Garaywa is Clinton, Mississippi's best kept secret. Even as you step through the gates, you'll find yourself immersed in tranquility. Spanish moss draped trees sway in the wind and wooden park benches hold the promise of relaxation, rest, or pray. Camp Garaywa truly completes the community of Clinton. It spreads out over 50 acres that's connected to the Countrywood subdivision and is owned by the Women's Missionary Union of Mississippi.
Even though Camp Garaywa sits in the midst of the city and doesn't look like much from the outside, it's a like stepping into another world, once you pass through the gates. Many campers that utilize the camp are Southern Baptists, but the camp is open to all dominations which you will find throughout the area.
The camp started out as a dream of Edwina Robinson. At the time, the area was nothing more than cow pasture land, owned by Mississippi College. Edwina traveled around the state speaking to several Baptist churches about her dream. In turn, they would donate some lumber or a box of nails. Soon, with much help from volunteers, her dream became a reality when it opened in May 1947.
The name Garaywa came from a youth group leader from Blue Mountain, the winner of the camp naming contest. The group leader combined the initials of the of the groups the camp was going to serve. GA for Girls Auxiliary, RA for Royal Ambassadors and YMA for Young Women's Auxiliary. And you have it - GARAYWA.
Camp facilities include 20 cabins, a dining hall, an activities building, a lodge with 30 hotel rooms, an auditorium, a guest house with 6 rooms and 28 beds, the Patterson Place, a conference room with kitchen, a prayer garden, crafts pavilions, picnic areas, a gazebo, swimming pools, nature trails and rope courses.
During the summer, the camp is used as a Girls Auxiliary camp for ages 4-6. The rest of the year, the camp is open to everyone. So, next time you're in Clinton, Mississippi, be sure to visit Camp Carawya for an experience you'll never forget.