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Senator Hyde-Smith and military help with production of Camp Kamassa

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Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith addressing military personnel at Camp Kamassa on April 8, 2021 (Photo: Kate Cornell/12 News)


CRYSTAL SPRINGS, Miss. (WJTV) — Camp Kamassa in Crystal Springs is a project that’s been in the works for a few years now.

It’s going to serve as a camp for children and even some adults with special needs, the first one in the state.

The Mississippi’s Toughest Kids Foundation is looking forward to it opening… construction is coming along nicely.

“Everything is being created in mind with children that have special needs, and adults that have special needs,” Mary Kitchens, founder and executive director said.

It can be difficult for kids with special needs to feel what we might call “normal.” Kitchens said that won’t be a problem at Camp Kamassa.

“That ain’t gon’ be true here!” Kitchens said. “Here they can get in any building, they can go in any bathroom, they can ride any canoe, any horse.”

She added that none of this would be possible without help from a partnership with the Department of Defense called Innovative Readiness Training — in other words, military personnel from all over the country are helping to build Camp Kamassa.

“This is a win-win all around,” said Stacy Gilman, Camp Kamassa Project Senior Non Commissioned-Officer. “It’s a fantastic project, fantastic training for our troops and we thoroughly enjoy being here in Mississippi.”

In addition to a major improvement for quality of life for people with special needs, Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith explained that the camp will also be an economic boost to Copiah County.

“The economic impact that it has locally with all the development and the building of these cabins have been significant in this area,” Senator Hyde-Smith said. “Over $7 mil. So far.”

Earlier this week, Senators Butler, Barret and Caughman also toured.

If you would like to make a contribution to help Camp Kamassa, please visit the Mississippi’s Toughest Kids Foundation website.