Toughest Kids Camp is taking shape near lakePublished 10:22am Wednesday, April 2, 2014
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Long awaited and prayed-over plans to construct a camp facility for children with serious illnesses and special needs are coming together in northern Copiah County.
The Mississippi’s Toughest Kids Foundation has received conceptual plans for a sprawling 326-acre camp facility near Calling Panther Lake that will include all manner of outdoor and indoor activities built specifically for children (and adults) with special needs.
“The whole purpose of the MTK Foundation is to get these children outdoors and having fun. We want to give them a place where they can be safe, enjoy nature and just be kids for a few days,” said Mary Kitchens, MTK director. “We are so grateful to landscape architect Jared Acy, Watkins Acy Strunk Design, for putting our vision on paper.”
Plans for the camp facility call for ball fields, a horse arena, swimming pool, primitive camping grounds, ropes course, archery range, a 10-acre lake, Christmas tree farm, star-gazing area, and other sites.
Several buildings will house a gymnasium, cafeteria, library, teaching kitchen, music room, photography room and staff offices. There will also be a chapel, large cabins and an open-air multi-purpose facility. Perhaps the most important building will be the state-of-the-art infirmary where children will receive therapy, medicine (including chemo) and even kidney dialysis.
Hebrews 12:13, the mission statement for MTK, bears the command to “make level paths for your feet.” Level thresholds and covered walkways will connect all the amenities and areas at the site, shade will be abundant and the entire facility will be constructed without stairs, Kitchens said.
“Even the land itself accommodates accessibility,” said Jeff Knight, PE, principal with WGK Inc., the firm that worked on the site plan.
“At this point the most important part of the foundation is its volunteers who donate their time, professional expertise, and without them we wouldn’t be nearly this close to our goal,” Kitchens said.
The entire idea came from the hearts of volunteers and from their love for these children, and it will be through their continued hard work that we succeed,” said foundation board members Dan Kitchens, with the Kitchens Law Firm of Crystal Springs, and Dr. Ronnie Nettles, president of Copiah-Lincoln Community College.
More information can be found at www.mtkfound.com.