Special needs camp to open in Copiah County

COPIAH COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – The U.S. Airforce is preparing to send airmen and women to Copiah County for a very special project.

They’ll be building a one of a kind camp for special needs children.

“We’ll be able to do kidney dialysis at camp. We’ll be able to bring children to camp that are on ventilators,” Mary Kitchens said.

Camp Kamassa is Kitchens’ brainchild.

She and the Mississippi Toughest Kids Foundation started the project in 2013.

Kitchens came up with it after her own son attended a camp for children with cancer, “That particular camp, Camp Rainbow has had to move six different times. And we just started thinking 10 years ago that if we had to move that many times, it was very likely that other special needs groups had also.”

Camp Kamassa will be Mississippi’s first fully handicap accessible camp open to groups year round.

“We have over two dozen camps in Mississippi for children with special needs. But they lease…They don’t own their property. And so you have to go when you’re told to go, when they have a week available,” Kitchens said.

The U.S. Airforce is offering $6 million worth of free labor through a program called Innovative Readiness Training.

Every two weeks, a new group of about 100 airmen will be brought in.

“It allows us to get out in the communities, and train our airmen and our young troops in their career fields,” Chief Master Sergeant Todd Jones said.

The MTK Foundation is accepting donations to help fund the rest of the project, which Kitchens says is around $6 million.

The foundation hopes to open the camp in 2020.

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