Get to the Chopper! SAME Army Engineering Construction Camp underway in Warren County

Published 3:24 pm Friday, June 16, 2023

The Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) is currently hosting the Army Engineering and Construction Camp in Vicksburg from June 11 through 17.

Each branch of the military has a nationwide summer camp, and the U.S. Army’s camp happens to take place right here in Warren County. Campers from all over the country came to attend the camp — however, some are from right here in Vicksburg.

Lauren Kilroy, a student at River City Early College High School, said she has been having a good time with all the STEM-related activities the camp offers.

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“We usually go out to different engineering (organizations) like ERDC,” Kilroy said. “We went to Neel-Shaffer Architects today, and they just tell us a lot about what they do to give us a better perspective.”

Kilroy added that she has also been pleased with how the camp is run.

“Everyone is really awesome. The counselors have been doing a lot for us,” she said. “I’m glad I got to be here.”

On Tuesday, campers were treated to a surprise visit from a U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter at the Mississippi Army National Guard facility near Edwards.

The helicopter came and landed on a helipad at the facility while campers stood at attention nearby. The helicopter crew then gave an overview of the vehicle and allowed campers to climb inside to see it up close.

On Monday, students created concrete cylinders of different varieties. On Tuesday, they crushed those cylinders to test how different types of concrete construction are affected by heavy loads.

One camper from California, James Msechu, said one reason he decided to attend was because of his interest in pursuing a STEM career.

“I’d like to be a computer engineer, but as I come here, I’ve learned a lot about more about what it is to be an engineer, the different fields of engineering,” he said. “So my options are opening up as I’m here.”

This is the camp’s 20th year in operation. This year’s session will end on Saturday.