MWFP provides camp for the disabled youth

Published 7:00 am Saturday, October 29, 2016

For the fourth consecutive year, the Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Foundation is providing a free camp for children ages 6 to 17-years-old with disabilities. Campers will have a chance to partake in a deer hunting excursion and plenty of other camp activities.

The three day camp, which started on Oct. 28, will begin at the MDWFP Turcotte Education Center—located at 506 Highway 43 South—where the participants will enjoy a half day of outdoor activities prior to getting ready for an evening deer hunt. The campers will have three windows to go hunting, including Friday evening, Saturday morning and Saturday evening.

Billy Redd, President and CEO of MWFP, said the most important thing they stress during the camp is safety, ensuring each camper is safe at all times.

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As part of the registration, Redd said they fill out paper work that allows them to participate in a stringent gun safety lesson at the Turcotte Education Center gun range. There, the children learn how to safely handle a firearm. When they go on the hunting trip, a guide and another supervisor accompany each child. Redd said the kids do not touch the gun until they are safely secured in the deer stand and are about to shoot a deer.

On the last day of camp, staff, participants and families will meet for a closing ceremony at the Brandon Civic Center at 11 a.m. to celebrate and share their experiences.

“This weekend is a fun activity filled weekend where kids just get to be kids,” Redd said. “These kids don’t get to do a lot of things that others take for granted, so this camp allows them and their parents to put aside reality and have a fun time.”

Besides the hunting trips, the kids participate in other activities at the camp, including fishing rodeos, arts and crafts sponsored by Bass Pro Shops and the Museum of Natural Science brings snakes and alligators the campers can touch. Even Santa Claus comes to Super Hunt camp to hand out goodie bags to all the campers.

Also, each night is filled with camp activities like bonfires and making s’mores.

“Seeing how happy this camp makes these kids motivates us to continue it each year,” Redd said. “It is such a fun time and all the kids seem to really enjoy it.”