OZARK COUNTY, Mo. — While some youth camps across the country have opened to visitors, an Ozark County non-profit camp has remained closed due to the pandemic. With no campers donations are scarce.
“It’s an Ozarks treasure and I think a lot of people in the Ozarks don’t realize what we have here,” Robin Mustion told KY3.
Nestled on 10 acres inside the Mark Twain National Forest – sits Hammond Mill Camp.
It’s hosted campers dating back to 1947.
Each summer church camps and youth camps descend upon the campground, making fond memories.
“Hammonds Mill Bible Camp is one of those places that if you get to experience it, going back is like going home,” former camper Denver Wade said.
The camp is used for family retreats, weddings and reunions.
Board President Robin Mustion’s family has met here for 65 years.
“It’s kept our family together, because we get together every year for a week,” Mustion added.
But the pandemic forced the camp to close.
Cabins that sleep 12 would be kept to just three people.
“We just did not feel like we could do that with youth, especially,” Mustion explained.
Donations are needed to help make sure the non-profit can continue to operated and give area youth a safe place to learn, grow and play.
“Without camps in May, June and July, we aren’t bringing any funds in. It’s going to be very tough to pull us through this time,” Mustion said.
The need is real but so are the experiences hundreds of kids get to have each summer.
“A lot of these parents depend on this place as a place for their kids to come to have a week of safety, of a guaranteed three meals a day, and a very positive adults investing into their lives and molding them into the future,” campground manager and youth pastor Zohn Engelhardt exclaimed.
The camp hopes to have a soft reopening this fall, but only for families.
You can visit the Hammond Mill Camp Facebook page to donate or you can call the camp’s phone number: 417-256-2025.
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