Sharing Stories of Everyday Good

Video Length: 2:35 Minutes

Diversity and inclusion are at the heart of this camp

“Our desire is to offer children a life-changing experience in a beautiful, natural setting that inspires a new way of thinking about themselves, others, and the world around them.” – Zac Brown, Founder, Camp Southern Ground

Much more than just a week away from home, summer camp is a chance for kids to grow and learn.

The passion project of multiplatinum Grammy Award-winning artist Zac Brown and his wife Shelly, Camp Southern Ground is a unique and inclusive camp for children located 30 miles south of Atlanta. The camp's mission is to provide extraordinary experiences for children to recognize and magnify their unique gifts within themselves and others to profoundly impact the world.

Kids get to connect with new friends, meet people different from themselves, explore nature, and spend time outdoors — all while eating delicious and healthy food.

kids do zipline outside Camp Southern Ground teaches campers that their differences are what make them special. (Photo: Southern Reel)

During the summer, Camp Southern Ground offers week-long sleepaway camps serving a diverse group of kids aged seven to 17. From those with learning and neurodevelopmental issues to children of active duty military to Gold Star and Silver Star children, Camp Southern Ground makes diversity and inclusion a priority amongst its campers.

While at camp, youth have the opportunity to interact with other campers whose circumstances, life experiences, and outlook on life are different from their own. This experience helps campers develop a new perspective and a respect for each other’s differences, and teaches that it’s okay to be different — it is our unique traits that make us special.

Through this process, youth who may often feel excluded from social acceptance among their peers at home begin to develop an authentic sense of belonging, while campers with typical needs grow in acceptance, empathy, and compassion.

Camp Southern Ground is also committed to serving nutrient-dense foods that are wholesome, natural, and part of an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. Campers engage with real food so they will better understand what their body needs for fuel and feeling great.

kids pick veggies at farm Fifteen acres of the camp are dedicated to a USDA Certified Organic farm. (Photo: Southern Reel)

The chefs at the LEED certified Peterson Dining Hall utilize as much organic and local food as is available, including what's grown at the camp’s organic farm. Fifteen acres of camp are dedicated to a USDA Certified Organic farm that provides fresh produce, complete with a demonstration garden used to teach campers about nutrition and farm-to-table and back-to-farm practices.

The camp’s dining hall is equipped with a food disposal system that creates compost for use on the farm, helping campers make the connection between nature, a healthy diet, and a healthy body.

This world-class campus also serves a dual purpose. Inspired by a profound patriotism, Camp Southern Ground is a true champion of our nation’s veterans. For the remaining weeks of the year, the camp provides transition support to military and veteran individuals and families, providing recreational therapy with programs geared toward successful transitioning to civilian life, success in reuniting with their family, and workforce readiness.

Kids fold up flag outside Camp Southern Ground strives to be a true champion of our nation’s veterans. (Photo: Southern Reel)

The experience in transitioning home, particularly if a soldier has experienced combat, can be incredibly stress-inducing and disorienting. Often, veterans struggle to readjust, even more so if they have experienced a life-changing injury or are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This time of transition is a vital period that, if handled properly, can have a lifelong positive effect.

We are proud to say that the highest level of thought, care, and consideration has gone into planning every detail of Camp Southern Ground’s 400-acre eco-friendly and sustainable campus.

- story by Mike Dobbs, President & CEO, Camp Southern Ground

The mission of Camp Southern Ground is to provide extraordinary experiences for children to recognize and magnify the unique gifts within themselves and others in order to profoundly impact the world.

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