WIGGINS, MS. - The Abbie Rogers Civitan Camp is FOX 23's Kindness in Action recipient this week. For the last 56 years Civitan Camp has been helping families with disabilities in the Pine Belt. Adults and children with disabilities spend a week long summer camp at the camp grounds of Camp Iti Kana.
The camp started after Rogers realized people with special disabilities are often overlooked.
“People with disabilities didn’t have the same opportunities as those without disabilities in any camping or any type of social outing, and she set out to right the wrong" says Camp Director Terri Daniels.
Since the early 60's the camp has significantly grown. It now has three annual camp sessions with nearly 1,000 people in and out of the camp gates each year.
"Abbie's vision to create such a camp began with a small staff, 18 counselors and campers, and the support of local organizations. Despite prevailing discouragement for a mammoth undertaking, off to the woods Abbie went, armed with tents and bold determination! Now, this camp is a favorite tradition for many" says camp officials.
Another Camp Director Kay Boone says, “When I first came it was a much smaller group at that time we did not have an adult camp it was just two weeks of kids camp."
"...and as the campers got older and coming and coming, we created the adult camp" she says. Adult and children campers spend an entire week at the camp. It consists of an ample amount of outdoor activities.
An adult camper tells FOX 23, “I love going to camp I have a good time, I am going to have a good time this year.” Campers, counselors, and volunteers build lasting relationships.
“We have been doing it for 17 years now and it is just a way for us to to give back and be part of something that is a special part of our hearts" says Brad Hankins a worker at the camp.
Officials say Civitan Camp is more than just a week getaway. “They make lifelong friends here, you know it is just like a family, they make friends and can’t wait to see them every year" says Assistant Camp Director Chris Potin.
To learn more about Abbie Rogers Civitan Camp you can click here.