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Hundreds participate in Camp Shelby's Kids Annual Training summer camp

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Camp Shelby is having its 25th Kids Annual Training summer camp this week.

This is a chance for kids of Mississippi National Guard (MSNG) Soldiers and Airmen to experience some of the things their parents go through.

MSNG Outreach Specialist Director, Lt. Col. Deidre Smith said, "It is so much fun to watch your child grow through this week. They come in and they're a little bit nervous at first, but to watch them make new friends, connect with military families. Kids that go through the same thing, they know what it's like for their parents to miss a dance recital or for someone to miss the All-Star game because their parents had drill or annual training. But, they have that connection."

The campers got to see the Black Daggers jump out of a helicopter, and also got to ride in a tank.

"It showed me that even though we got a lot of stuff to do, we got to be on it. Be on it all the time. And always be respectful and always listen to the other people," said camper, Coner Dexter.

"With hard work, you can pretty much accomplish anything. And that sometimes everything is just fun and games, but you still need to kick it up a notch," said camper, Janelle Swilley.

The kids have enjoyed their time at Camp Shelby so far, but there is one common thing they do not like.

"The hardest part really is the marching. You march back-and-forth everywhere you go. I gotten used to it. That's for sure," said Swilley.

The campers will graduate Saturday and will show their parents what they have learned, including their marching skills.



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