Camp aims to help young men transition to manhood

Camp aims to help young men transition to manhood
(Photo Source: WLOX News)

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - More than a dozen boys are wrapping a three-day camp aimed at giving them the right tools for success.

Something as simple as an introduction is one of the many skills the young men are picking up during the camp.

"We're in the Success Camp and he's teaching us how to be men," said 13-year-old Semaj Mitchell-Manning.

The camp started as an idea. Praise Temple of Biloxi Rev. Jakavious Pickett wanted to help ease the pains of the transition to adulthood for young men.

"Give them somebody able to walk with them and let them know, 'I believe in you,'" Pickett said.

Following a lot of planning and a partnership with the East Biloxi Community Collaborative, the first Success Camp launched. One of the highlights is that many of the teens are doing activities they might not have been given the opportunity to without the program.

Like most boys his age, Mitchell-Manning wants to be a professional athlete. But, his plan B is to become an entrepreneur.

"I want to have my own business, be my own boss," Mitchell-Manning said.

Pickett says he hopes he's equipping each of the boys with the tools they need to help reach their potential, and overcome whatever obstacles may stand in the way of achieving their goals.

"They can be businessmen, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and presidents," said Pickett. "They can be doctors, lawyers, they can be the next president."

The pastor hopes that building a program off of opportunity instead of intervention will keep the kids off of the wrong path.

Pickett hopes to expand the camp. For more information on how to get involved, send an email to

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