When Dan Fritts, a physical therapist in Collinsville, Mississippi, imagined starting a camp for at-risk youth, Mississippi Power was there to help. Camp Eagle Ridge was the result, and Mississippi Power’s support for the camp continues.
Camp Eagle Ridge, founded in 2010 by Dan Fritts in Collinsville, Mississippi, is a summer camp where children of all ages can enjoy constructive activities while building character and learning leadership skills. Its mission is to teach campers that with vision, determination, persistence and courage they can attend college and earn a degree. The camp aims to improve high school graduation rates, provide the community with volunteer opportunities and offer scholarships to high school senior volunteers.
“We have kids coming from a variety of different backgrounds and their minds are often set in terms of their limitations,“ explains Dan. “Our goal is to open up these kids’ minds to the possibilities of what their lives can be.“
Committed to Community
The success of Camp Eagle Ridge would not be possible without the support of the community, including Mississippi Power volunteers. Through Mississippi Power’s Community Connection volunteer program, employees volunteering at the camp can witness the impact they’re making firsthand. Early on, Mississippi Power linemen from the immediate area pitched in with time and materials to build a high ropes course, which remains one of the most popular features with campers.
“Giving back to our community is very important at Mississippi Power. Not just with our funds, but also with our time,“ says Tommy Jackson, area manager for Mississippi Power. “This is the community we live and work in. It only makes sense that we take part in making it better.“
“For Mississippi Power to rally around a small and largely unknown camp has made a tremendous difference,“ adds Dan. “It made this camp possible.“
The Future Generation
More than 500 students attend Camp Eagle Ridge each summer and leave feeling confident and empowered to achieve their dreams. Tommy hopes campers are forever changed by their experience and are encouraged to give back to their communities in the future.
“Imagine if just one of those 500 campers decides to pay it forward in the future,“ says Tommy. “What an incredible opportunity.“