Springtime Jamboree a night of music, comedy and giving

Fenwick Lions dedicating renovated Camp Barnes cabin to Hocker family

Fenwick Island Lions Club president Linda St. Clair presents a plaque to Emily and Gerald Hocker for their support of the Lions Club during the May 4 Springtime Jamboree show. Fenwick Island Lions Club was this year’s beneficiary of the Springtime Jamboree. A majority of the proceeds will support Camp Barnes, and Ms. St. Clair announced that a renovated cabin at the camp operated by the Delaware State Police will be named in tribute to the Hocker family. (Delaware State News/Glenn Rolfe)

DAGSBORO – Fenwick Island Lions Club was this year’s community beneficiary of the Springtime Jamboree, an annual event started in the 1980s by Gerald Hocker, then a businessman long before his role as an elected state lawmaker.

The lion’s share of the Fenwick Lions’ 2019 jamboree proceeds is earmarked for Camp Barnes. It’s a youth camp operated by the Delaware State Police on Miller’s Creek since the late 1940s.

In a mini-break between country music acts and comedy, the Fenwick Island Lions honored Sen. Hocker and his wife Emily on the last night of the May 3-4 jamboree staged at Indian River High School.

“One of our major causes is Camp Barnes, and in addition to this plaque that I will be presenting tonight to them, we will be dedicating a newly renovated cabin at Camp Barnes in their honor,” said Fenwick Island Lions Club president Linda St. Clair.

“We were honored to be selected to be the beneficiary. We appreciate everyone being here,” said Ms. St. Clair. “We intend to spend the money very well.”

Ms. St. Clair said the plaque is a token of the Fenwick Lions’ appreciation in honor of the 37th anniversary of the Springtime Jamboree and is presented to Gerald and Emily Hocker for “their continuous support of the communities of Sussex County.”

Longtime Springtime Jamboree performer Cheryl Howard takes the stage. (Delaware State News/Glenn Rolfe)

Sen. Hocker shared the award with the many talented performers, volunteers and ticket-buying patrons who collectively for decades have made the jamboree a huge success.

“All of these (jamboree volunteers) deserve that, and all of you supporting the jamboree certainly deserves this,” said Sen. Hocker, who shared his memory from some years back in receiving the Melvin Jones Fellow Award from the Fenwick Lions, as well as the Ralph N. Helm Fellow Award for Humanitarian Services from the Lord Baltimore Lions.

“I’ve been honored with that as much as anything I’ve ever gotten, in being a part of the Lions club,” said Sen. Hocker. “I said I would not do it if I couldn’t do my share. This is the way of giving back and doing my share. I’ve got to thank everybody who make this jamboree successful.”

Scott Evans joins Beth Ann Cayhall during one of her songs at the Springtime Jamboree. (Delaware State News/Glenn Rolfe)

As the designated beneficiary, Fenwick Island Lions members sold advertisements featured in the jamboree program.

The 2018 Springtime Jamboree raised approximately $30,000 for the Millville Volunteer Fire Company.

Originally started as a benefit for the Lower Sussex Little League, the Springtime Jamboree over the years has supported numerous non-profits. The list of beneficiaries includes Pop Warner and Little League programs, volunteer fire companies, Delaware Hospice and Lions International organizations.

Camp Barnes

Camp Barnes is an overnight residential camp run open to children between the ages of 10 and 13 at no cost to the camper or family. It accommodates 60 campers per week for six weeks, with sessions running from early July through August. All children are eligible to attend regardless of family income.

Camp Barnes features adventure-based outdoor learning experiences, including an extensive outdoor initiative course with 17 different initiative and team-building elements. Campers participate in swimming in an Olympic size pool, kayaking in Miller’s Creek, arts and crafts, nature walks, and talent shows.

Campers also enjoy a scaled-down version of the Olympics and Delaware State Police demonstrations by the K-9, SCUBA and Aviation units.

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