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Local camp offers unique experience for special kids

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Updated: 7/24/2013 8:15 pm
VAN VLEET, Miss. (WTVA) -- Around 35 campers with challenges are spending a week enjoying the outdoors.
"You see all the friends you've already made. You get to like swim with them, eat with them. You just get to hang out with them all the time," said Rachel Morrison, camper.

The campers range in age from seven to 21, and you may be surprised at what they do while enjoying their time at the campground.

"This camp is no different than any other camp. We do arts and crafts, swimming,  canoeing or kayaking. I just saw some kids at the mudslide earlier. You know, getting down and dirty and having a good time at camp," said Callie Everett, volunteer. 

The Elizabeth Gwin Session camp has been around for at least 35 years and continues to grow each summer. A high number of volunteers donate their time and services to make the camp a success.

 "You know, we have almost one-to-one camper to staff. We have additional program staff that helps manage our areas, our horseback and lake. It helps that we have so many folks that are so dedicated to our adventure," stated Beth Moody, session director.

"You get to just stick with one girl and focus on her and make sure she is getting everything she needs to get out of it. [This way] she is getting the full experience and do all the activities," said Carissa Dillingham, volunteer.

Many of the volunteers say the experience at the camp is rewarding.

"Me being able to come and play and serve them, and make sure they have a good time is something I have to do every summer. It's a joy and a privelage and I'm proud to be here," said Everette

The campers will enjoy a banquet and campfire on the final night of the camp. 

The Elizabeth Gwin Session camp does come with a cost.

That's why the Girl Scouts Heart of the South pitch in with scholarships and other donations.
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