Barry County Youth Camp celebrates 50 years

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

4-day camp for disadvantaged children to be held at Camp Smokey

Now in its 50th year, the Barry County Youth Camp will take place from May 26-29 at Camp Smokey, located at Roaring River State Park near Cassville.

The theme of this year's celebration is "50 Years of Fun and Memories," and Barry County children ages 7-10, recommended by their school counselors, will have the opportunity to take part in a variety of crafts, field trips, educational programs, swimming, games and more. The final night of the camp will feature a carnival, complete with cotton candy, food, game booths, face-painting and a clown.

"Campers really enjoy carnival night," said Shirley Bass, co-chairman of the annual event. "All campers win prizes and they have a blast."

Committee members are collecting clothing for campers, including shorts, lightweight sweaters and jackets, summer fun wear, swim suits and

bathing trunks.

"Some children come to camp ill-prepared for the activities we have planned," said Jane James, co-chairman. "We always send campers home with a new pair of shoes."

Cooks Greg Davis, Melvin Cooper and Bob Mareth make sure meals are hearty and filling.

"They start off with a big breakfast," Bass said. "Other meals include kid favorites like spaghetti, tacos, chicken and pizza."

The camp is operated through the donations of local businesses, merchants, civic groups and individuals. No government funding is received by organizers of the event.

"We rely on the generous donations of our local communities," Bass said. "The four-day camp is free to children."

Average cost of one child attending the camp is $100. Typically, only 100 children are selected for the opportunity, due to limited housing at Camp Smokey.

A volunteer nurse, Sandy Pfitzner, is on staff throughout the four-day event to care for minor injuries.

Those wishing to donate clothing may drop items off at Bremer Machine Shop, located at 216 Seventh St. in Monett, or call 417-235-3211 or 417-235-3929.

Monetary contributions may be mailed to: Barry County Youth Camp, Attn: Shirley Bass, 1600 Sycamore St., Monett, MO 65708.

For more information on the Barry County Youth Camp, people may call Bass at 417-235-3929.

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