Building a camp facility for children and adults with special needs.
On February 20, 2013, we borrowed $600,000 to purchased 326 acres nine miles NW of Crystal Springs. This perfect spot fronts Sumrall Road which is a well-maintained country road in Copiah County. Our location keeps us easy to locate and near Jackson hospitals. The land is relatively flat, will hold water for a lake, and has the most wonderful creek flowing through the property. Turkey Creek promises to be the perfect spot for eating watermelons, throwing rocks, and walking on logs. We paid off the loan plus interest on June 23, 2017.
Heartfelt words from the Founder Mary Kitchens
Where did we get the word Kamassa?
The camp will be located in Copiah County which is a Choctaw word meaning Calling Panther. With that in mind we called the Choctaw’s in north MS and asked for a word that meant “tough, persevere under difficulties, not give up” and were told Kamassa. This certainly describes our campers!
It is our desire for Camp Kamassa to be used by thousands of campers with various illnesses and challenges including, but not limited to asthma, spina bifida, cancer, HIV, muscular dystrophy, diabetes, brain injuries, hemophilia, Tourette syndrome, autism, transplant recipients, kids in foster care, arthritis, visual and hearing impairments, developmental disabilities, bereavement, sickle cell disease, Celiac disease, Crohn’s and colitis, and so much more. It is our plan that as these kids become adults, an adult camp will be available for them, as well. We can also envision senior adult groups and schools using the camp for day trips. OUR FACILITY WILL ONLY BE LIMITED BY OUR IMAGINATION AND YOURS.
The US AFRC Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) will be back in late February 2019 until July 2019 working hard to complete the 2nd Phase of building Camp Kamassa. The goal is to complete eight cabins and the multipurpose building. This will also include gas, power, water/sewer, roads, and other details surrounding those cabins.
The Benefits of the Camping Experience
“Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.” Hebrews 12:13
Healed? How can a child be healed at camp? Often, kids with special needs come to camp carrying a lot of self-pity or bitterness or anger or sadness and loneliness. Spending several days with other kids who everyday face the same challenges that they face can truly heal. Usually that healing is lasting. So often campers will say that camp is the best part of their year, something they look forward to with eagerness and excitement. No, camp can’t heal blind eyes or cancer or muscular dystrophy, but isn't an attitude healing a greater miracle
Being part of a camp will increase confidence and independence. The many planned activities are great for needed exercise and at encouraging imagination, learning and adventure.
Campers develop friendships and build relationships both with other campers and with caring counselors
Parents and families back home often need and greatly appreciate this time.
Though a medical camp must include nurses and doctors to care for the campers medical needs, at camp those nurses and doctors also get to play. Campers have the opportunity to truly enjoy being with the same professionals who often must administer painful procedures.