McComb, MS: Camp Sunshine 2008 was a great success!

By
Real Estate Agent with Latter & Blum Hometown Realty ERA Powered Licensed in MS.


Camper Rosmonique Bonds receiving his dance trophy from JA member Leigh Ann Creel

 

Camp Sunshine 2008 at Percy Quin State Park July 9-13 was a great success! Grease was this year’s theme for the five-day camp for mentally and physically handicapped children and adults.  Some of the theme-related highlights this year were a “drive-in movie” held on the park’s activity field, a dance-off contest with trophies awarded, and a special performance of songs from the movie Grease by guest musicians. 

Each year Janet Stewart’s Girl Scouts lead activities on Wednesday, the opening day of camp.  This year’s activities were called Rockin’ Races, Greased Lightnin’ Games, Bebop Make and Take, Nifty Nature, and Big Blue Bathtub (swimming)!  On Wednesday afternoon, Beth Hemeter of Image Maker Photography came out and made a group picture of all the campers and counselors.  She climbed to the top of the pavilion to get everyone in the shot! On Wednesday evening the Parklane Players performed scenes from Grease. The actors were Taylor Stringer as "Danny" and Kelly Bonner as "Sandy"; Morgan Middleton, Erica Lewis, Mary Elizabeth Stringer, and Sarah Loper as "The Pink Ladies"; and Josh King, Frankie Castello, Seth Caras, and Hunter Caras as the "T-Birds."


Camper LaDonovan Nelson enjoys the water slide, with Counselor Jeremy Turner (left).

 

Friday evening the participants rode McComb School District busses to dinner at Southwest MS Regional Medical Center and then went bowling at the McComb Bowling Center.  Special devices were used so that campers in wheelchairs were able to bowl, also. 

 

On Saturday morning the Olympic Games were held on the activities field.  Relays such as bubble-gum blowing and “water balloon-sit on-and pop” contests were precursors to the ever-popular counselors’ egg toss/shaving cream fight!   The Sunny Hill Volunteer Fire Department hosed off the counselors after this event! The Knights of Columbus assisted all day with the fishing rodeo and preparing balloons for the relay.  Also assisting with the fishing rodeo were Kade Boone, William Hightower, and Zack McDaniel.  Saturday evening Erin Alford as "Sandy" and Jonathan Watts as "Danny" sang several tunes from Grease after “Sandy” roared onto the stage escorted on a motorcycle!  The rest of the evening was filled with group skits and camper stage acts. 

 

On Sunday morning during the church service in the pavilion Miss Mattie of the McComb Public Library played her autoharp and sang songs, and Ian McAnally, interim student minister at First Baptist Church of McComb, delivered the sermon.  Campers took up a “nature offering” in the spirit of giving back to God a portion of the great things He has given us.

 

Camp Sunshine, begun in 1976 with about fifteen campers, has grown into a huge operation with eighty campers and over 100 teenaged counselors, in addition to about a dozen college-aged experienced leaders.  The McComb Junior Auxiliary sponsors the event, and JA members are responsible for running the five major events (dance, swimming, arts and crafts, nature, and recreation), in addition to arranging nighttime entertainment, meals, counselor snacks, canteen, fabulous decorations, goody bags and buttons, laundry, and so much more.  The cafeteria staff at Percy Quin cooked breakfast and lunch each day.  In addition, several businesses donated food on various days.  U.S. Food Group provided the sausage and pork which John Devine of Devine’s Bar-B-Que, US Food Group’s Jason Mercier, and others spent all day slow cooking on site.  Rick and Bente’ Johnson fried fish for everyone, and Jerry and Jeanine Stogner supplied the French fries and other sides.  Pike Construction and Cox Architecture provided desserts, and Buffalo Services donated TCBY treats for Coke floats!

 

 

 

 


Campers Robert Britt (left) and Kayla Stinson love Camp Sunshine!

 

Becky Morgan is the long-time camp director, and this year’s JA Coordinator was Denise Webb.  This year’s Assistant JA Coordinator, Becky Moak, will be the 2009 Coordinator.  Diedre Reynolds and Heidi Hart were the Camp Nurses.  JA Life Member Flo Boyd was the Swimming Director, and Janet Stewart and JA Life Member Betsy Enochs assisted at the pool.  Boyd received an award from the campers, counselors, and staff for her 30 years of hard work and dedicated service as Camp Sunshine’s Swimming Director.  JA Life Member Betsy Murrell was actively involved in nearly every aspect of camp, and received a Volunteer of the Year award from The Tri County Arc.  Stewart’s Girl Scouts not only planned and ran Wednesday’s events, they also helped throughout the week at all the activities, and even wrote letters to each camper so that everyone would receive mail during the week!

Many pictures from both this year’s and last year’s Camp Sunshine, as well as "The Best of Camp, 2002-2006," can be viewed online at www.photoworks.com/members/tmorgan100.  (Click on "View all" to see albums not pictured on the first page.  Note: Photos can be viewed as a slide show, but in full-screen mode descriptions which may be under some of the photos are not visible--you may need to scroll down to read the descriptions.) 

***Did you know?! You can now subscribe by email to my blog! (Enter your email address in the subscribe field in the right column of this page, below the pictures of recent visitors.)

***Comments are welcome and encouraged--please click on the "Comments" link below!

 
 

 

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Anonymous
Carl

Hi Tom,

    Great Blog! Love the pic of LaDonovan. Reading your blog has certainly put a smile on my face!

Jul 21, 2008 09:56 PM #1
Anonymous
Sal G

Cool Camp Sunshine blog!!!  I sure do miss camp and cannot wait until I am able to join y'all again.

Sal

Jul 21, 2008 10:03 PM #2
Rainer
34,209
Thomas "Tommy" Morgan
Latter & Blum Hometown Realty ERA Powered Licensed in MS. - McComb, MS
Latter & Blum Hometown Realty ERA Powered

Hey, Carl and Sal,

Thanks for your comments.  The five days of Camp Sunshine give us smiles us enough to last throughout the year! Hope to see you and Ashley out there next year, Sal!

 

Jul 22, 2008 12:43 PM #3
Anonymous
Ashley

Oh, man do we miss camp! I watched the photo slideshow the other night and cried I was so campsick. I have met so many people who have never experienced anything like it. We've got to get back down there ASAP!

 

Jul 22, 2008 01:08 PM #4
Anonymous
Megan Tatlock

Our JA chapter is interested in doing a camp for special needs in Tipton County.  How can I get in touch with the  Mccomb JA?

Sep 23, 2008 11:59 AM #5
Rainer
34,209
Thomas "Tommy" Morgan
Latter & Blum Hometown Realty ERA Powered Licensed in MS. - McComb, MS
Latter & Blum Hometown Realty ERA Powered

Hey, Ashley,

We loved being at your and Sal's wedding and reception the other evening--it was beautiful!  Best wishes to both of you!

Hi, Megan,

Thanks for writing.  I sent the contact info to you.  Working at this camp has been a life-changing experience for many people--best wishes to you!

Sep 23, 2008 01:33 PM #6
Anonymous
Danielle

Hello Tom,

I am trying to find out some information about Camp Sunshine for a friend that lives in Gulf Port. Can you send me some information for them to look over.

Thanks,

Danielle

Oct 24, 2011 11:28 AM #7
Rainer
34,209
Thomas "Tommy" Morgan
Latter & Blum Hometown Realty ERA Powered Licensed in MS. - McComb, MS
Latter & Blum Hometown Realty ERA Powered

I'd be happy to, Danielle.  Would you like info for a prospective camper or counselor?  You may email me directly at tmorgan100 at yahoo, and I will reply with contact info for the camp coordinator.  Thanks.

Oct 24, 2011 12:46 PM #8
Anonymous
alayna
How can I volunteer at camp sunshine?
May 22, 2014 05:39 PM #9
Rainer
34,209
Thomas "Tommy" Morgan
Latter & Blum Hometown Realty ERA Powered Licensed in MS. - McComb, MS
Latter & Blum Hometown Realty ERA Powered
Hi, Alayna, The application deadline is usually around May 1, but feel to contact the camp director, Betsy Murrell, at emm at cableone dot net . Thank you for writing.
May 26, 2014 05:46 AM #10
Anonymous
April Cook

my daughter is interested in volunteering in 2015 could you send me some info rentals@fredbuhrerrealestate.com

Dec 09, 2014 02:02 PM #11
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Thomas "Tommy" Morgan

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