Fenwick Island Lions Club donates to Camp Barnes

Jean Bertram, president of the Fenwick Island Lions Club, at the club’s recent Ladies Day Luncheon presented a check for $1,700 to Cpl. Shawn Hatfield of the Delaware State Police, to benefit the DSP’s camp at Camp Barnes.

“Recently, we became aware that, in their fundraising campaign to replace 60 camp mattresses at the facility, they had come up short and were only able to purchase 34,” Lions representatives said. “Our donation enabled Camp Barnes to obtain a larger volume discount on all the mattresses and enabled them to meet their goal of replacing all 60 mattresses at one time.”

Hatfield provided the attendees with overview of the camp and showed a video of the children attending and enjoying the activities the camp offers.

The Lions are also planning to hold their fall picnic at Camp Barnes, so that all our members will be afforded the opportunity to experience the extraordinary facility.

Camp Barnes’ mission is “to provide a free camp for the youth of Delaware, which allows campers to develop initiative and leadership skills necessary to accomplish tasks. The camp also enables campers to increase their self-confidence and feelings of accomplishment from their efforts and achievements.”

In 1947, the Delaware Association of Chiefs of Police, an organization composed of active law-enforcement and correctional officers, undertook a project to combat juvenile delinquency in the First State. A committee was appointed to investigate the problems confronting youth. Its resulting recommendation led to the establishment of Camp Barnes for the recreation of deserving youth from throughout the state.

Camp Barnes is located on Miller’s Creek, a tributary of Little Assawoman Bay. Since 1947, thousands of children from all over Delaware have had the opportunity to attend summer camp at Camp Barnes. Today, Camp Barnes is open to all children who are residents of the state of Delaware and are between the ages of 10 and 13.

Camp Barnes is not a camp for children with behavioral problems and juvenile delinquents, Hatfield noted. Children attend the camp at no cost to the camper or their family. The camp is in session from early June until August and accommodates approximately 60 campers per week for six weeks. Applications for spots at the camp are taken each spring. Applications for the 2013 camp are no longer being accepted. Applications for 2014 will be accepted starting March 1, 2014.

During the summer camp, Camp Barnes is staffed by 12 counselors, two cooks, a kitchen assistant and a nurse. All counselors are required to have a criminal background check prior to working at the camp. There is a state trooper and a nurse on the grounds at all times while the camp is in session.

Activities that the campers participate in throughout their week at the camp include: swimming in an Olympic-size pool; kayaking in Miller’s Creek; archery; crabbing and fishing; arts and crafts; a nature walk; basketball; soccer and a talent show.

The campers also get to attend several demonstrations/classes throughout their week. The Delaware State Police K-9 and Evidence Detection Unit provide demonstrations. Also, DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife, the Delaware Attorney General’s office and the Girl Scouts of America provide demonstrations and classes during the Camp Barnes season.

Camp Barnes is also used organizations including 4H, Delaware Special Olympics, Wilmington Parks and Recreation, the Delaware Burn Camp, Boy Scouts of America and the Stockley Center.

Camp Barnes Inc. is a non-profit organization that is run and operated by the Delaware State Police. Camp Barnes Inc. receives funds through donations from the public and civic organizations, through three fundraisers put on by the Delaware State Police — the Camp Barnes Stock Car Race, the Camp Barnes 5K Run/Walk and the Camp Barnes Golf Tournament — and through grants that are given to the DSP and Camp Barnes Inc. from the State of Delaware and other groups.