Camp is a place for the children

Published 3:29 pm Friday, June 15, 2007

To give neighborhood children a place to hang out during the summer, one local resident renovated a home and has set up a summer camp.

The Community Outreach Camp, located on North Jackson Avenue, currently cares for about 20 children, down from last year’s 65 to 70 children, said Virgie Bolton, who initiated the camp under Virgie Bolton Ministries in conjunction with the Love Suffering Church.

From 7 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. children spend their day at the camp where two snacks, breakfast and lunch are served throughout the day. Several of the children were enjoying a freshly made snowball as they played at the camp.

Classes are also taught at the camp, such as music, dance and drama in addition to the children learning how to interact with each other.

“I hope some of these kids will make a difference in the future of Picayune,” Bolton said.

Bolton said she charges parents a minimum for the camp, usually about $40 a week. If a parent brings a child and cannot pay the full amount, she said she does not turn them away.

“A lot of parents can’t afford to pay what some of the day cares are charging,” Bolton said.

To get the camp started this year, she said she used her savings, and the charity of Jacob’s Well Ministries and Baylous Funeral Home.

This is her second year holding the summer-long camp and she also plans to hold the camp next year with the possibility of hosting an after school program as well.

“Every year as long as I live I just plan to do it,” Bolton said.

Children of various ages are cared for at the camp, usually ages three to 17, Bolton said.

Other activities were available for the children to take advantage of, such as riding bikes Bolton acquired from the local Goodwill and Jacob’s Well.

If anyone has questions about the camp or would like to contribute to the camp, Bolton can be reached at 601-916-7014 or at 601-799-5425.