Dedication of renovated cabins highlights the awards program at Camp Barnes

FRANKFORD – Through community generosity, “cabin fever” is on the rise at Camp Barnes – the youth camp operated by the Delaware State Police.
Delaware State Police couldn’t be more grateful.

Dedication of four cabins renovated through generous funding and support was among the highlights of an awards program held Saturday during the Fenwick Island Lions Club annual picnic at the camp.

“What a great view when you come in and see those cabins now,” said Delaware State Police Master Cpl. Shawn Hatfield, the longtime director at Camp Barnes. “A few years ago, everything was starting to run down here. And without you guys here in the audience and some who couldn’t make it today this would not be a reality at all.”

Cabins entrances showcase signs and plaques in dedication to the Atlantic Community Thrift Shop, Contractors for a Cause, SoDel Concepts and the Fenwick Island Lions Club/Hocker Family’s Springtime Jamboree.

‘We’re very proud to be with Camp Barnes,” said ACTS spokeswoman Lyn Tennant. “We are so happy that there are children who attended the camp who never had an opportunity to do so.”
Contractors for a Cause, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization of local contractors that strives to give back to the community that supports them, provided the skill, expertise and manpower in the cabin upgrades.

“We wouldn’t be able to do it at the regular price. They cut us a huge break,” Cpl. Hatfield said.
“The interesting thing, the thing we are most proud of is we are a group of contractors that compete with each other on a weekly basis, but we all come together for a common good to raise money for the community,” said Contractors for a Cause spokesman Mike Cummings.

For four camp days over the past two years, SoDel Concepts through Matt’s Fish Camp provided lunch – chicken, crab cakes, lobster sandwiches dotted the menu – for the estimated 100 campers and staff. “At no charge to us at all,” said Cpl. Hatfield.

The Fenwick Lions Club checked in with a $10,000 check to Camp Barnes, as part of the club’s proceeds in teaming with Sen. Gerald Hocker and the Hocker family in the 2019 Springtime Jamboree.

Presenting a check.

“They (Fenwick Lions) just don’t give their money, they give their time, their effort. When they rally around something it’s going to get done,” said Cpl. Hatfield.
“We thank Sen. Hocker for the Jamboree money and we are very pleased that we can provide additional support for another cabin,” Fenwick Island Lions Club President Linda St. Clair.

This year’s Jamboree, which showcases local talent and comedy, celebrated its 37th edition.
“I do it for a nonprofit. I wanted to do it this year for Camp Barnes,” said Sen. Hocker. “I went to the Fenwick Island Lions Club and asked them. And they were very willing to do that.”

Also recognized for their support were Meineke Car Care of Lewes, Blanche Jackson (Camp Barnes treasurer), Delaware State Police Federal Credit Union, Linda Kent (Millville Volunteers), Revelation Brewery, (Ret.) Lt. Col. Monroe Hudson and the Freeman Stage.
Located along Miller Creek, a tributary of Little Assawoman Bay, Camp Barnes offers summer camp opportunities for youth ages 10-13 statewide at no charge to their families. Besides state police, the camp facilities are also utilized by groups such as 4H and Special Olympics Delaware, among others.

“A lot of these kids come from a situation where they wouldn’t be able to afford a camp,” said Cpl. Hatfield. “By donations and fundraising that we have, these kids can come and enjoy a week of camp, a week that is all about them.”

“Luckily, when I was a kid, I had a great life. A lot of these kids that come here would not have the opportunity if it weren’t for the donations, the gratitude and the service that you guys give toward the camp. It means a lot to me,” said Cpl. Hatfield, who was honored in surprise presentation by the Fenwick Lions as the recipient of the Melvin Jones Fellow Award – the highest honor in Lionism.

Delaware State Police Superintendent Col. Nathaniel McQueen Jr. said camp experiences provides “an instant return on your investment, that you see those kids come here in the summer. That is one thing that has the most impact on me.”

“The thing that really keeps Camp Barnes going is really having the support of the community. It requires constant upkeep,” Col. McQueen said.

“Without the donations, the support, the fundraisers and other activities we couldn’t do this,” said Cpl. Hatfield. “There is no way possible.”

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