The camp is located in Copiah County, which is a Choctaw word meaning Calling Panther. With that in mind, we called the Choctaws 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!
Camp Kamassa has been designed and is being built to accommodate the needs of campers with various illnesses and challenges. Some of those include 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.
"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 every day 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 encourage 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.
On February 20, 2013, we borrowed $600,000 to purchase 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 Children's hospital in Jackson. Our New Zion Volunteer Fire Department is within less than 5 miles. 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. We broke ground in 2018 and construction is ~40% complete.
The intent of Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) is to produce mission-ready forces through military training opportunities that provide key services for American communities.
Camp Kamassa captures the true essence of this military capability to provide a camping experience for the special needs children and adults of Mississippi!
144th Civil Engineer Squadron Fresno, CA ANG
445th Civil Engineer Squadron Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Ohio AFR
This unit has been working on cabin interiors and on dirt work. Work on the multi-purpose building is also starting.