Vic's Journal

The McKissick Family: A VJ Story

By Kayla White and Elizabeth McCurry
February 24, 2023

At Victory Junction, we strive to make every experience a memorable one for campers and their families. Our hope is that, whenever someone leaves our gates, they take a little piece of Camp with them. For John McKissick’s family, spending time at Victory Junction also meant creating memories with John that they will always cherish.

John was diagnosed with autism when he was just two and a half years old. He was a big fan of things many kids love: macaroni and cheese, chips, and pizza. John liked to ride horses, swim, sing, and play baseball and soccer. Communication was a little different for John and his family, but he was a very joyful kid!

John McKissick at minigolf
John McKissick and his dad playing minigolf at Victory Junction.

The McKissicks were big fans of NASCAR, and they had heard about Victory Junction when it opened in 2004. They had always dreamed of coming to Camp someday, and when they heard about the day camp for kids diagnosed with autism, they applied. The day camp session gave John and his family the opportunity they had been looking for, and their wish to experience Camp finally came true.

In 2015, the McKissick family attended Victory Junction, and John got to experience the magic of Camp. The McKissicks had fun playing mini golf, trying their hand at archery and fishing, and riding horseback, which John enjoyed a lot.

John McKissick at minigolf
John McKissick and his dad playing minigolf at Victory Junction.
Isaac McKissick at archery
Isaac McKissick shooting archery at Victory Junction.

John and his brother, Isaac, went to Adam’s Race Shop, where they played Guitar Hero and changed a tire on a race car! They also enjoyed a tasty lunch and savored delicious snacks, like popcorn and ice cream. John’s mom, Angie McKissick, remembers how he was encouraged with “challenge by choice” to try barbecue chicken for the very first time. John loved the chicken so much that he ate six legs, and his mom had to stop him from eating more! John and his family enjoyed a day full of camp fun while making memories together, and their time at Victory Junction left a lasting impression on all of them.

Angie says that she and her family will always cherish the memories of their time with John at Victory Junction and the positive impact that Camp had on him. “Victory Junction [has] a special place in our hearts.”

In memory of John McKissick: February 1, 2002 – November 27, 2016. We are so glad you got to play with us at Camp.

John McKissick