Jackson, Mississippi Trip

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5

Day 1

Good Evening Camp Courageous,

The travel group is heading south for the beginning of February. This time it’s to Jackson Mississippi. Camp Courageous hasn’t visited Mississippi before, so it should be a fun time exploring this new state.IMG_2960 We started off our day at 6:30am, we had check-in at Rolo’s house, where we checked in Chris King and Ronnie Pfeiffer. We then made our way to Marion, where we picked up Charlie Cummins and Mitchell Martin. Our final pick-up was in Coralville, at the Coralville McDonalds, where we picked up Janene Edwards, Bill Smyser, Don Cole, Marla Anderson, Chad Driscoll, and Robin Kugley (this is Robin’s first trip and she is already having a blast!IMG_2959

After our pickups, we started our drive south, passing through Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee and then into Mississippi. We stopped for lunch at Subway and had dinner at Wendy’s.IMG_2962 We made it to our hotel at 9pm and we are all settled into our beds ready to tour Jackson.

I hope everyone had a SUPER Sunday! Congratulations to all the Patriots fans. It seemed like it was a good game. We caught the last bit of it when we arrived. I hope everyone makes it to work tomorrow and you all didn’t party to hard :)!

IMG_2963Have a great night!

Rolando Morales

Day 2

Good Evening Camp Courageous,

DSCN0242The travel group started their first day in Jackson, MS. Do you want to guess the temperature? Well, if you said 78 degrees then you were right!! DSCN0244

IMG_0029We are wearing shorts and shirtsleeve shirts. It feels so good out here.IMG_0035

IMG_0032Some of the locals said that there was an ice storm not to long ago, and the temperature keeps fluctuating. DSCN0247

DSCN0258They say it’s been weird and unusual weather. Anyways, it was a great feel to the day,


DSCN0265The first attraction we visited was the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Museum. DSCN0266

DSCN0273It was a great museum, with a lot of history of different athletes that either went to school in MS or was born and raised in this state.DSCN0257

DSCN0258The well known athletes which a lot of you sports enthusiasts may know, Archie Manning, Walter Payton, Jerry Rice, and traveler Ronnie Pfeiffer’s favorite Quarterback Brett Favre.IMG_0040

IMG_0039We started off the museum watching a 14 minute film about all these great athletes.IMG_0041

IMG_0042Mississippi has had athletes in Olympics since the 1920’s and they are very proud of that, and they should be!!IMG_0044

IMG_0046After our film, we went straight to the hands on activities. Like a dance party jumping on some squares, throwing baseballs, footballs, and throwing balls to hit Zombies.IMG_2964

IMG_2969We even had a chance to compete with each other buy hitting some squares with our hands that light up. It was a pretty good exhibit and we spent an hour in this area. IMG_2973

IMG_2977We then toured the museum, read some more history and watched some videos on other athletes from MS.IMG_2982

IMG_2983The staff was very nice touring the facility with us, making sure we were enjoying ourselves and showing how everything worked. It was very much appreciated.IMG_2984

IMG_2979Once we were done looking around and shopping, we made our way to the nearby restaurant called Museum Cafe. IMG_2985It was a little walk from the Sports Museum. They were also so friendly. Helping us carry trays, passing out food, and giving us a couple of bowls of free jambalaya.IMG_2986 Everything was very delicious. New Traveler Robin Kugley mentioned how nice it was to have some yummy southern cooking! She was in heaven.


IMG_0056Before we knew it, we walked right over to our next museum. The AG (Agriculture & Forestry) Museum. This museum was so amazing!! IMG_0063

IMG_2992We learned so much about the Agriculture of Mississippi and toured some old time buildings. We had a special tour guide through the entire experience and we spent 3 hours here. IMG_2994

IMG_3003We learned about the Native Americans in the area, about the Cotton gin and tons of information about the cotton picking. We also learned how to making print on paper.IMG_3005

IMG_3007There was an old fashion print press and every camper had a chance to make some flyers from the first “Washington Print Press” Quick question do you know why people say, “Mind your P’s and Q’s?” Without using google? It’s a pretty cool reason.IMG_0070

We continued our tour, by visiting a Cotton Gin, an old school house, a chapel, and of course the Gift Shop (called the General Store).IMG_0081

IMG_3014We even visited a doctors office. After all of this, we toured the many building museum, where we learned more about MS history and had a chance to touch some ole time tools, from a iron waffle maker, a very small clothes Iron and we even saw the 2nd largest cotton bail in the WORLD!!IMG_0087


IMG_3010It was pretty cool and the travelers really enjoyed this. Afterwords, we watched a pretty good video on the museum and the history of Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry.IMG_3011

What a great day! It was such a great experience seeing all the wonders Mississippi has so offer. We even had a great tour guide, who didn’t even accept the tip. IMG_3026
He was all about the group and had a great time showing them around. IMG_0100After we left the museum, it was time for dinner. So we made our way to the ManShip Wood fire Restaurant. It was an amazing meal!IMG_3023

IMG_3030But not only the meal, but the waiter was awesome! IMG_3033He was so great with our group, he not only showed them a good time, but he gave us half off our dinner and he gave us four desserts for free, so the group could share! It was amazing!! IMG_3032
The travelers really grateful for this!

So far we are having a great time in Jackson.IMG_0111 Very nice people that truly care about our group. Did I mention that one of our hotel personnel is going to school for Social Work, and wants to work with the special needs community. She is really enjoying our group.IMG_0110

Tomorrow is another fun day in Jackson. This time we head downtown. Have a great night and a great Tuesday.


Day 3

Good Evening Camp Courageous,

IMG_0117So have you all discovered what the answer was regarding “Mind your P’s and Q’s?” Well, you may have guessed it right, if you mentioned that it was regarding the printing press that we saw. The tour guide mentioned that these letters are so close in likeness, that it could be so easy to mix them up when making posters. So make sure to “Mind your P’s and Q’s!” It was pretty cool to find out where this came from. Let’s move to our Tuesday adventure.DSCN0303

Most of you may have heard that New Orleans was hit with Tornadoes today.IMG_0121 There was a tornado watch in effect throughout the morning and into the afternoon, but the only bad weather we woke up to was loud Thunderstorms and some rain showers during the day. IMG_0128We were not at all in any danger of Tornadoes hitting down in Jackson. Unfortunately that wasn’t the same for Louisiana! So please send out many prayers their way.DSCN0313

We didn’t allow the weather to stop our adventure through downtown Jackson. The first place we toured was the Governor’s Mansion. DSCN0311There are not many pictures from this visit, because they didn’t want us to take any pictures. So here is a brief description.DSCN0310
The Mansion is the second oldest in the country, the first is in Virginia. It has two floors, the first floor we learned about why mirrors were up so high, so they could reflect the light from the candles to light the whole room. IMG_0125We also learned the the average height of people back in that day was 5’5 for a man, shorter for a woman. Crazy how times have changed, but I wouldn’t have fit in ;)! When we toured the second floor, we learned about why the kitchen was outside instead of inside. DSCN0314The flames use to spark from the stove, so it probably would have burt down the houses, if they were in the house. It was a great visit and the travelers really enjoyed the tour that both our guides gave us. DSCN0319They answered our questions, joked with our travelers, and made it a point to make sure our group felt special. Outside the cop on duty, really wanted to take a picture with our group, so after the tour, we met Diana who has worked for the force for 17 years and has recently received her Masters in Social Work, to work with people with disabilities. So it was great meeting Diana!IMG_0133

After our visit, we went to lunch a little early. We went to the Iron Horse restaurant, where we had some delicious tex-mex food and many other things.IMG_0137 They also had a museum upstairs, where we had a chance to learn about the history of music in Mississippi and all the music artists that were born in Mississippi, like Britany Spears, Leann Rimes, Lance Bass, Jimmy Buffet, BB King, and many more. It was pretty cool!IMG_0163

Once we were done, we made our way to the State Capitol. Where we had a chance to tour this hopping place. Why was it hopping?IMG_0161 Where Legislature was in session. So the House of Representatives and the Senate was present today and we visited both chambers. But not only did we sit in to two sessions.IMG_0160 We had a grand introduction, with a standing ovation, from both the Senate and the House of Representatives!! Some even cheered. They both welcomed Camp Courageous to Mississippi and were very grateful that we were visiting.IMG_0159 That was the biggest highlight of the day and I wish you would have seen the smiles on all travelers faces. It was a priceless moment. After we toured some more, we finished our tour and ended up at the gift shop.IMG_0156

As soon as we were finished, we made our way to the Old Capitol Museum. This is actually the original Capitol building in Jackson. IMG_0150The Capitol was built in 1839 and then switched to the new Capitol in 1903. We learned a lot of the history of the Old Capitol and the new one.IMG_0154 It was a pretty cool tour. The museum had very good interactive exhibits that kept the travelers engaged. Did you know that there is a difference between Capitol and Capital? IMG_0139The difference is, Capitol is where legislature is taking place and Capital is a city that is part of a state, Like Des Moines is the Capital of Iowa. Never knew that!DSCN0350

Once we were done having a blast at all these fun attractions. We made our way to dinner at Sal and Mookies. Pizza and fun!! DSCN0349What a great combination and it was very DELICIOUS!! Our waitress Reagan was so great! She really cared for our travelers.DSCN0331

DSCN0348 Towards the end of our stay we had a visitor come to our table and it turned out, she and her daughter are from Iowa! Des Moines!! DSCN0333

DSCN0346Her daughter went to school at Iowa and now goes to school in Jackson. She knew of Camp Courageous very well and was pretty excited to see our bus in the parking lot!! It was great to meet her and her daughter!DSCN0345

DSCN0324It was such a great second day in Jackson. So many fun memories were made. DSCN0339The travelers are having such a great time and we have some more fun ahead of us! Have a great night and we will talk again tomorrow!DSCN0343


Day 4

Good Evening Camp Courageous,


IMG_0179We had such a blast for our last day in Jackson Mississippi!! It was the warmest day of the week, a mere 78 degrees!!DSCN0354

It felt so good and it was a good thing, we were outside most of the time. This morning we started our journey at the Jackson Zoo.DSCN0360

DSCN0375It was a nice size zoo, where we saw all these great animals.IMG_0215

IMG_0214We saw Giraffes, wild cats, monkeys galore, and traveler Robin Kugley really wanted to see a Zebra, so we also had the opportunity to see this classic animal.DSCN0367

IMG_0210We even saw an Ostrich, who had some eggs laying around. It was pretty cool. After we toured the zoo, we made our way to the gift shop and then headed straight to lunch.


Lunch was provided by Two Sisters Restaurant.IMG_3041 This restaurant is a classic in downtown Jackson, where a lot of the legislative go for lunch. It is a house, where there is plenty of room to have tons of people.IMG_0219 It was a buffet style lunch, with a lot to eat! It had very delicious chicken!

After lunch, we made our way to the Jackson Planetarium, where we caught a show about the planets.IMG_3044

IMG_3047We learned so much about the different planets and their moons. It was in cartoon form, so the travelers really enjoyed it.IMG_3046

IMG_3048After the 45 minute film, we made our way to the Museum of Natural Science. DSCN0385

DSCN0389Here we did some heavy gift shopping and then joined a tour guide who took us to a room to see some animals up close. DSCN0382

DSCN0390We had a chance to see some alligators, a snake, and a turtle. DSCN0395


DSCN0397Check out the cool pictures of all who had a chance to have a snake on their shoulders. DSCN0392


DSCN0398After the visit, we toured the museum. DSCN0400


DSCN0402Saw some more fish, alligators, read about the biggest snake in the world, and even saw a two headed snake!!DSCN0407

Once are visit was over, we made our way to Clinton, MS where we had a great time bowling and eating pizza at Indian Lanes.DSCN0408

DSCN0410It was an awesome game of bowling!! DSCN0420

DSCN0421Travelers Ronnie, Bill, Chad, and Janene all had strikes, and the rest of the other travelers had spares.DSCN0413

DSCN0414It was an excellent night and the manager really treated us very well. What a great way to finish up the week!!DSCN0417

DSCN0418Tomorrow we start our drive back to Camp. We will be stopping in Hannibal, MO over night and dropping off all the campers on Friday.DSCN0424

DSCN0423 Please pray and good thoughts to a safe drive back.


Day 5

Hello Camp Courageous!

We didn’t want to leave this beautiful weather but the Travel Group started the drive back to Iowa today. After breakfast at our hotel, we hit the road!IMG_0237 We stopped at Lambert’s Cafe for lunch. Lambert’s is always a hit so we try to stop whenever we are in the area. They have great food and they toss delicious rolls to you from across the room!IMG_3049 They are known for these “Throwed Rolls”. If you’re ever in the area, check them out!
After lunch we continued our drive to our hotel in Hannibal, MO. We made it to our hotel around 7pm and everyone is getting settled in. We will continue our drive in the morning, dropping off travelers in Coralville, Marion and at Camp.

Thank you to all the travelers that went on this trip! It was an awesome time traveling with all of you! Have a great year! See you in the future traveling with Camp Courageous!


Rolando, Melissa, and ReAnna!

4 Responses

  1. Janell Kotz says:

    I heard that you took some animals out to Oakcrest in Dyersville IA for the residents. Is that something you would do for other places?

  2. Mary Current says:

    What a wonderful story of your visit to Jackson, Mississippi. It was an honor to have your group in our city. I just wish I had known you were coming so I could meet you in person. I am originally from Des Moines, Iowa but have lived in Jackson for over 40 years. Thank you for coming. I hope you will come again. God bless you all.

  3. Rolando Morales says:

    Hello Mary, Thank you for your comment! Wish I would have saw this sooner! We will definitely be back in Jackson! It was such a wonderful trip. Take care.

  4. ccoi says:

    Yes, Camp Courageous will do programs like this as the camping schedule allows. Please contact Uriel Moore (umoore@campcourageous.org) or by calling 319-465-5916. Thank you!