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Summer camps offered sure to please all

School is out for the summer. What are you going to do with your kids until August? If you don’t want them staring at a screen all summer, various campus are being offered across Jackson County for children of all ages. Check out some of the campus listed below.

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Jackson County Campus

Summer camps offered at the Jackson County campus of MGCCC in Gautier cover topics such as robotics, chemistry, swimming, and outdoor adventures. 

Visit the website for details about prices and registration, or contact Terri Sasser at terri.sasser@mgccc.edu or at 228-497-7633.

Pascagoula River Audubon Center

The Pascagoula River Audubon Center is offering fun, nature-based summer camp programming for a variety of age groups.

Elementary, middle school, and mini-camps run from 9 a.m. until noon at the center. The high school junior naturalist program runs 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. each day, and is field-trip based.

Visit the Audubon Center’s website for more details and to download the registration forms.

Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center

The center is all about the arts, whether performing, visual or culinary. This mission is reflected in the selection for their 2017 summer camps. 

Weeklong summer camps for all ages at the Mary C. run from the first full week of June all the way until the end of July, so there is plenty opportunity to for the kids to get their hands dirty learning how to cook, write, paint, craft and so much more. 

Visit the website for camp dates, details and pricing.

University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Lab

The GCRL’s three summer camp programs focus on the beauty of the ocean and all that inhabit it. 

Sea Camp: This summer Sea Camp is 30 years old. It has been the Coast’s most popular marine science day camp for children in grades 1 through 6.Activities include live animal encounters with coastal wildlife and opportunities to fish, crab, seine and sieve. 

Shark Camp: Why watch shark week on TV when you can live it? Visit the top shark fishing hotspots around the Barrier Islands aboard a research vessel. Catch and tag sharks to contribute to ongoing scientific research.

Shaggy’s Angler Camp: Fish everyday. This program introduces young people in grades 7 through 12 to fishing in the diverse waters of coastal Mississippi. The five-day camp includes sessions on the water, in the lab, and in the kitchen, as students learn everything from tying a hook on a line to finding and catching fish to cleaning and cooking their catch.

If you know of any other summer camps happening in Jackson County, sign up to become a contributor and write something up to let everyone know. Summer is fast approaching!

 

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Live Oak Arts Festival celebrates local natural beauty

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What started as a spring art festival to honor the beautiful oak trees that can be found all across Jackson County has now become the Live Oak Arts Festival, which held its eighth annual event on Saturday, May 13. 

Attendees gathered in downtown Pascagoula just blocks away from the Pascagoula River as well as the shore of the Mississippi Sound, which served as a perfect location to embrace the beautiful spring weather the day offered.

This year’s Live Oak Arts Festival truly offered something for everything this year. Children’s activities ranged from face painting, balloon art, and the 228 Rock scavenger hunt. Children who attending the Free Flowin’ on the Riverfront event in April had the opportunity to paint a rock, which they were able to hunt for at today’s event to receive a prize.

Artists from all over Jackson County and even other parts of the state, some as far away as Florence, gathered in downtown Pascagoula to celebrate spring and nature through their artwork. Some of pieces show involved handmade pottery, exterior patio plaques, patio furniture, and even some homemade jams and jellies from crops farmed in Jackson County. Gulf Life, a company that started in response to the 2010 BP oil spill, even took the opportunity to act as a vendor and raise more money to conserve the beauty of the Gulf Coast.

Not only did artists take the opportunity to show their work at this event, but different activities were offered through the day to give attendees plenty to do for the five-hour event. 

The Live Oak Arts Festival is at times referred to by the “LOAF” acronym, so it only made sense to add a bread baking challenge to the event. With fresh bread, cookies and pastries, the air was filled with the decadent scents of “LOAF.” 

Attendees of all ages also had the opportunity to participate in Chalk the Walk, which allowed artists of all ages to create on-site works of art with chalk pastels. Maybe some of the vendors got an attendee inspired, and this was the perfect chance to create in the moment of inspiration.

New to this year’s event was a lip sync competition that pitted teams of individuals against one another in creativity, lip sync ability and stage presence. 

With the weather cooled down from the previous day’s rain, the Live Oak Arts festival was a great way to get outdoors and appreciate all the art that celebrates Jackson County’s natural beauty. 

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Easter Egg Hunt brings many to Beach Park

It’s Good Friday. The kids are out of school and you have the day off work. What is the family to do on a day like this? Why not spend the day at the park? That is exactly what numerous families did as they spent the evening at Pascagoula Beach Park at the 39th Annual Easter Egg Hunt.

As the sun was setting over the Mississippi Sound, parents brought their children and their Easter baskets to the park. While waiting for the Easter Bunny, children had the chance to enjoy the playgrounds and get their faces painted. 

As 6:30 drew closer, families gathered by the designated egg hunt areas to watch the Easter Bunny arrive. Courtesy of the Pascagoula Fire Department, the bunny of the hour was escorted directly to the park, where the bunny was swarmed by children eager to meet the embodiment of Easter. By this point the line for pictures with the Easter Bunny was yards long.

Quickly, parents prepared their toddlers for the first egg hunt of the evening. Children divided into different groups by age for staggered hunt times, all wrapped up in time for Movie Night Under the Stars.

Families laid out their blankets and unfolded their chairs to relax and let the kids enjoy their treats. With the wonderful weather and beautiful location along the Pascagoula beach, no one could have wanted for anything more.

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Audubon Center holds spring break programs

17796024_1463180050380388_8764190110847778968_n Audubon Center holds spring break programs

 

The Pascagoula River Audubon Center will offer programs for students during spring break.

The Vacation Day programs are half-day programs for students to explore, through hands-on activities, nature and natural phenomena.

Designed like a typical summer camp day, students will learn about a topic through science, art, games, and more. 

Friday, April 14: Natural Egg Dyeing and All Things Spring

Let’s get creative! Each participant will take home at least 6 naturally-dyed eggs. We’ll do a nature scavenger hunt, plant some spring seeds, and learn about signs of spring. Pre-registration is REQUIRED by 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 12th for the natural egg dyeing program!

Session 1: 9 a.m. til noon for grades k-2

Session 2: 1 p.m. til 4 p.m. for grades 3-5

Tuesday, April 18: Wild Weather 

Have you ever wondered about the weather in Mississippi? During this vacation day program, we’ll make a weather wheel and learn to use weather equipment. We’ll also talk about how to be safe during different types of wild weather!

Session 1: 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. for grades k-5

Wednesday, April 19: Migration Station

Did you know that many birds from all over North America migrate through the Gulf Coast? Our beautiful coastal environments provide food, shelter, and rest areas in the fall and spring. We’ll learn all about birds, flight, migration, and more at this camp!

Session 1: 9 a.m. til noon for grades k-5

Thursday, April 20th: Life Aquatic

What lives in the bayous and bays that make up our backyard? Join us to get up close and personal with our fish and other aquatic creatures that call our coasts home. 

Session 1: 9 a.m. til noon for grades k-5

Friday, April 21st: Reptile Rendezvous

Our cold-blooded neighbors- from lizards to snakes to alligators- love our warm spring afternoons. Learn about how to safely find, observe, and identify the scaly critters that call Mississippi home. 

Session 1: 9 a.m. til noon for grades k-5

Outdoor Adventure Programs for Middle and High School Students 

Looking for something to get your middle or high school student out of the house over spring break? Try one of our afternoon outdoor adventure programs!

Kayaking Rhodes Bayou 

We’ll learn the basics of kayak strokes, how to use a map to figure out where we are and where we’re going (and how to get back!), and get a chance to explore the Bayou and Beardslee Lake via kayak. ALL participants must wear a life jacket (provided) and something more substantial than flipflops. Please dress to get a little wet and enjoy an afternoon of adventure.

Session 1- April 12: 1-4 p.m. grades 9-12

Session 2- April 19th: 1-4 p.m. grades 9-12

Session 3- April 20th: 1-4 p.m. grades 6-8

Cost is $10 for members and $12 for non-members. Each Vacation Day program requires pre-registration, including complete student paperwork. Visit the Audubon Center website for details.

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25th annual soap box derby to be in downtown Moss Point

The 25th anniversary of the Deborah Washington Memorial Soap Box Derby will be held in downtown Moss Point on Saturday, April 29.

The race, sponsored by the Chevron Black Employee Network (BEN) and Moss Point Active Citizens (MPAC), draws participants from across the Southeast. It is open to children between the ages of 7 and 17 who build their engine-less cars from kits purchased from a designated supplier.

Winners of the Moss Point divisions will travel to Akron, Ohio to compete in the All-American Soap Box Championship.

Originally known as the Magnolia State Soap Box Derby, the event’s name was changed to honor Deborah Washington after she lost her battle with breast cancer. Washington started the event in 1992, and was a beloved Refinery employee known for her active community involvement.

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Pascagoula offers summer swimming lessons

Screen-Shot-2017-03-30-at-10.19.23-AM Pascagoula offers summer swimming lessons

The City of Pascagoula Parks and Recreation department is offering swimming lessons  in the months of June and July.

Anyone ages 3 and up are open to register for classes offered in three different sessions from June 13-23, July 5-14 and July 18-28.

Classes are 45 minutes long and will be held at the Andrew Johnson Pool. Times for children’s classes are at 8 a.m., 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.. Adult classes will be at 5 p.m. only during the first and third sessions.

Cost for the classes is $35 for residents and $45 for non-residents, but scholarships are available. To register, visit the city’s website.

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MGCCC announces summer camps for Jackson Co. campus

Parents looking summer camps for their children have more options thanks to the Jackson County campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

The Outdoor Adventure Camp will be held through June 5-9 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. each day.

The camp is for children ages 13-15, and all participants must be comfortable in and on the water, including being competent swimmers.

Activities will include kayaking, swimming, canoeing, hiking, nature walks and a ropes challenge course.

The Robotics Camp will hold two session for varying skill levels.

Those with basic robotics skills from ages 10-15 will have a session on June 19-23, and those with intermediate skills ages 12-17 will have a session June 26-30. Each session will be held  from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. each day

This interactive camp will include building robots and stomp rockets as well as a competition among the campers using their robotic creations.

The Chemistry Camp will offer two sessions, one from July 10-14 and the second from July 17-21. Both sessions will last from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. each day.

Campers ages 11-14 will be able to create slime, glue, plexiglass crystals and much more. They will compete in a quiz bowl style competition and experience a trip to First Chemical.

Campers interested in Learning to Swim will have three opportunities with three sessions from June 5-16, June 19-30 and July 1-21. Classes will be at 9 a.m., 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. for each session.

Children ages 3 to 12 will experience a fun and instructive course overseen by lifeguards and certified instructors. Classes will meet for 50 minutes each day and are limited to 30 students each.

Visit the website for details about prices and registration, or contact Terri Sasser at terri.sasser@mgccc.edu or at 228-497-7633.

 

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Audubon Center offering summer camps

The Pascagoula River Audubon Center is offering fun, nature-based summer camp programming for a variety of age groups.

Elementary, middle school, and mini-camps run from 9 a.m. until noon at the center. Our high school junior naturalist program runs 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. each day, and is field-trip based. Dates for the camps are listed below.

 

 

  • Mini-Camp for children entering kindergarten or first grade
    • Session 1: July 18-20
    • Session 2: July 25-27
  • Elementary Camp for children entering second through fifth grades
    • Session 1: June 5-June 9
    • Session 2: June 12-June 16
  • Middle School Camp for students entering sixth through eighth grades
    • June 19-23
  • High School Junior Naturalist Program students entering ninth grade through twelfth grade
    • June 26-30

 

Elementary and middle school camps costs $100/week per child for non-members and $90/week/child for members. Each week of camp includes a boat trip with McCoy’s River and Boat Tours.

Our high school junior naturalist program is $135/child for members and $150 for non-members.

The shorter mini-camps run Tuesday-Thursday and cost $50/camp/child non-members and $45/camp/child for members. We do not take the youngest campers on the Boat Tour. 

Visit the Audubon Center’s website for more details and to download the registration forms.

 

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Maritime museum holds ribbon cutting

ribbon-cutting Maritime museum holds ribbon cutting

The Mississippi Maritime Museum’s phase one is now open after a ribbon cutting held Thursday, March 16.

Housed in the band hall of the old Pascagoula High School property, phase one involves an activity center to make maritime history and interactive experience for the whole family.

The goal of the museum is to tell the story of the state’s 300-year maritime history, preserving the past and educating future generations.

ribbon-cutting Maritime museum holds ribbon cutting

“This is not a Pascagoula museum,” said Mayor Jim Blevins “This isn’t a Jackson County museum. This isn’t even a Mississippi museum. This is a museum for all the ship builders across the nation.”

One unique aspect of the ribbon cutting was a christening of the museum, honoring the maritime roots. 

ribbon-cutting Maritime museum holds ribbon cutting

The next phase of the museum is projected to be complete in 2020, and will include the actual museum housed in the old math and science building of the high school.

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