Volunteers invited to camp

Thursday, April 27, 2006

By Lindsay Reed

Camp Barnabas, the non-denominational Christian summer camp for children with special needs located near Purdy, will host an open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 29.

Paul and Cyndy Teas, camp founders and directors, planned the open house event to show appreciation to the 3,000 local volunteers who worked on the Camp Barnabas edition of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" last summer.

"We want everyone to know how much we appreciated everyone that worked on the makeover," said Paul Teas. "We are extremely grateful."

The event, which is free to the public, will include live entertainment, concessions and guided tours of the buildings that were constructed during the extreme home makeover.

Camp Barnabas' main gates will open at 10 a.m. Saturday morning. The Christian Motorcycles Association will be on hand to help with parking and will direct individuals to various areas of the camp. There will also be registration booths set up on the campus to direct visitors to various areas.

The morning will begin with a prayer and proclamations from Sen. Jack Goodman and Gov. Matt Blunt, said Suzanne Janick, of the Camp Barnabas public relations department.

Later, first grade students from the Phelps School for the Gifted in Springfield will donate camper quilts to the camp.

A special giant "Kids Helping Kids" quilt will also be donated to Camp Barnabas to hang in a place of honor on campus.

"A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at the new Camp Barnabas treehouse, which was built by a group of retired Boy Scouts," said Janick.

The newly constructed treehouse was built with a set of ramps and is fully wheelchair accessible.

Camp Barnabas will also hold two cabin raising ceremonies during the day. The cabins are being built as part of the "Let's Imagine 21 New Cabins" campaign, which was started March 15.

"'Let's Imagine 21 New Cabins' is part of the capital campaign to construct 21 new cabins at Camp Barnabas," said Teas. "The new cabins will replace the original cabins that were built in 1936."

PB2 Companies, which worked as the builder for the Extreme Makeover, and the Drury University architecture department will be present to help members of the public raise the walls for two new cabins.

"The new cabins will allow the camp to host 300 more campers each summer," said Janick. "Although we have several professionals involved in the cabin campaign, we need many volunteers to help get the new cabins up."

The 21 new cabins, which are designed by Stone's Company, of Granby, will be fully ADA (American with Disabilities Act) accessible and have in-house bathrooms and showers.

The Bless All Mess Hall will be center stage during the open house event. Concessions will be provided by Krispy Kreme Donuts and Panera Bread during the morning, and hotdogs and chips will be served in the afternoon. McAllister's ice tea will be available in the mess hall throughout the day.

Bands from Springfield, Kansas City and St. Louis will entertain camp visitors at the mess hall. Extreme Makeover videos and Christian improvisational group Skinny Improv will also provide entertainment.

Tours of the three Extreme Makeover buildings, medical facilities and other areas of the camp will be given throughout the day.

"Visitors can tour the rest of the camp," said Janick. "Bank of America will have a craft cabin set up for kids, and there will be other children's games around the camp."

Visitors will have an opportunity to participate in the Ride in My Chair experience, which allows individuals to take a ride through a cabin, the shower house and other areas of the camp in a wheelchair.

"This will let people see what the camp experience is like for the campers," said Janick.

At the end of the day a special closing ceremony will be held as the Camp Barnabas Board of Directors pass the Inspiration Point Cross through the camp to Paul Teas.

The Inspiration Point Cross represents the campers who have died since their experience at Camp Barnabas.

"We will have a prayer at the end of the day and a closing song," said Janick.

Camp Barnabas will begin the 2006 camp season at the end of May. For more information, call Camp Barnabas at 417-476-2565.

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