By CHARLES BRADY
Plans are underway for the annual Barry County Youth Camp scheduled for late this spring, according to Shirley Bass, co-chairman of the camp along with Jane James.
For the third consecutive year it will be held at its old location, Camp Smokey at Roaring River State Park near Cassville, after being held at "His Children's Camp" at Ridgeley three years ago. The theme for the 44th annual event is "Barry County Barnyard Buddies."
"We want to teach the importance of animals, gardening, and just general farming," Bass said.
The camp will run from Tuesday, May 26, through Friday, May 29. Letters have been sent to schools asking for referrals on children, ages 7-10, to attend the camp.
"Due to some schools closing late in May on account of weather conditions, three of our schools will not be out in time for our camp," Bass said. "They are Monett, Exeter and Shell Knob.
"The Barry County Youth Camp had to reserve Camp Smokey last July," she continued. "Their schedule is booked, and we can't change our date to accommodate the late school closings. Purdy, Cassville, Wheaton and Southwest are scheduled to be out by May 26."
There will be a wide variety of programs, including crafts, hiking through the woods, games, swimming and educational field trips. Highlights of camp will be a carnival on the last night, labeled "State Fair Carnival," in conjunction with this year's theme.
Planned tentative activities include:
* Louie from the Springfield Cardinals minor league baseball club talking about the importance of reading books.
* Marty the Magician using magic and talking about the importance of self-esteem and feeling good.
* Dana Kammerlohr of the Barry County Sheriff's Department discussing the DARE program.
* The Purdy Future Farmers of America group presenting a petting zoo and talking about animals.
* Multiple group discussions on the importance of animals and everyday farming life, demonstrations with live animals, and gardening and the importance of growing vegetables and fruits.
Preparations and programs are still being planned, Bass said. She did note that the Missouri Pork Producers and the Missouri Beef Industry Council have donated literature, coloring books and recipe ideas at a child's level.
Co-directors of the camp again this year will be Sarah Davis and Sarah Pfitzner. Nurse will be Sandy Pfitzner. Craft director will be Barbara Oetker.
Applications are being accepted for camp counselors. A counselor must be at least 16 years of age. Anyone interested in being a counselor should contact Bass at 417-235-3929.
"We work together with the Barry County and Monett schools," Bass said. "They help us make a list each year of children less fortunate than most, who would enjoy the benefit from the camping experience."
Bass said the parents or guardians of the children are notified of the opportunity available to the child. Thorough records are always kept on each camper so those with any allergies, medication or behavioral attributes can be cared for accord ingly.
"Each year we are in need of towels, wash cloths, sheets, blan kets, and clothing for the campers age 7 through 10," Bass added.
The Barry County Youth Camp has a video presentation available to any church, civic group or organization. Anyone wishing to have this presentation, seeking more information or wanting to make a donation should call 235-3929 or write to 1600 Sycamore, Monett.