Barry County Youth Camp returns to Camp Smokey

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Limited number of campers allowed due to COVID restrictions

Now in its 55th year, the Barry County Youth Camp is slated to start on June 1 and continue through June 4 at Camp Smokey, located at Roaring River State Park.

The theme of this year's celebration is "Special Olympics," and Barry County children ages 10-11 years of age, recommended by their school counselors, will have the opportunity to take part in a variety of crafts, educational programs, games and more. All programs for this year’s event will be held on site due to COVID restrictions in place at Roaring River State Park.

“The kids will have a fun time with plenty of projects, games and activities,” said Jane James, co-chairman.

Committee members are collecting items for campers, including summer fun wear, bath towels, twin-sized light blankets and more. Monetary donations are also gladly accepted. Those who shop may donate to the camp under the charitable donations tab “Barry County Youth Camp.” Items collected locally may be dropped off at Bruce Willis’ garage, located at 8th and Broadway.

"In light of COVID, some things have changed," James said. "We will have a limited number of campers this year in order to meet the COVID protocols set forth by Roaring River State Park. There will be a temperature scan for campers before they board the bus to travel to camp, as well as a thorough screening upon their arrival. There will be daily temperature checks, and any child experiencing symptoms of illness will be sent home immediately.

“In addition, parents will be required to sign waivers before their child can attend camp.”

Camp Cooks Greg Davis, Melvin Casper and Josh Osterloh will make sure meals are kid-friendly and filling, in addition to meeting COVID-specific protocols.

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," James said. "The four-day camp is free to local children."

Average cost of one child attending the camp is $150.

Courtney Pfitzner, registered nurse, will be on staff throughout the four-day event to care for minor injuries.

Sarah Pfitzner, camp director, and Nick Steele, assistant director, are working hard to come up with appropriate activities and crafts for campers to enjoy.

Monetary contributions to support the camp may be mailed to: Barry County Youth Camp, P.O. Box 254, Monett, MO, 65708. To make donations or for more information on the Barry County Youth Camp, people may call James at 417-235-3580.

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