Camp Early Childhood logo

The first three years of life directly affect overall development and set a foundation for a child’s future. We know the brain grows faster than at any other time in a child’s life. The experiences and connections made from relationships during this crucial period dramatically influence and correlate with future success in school and life. Camp Early Childhood, a partnership between Mississippi University for Women’s School of Education and MUW alumnae Dr. Bonnie Camp, will support 1) faculty, staff, and students in the Early Childhood Development degree program at The W, 2) local preschool and childcare directors, teachers, and students, and 3) families in the Columbus and Lowndes County area with children ages 0-3.  

Camp Early Childhood aims to increase our capacity to serve families, caregivers, and educators through programs that will draw upon research and evidence-based practices to improve the outcomes of infants and toddlers (age 0-3).  

The purpose of this community-based program is to:  

  1. Deepen and encourage family engagement activities  
  2. Strengthen professional development opportunities  
  3. Celebrate and encourage families and professionals  
  4. Enhance materials for infant and toddler childcare classrooms  

Camp Early Childhood Mini-Conferences have been carefully planned to satisfy the following goals:  

  • To support local infant and toddler teachers by celebrating and encouraging the teaching profession;  
  • Offer training in current pedagogy and best practices;  
  • Establishing a network of lasting collaborations among teachers across the county and encouraging mentorship partnerships;  
  • Identify and enhance leadership skills to equip a culture of positivity and change;  
  • Build relationships between all stakeholders for future support and collaboration.  

Personal and professional growth will be promoted through 1) motivational keynote speakers that will each bring a new perspective as they inspire and motivate the teachers and 2) colleague circles so teachers can establish and grow a collaboration network. Collaboration and FUN will take place throughout the sessions. Teachers will receive tokens of appreciation that can be used later in their classrooms. The teachers will connect with business and professional leaders as they are celebrated during a pep-rally style kickoff luncheon during session 1. We expect a dynamic synergy to develop and sweep through each childcare facility as they return to their campuses.  

CAMP sessions partner with the CHEER Conference to work and bring the resources of multiple partnerships together.  

So far, we’ve been able to provide these sessions:  

CHEER 2022  

  • Let’s Party! Celebrating the importance of early childhood educators  
  • Exploring the Mississippi Early Learning Guidelines  
  • Developing family engagement partnerships  
  • Meeting the needs of all learners  

CHEER 2023 Session 2  

  • Supporting literacy and language development 
  • Supporting diverse needs 
  • Responsive Caregiving 
  • Facilitating experiences though play and puppets