your story now! I’m certain that walking through that forever altered your perspective on life, changing you in many positive ways that you are not aware of because it is who you have become. I’m so grateful I have the opportunity to meet you and introduce you to South Austin Moms! 

 

Headshot by Kari Sanchez.

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