Leadership camp provides fun and learning for kids

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 29, 2014

A popular summer program in Vicksburg wound to a close Thursday.
The summer leadership camp hosted by Central Mississippi Prevention Services wrapped itself up on Thursday.  For the past 14 years it has provided children from ages 5 to 14 with fun and educational activities during the summer weeks.
The camp has three focuses for the children as they attend the camp.
The first of these is academics. During the summer many children move backwards in their education as they forget things they were taught from their intellectual skills not being used. The camp has several certified teachers working at the camp and using common core materials with the children.
Terrence Wright, 10, said the camp is not simply recess all day.
“I’m definitely learning a lot with all they are teaching me.”
However, recreation is a major focus of the camp. The children not only play games such as basketball daily and go swimming twice a week, but also take field trips. Twice this summer Hinds Community College has helped transport the campters to the Mississippi Children’s Musem and the Russell C. Davis Planetarium in Jackson.
For 9-year-old Barry Moore, field trips and homework take a backseat to games.
“I love all the games we play like Trouble and basketball.”
Alongside academia and recreation is an emphasis on teaching life skills.
LT. Beacon, who is in charge of the camp, said some children regress not only academically but socially during the summer.
“In order to succeed in life you must have non-negotiables”.
Campers are taught how to resolve conflicts, communicate and deal with anger. Counselors focus heavily on teaching campers to never seek to harm anyone, steal or lie.
Jamaya Turner, 8, said she likes keeping busy when out of school.
“It’s nice having something to do during the summer.”
The camp is funded by sponsors, as well as a donation from the city of Vicksburg of $12,000 that made up for a shortfall in donations. They also received six students from the city of Vicksburg who have been helping and training all summer.  For information on how to donate for next summer’s program, contact CMPS at 601-631-0102.

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