A newcomer to the area's summer enrichment programs for youth, Camp Destiny emphasizes development of the "complete" child by providing classes, programs and activities that focus on developing and improving essential academic and social skills.
Founded under the auspices of the non-profit New Destiny Urban Development Corporation, Camp Destiny is a collaborative effort between FreedomRock Christian Fellowship Church and LaBaron Hedgemon Ministries.
"Programs such as the Boys & Girls Club can't do it by themselves. We just want to expand our services to the community," said the Rev. LaBaron Hedgemon, pastor of the church.
The nine-week camp is scheduled from June 3-Aug. 1, with a graduation ceremony on Aug. 1. Geared to youth ages 5-15 who live in Meridian and Lauderdale County, the program focuses on four key areas: academics, arts and crafts, technology and health and fitness.
• Academics – Conducted by licensed and accredited educators, this area features a daily curriculum that emphasizes improving English and reading comprehension, developing sound math skills and learning testing techniques and strategies designed to improve MCT-2 scores.
Language arts and foreign language are also part of the curriculum. Fridays are designated "French Friday," in which students are taught the basics of speaking French.
• Technology – A Computer Discovery Lab will offer several programs designed to match age and skill level. Each day, students will participate in "tech-recreation" classes, where they learn about various computer programs such as utilizing Microsoft Office to developing PowerPoint presentations, and create Excel documents, as well as develop an understanding of how to effectively navigate and explore the Internet.
• Arts and Crafts – Designed to promote community and peer morale, fosters self-enhancement and to enrich the community's cultural qualify of life by offering imaginative arts instruction and hands-on assistance. Each program offers a wide range of activities for all skill levels and interests, and is equipped with age-appropriate supplies in a safe "play-work" space to complete personal projects.
• Health and Fitness – In addition to providing healthy and nutritional breakfast and lunch, Camp Destiny has partnered with Meridian Public School District to allow campers access to facilities where they can engage in various recreational activities, including basketball, soccer and kickball.
The camp meets daily at the church, which is located at 5718 Fifth St. (behind Oakland Heights School). Drop off time begins at 7:30 a.m. and pickup is 5:30 p.m. Cost is $60 per week, per student; $50 if there is a sibling. The cost includes meals and an evening snack.
The deadline to register is May 17; a $25 non-refundable registration fee is required. Forms are available at the church Tuesday-Thursday, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday, from 9 a.m.-noon. For more information, call (601) 693-0502.