Camp Barnabas is a unique ministry providing Christian camping experiences to people with special needs and chronic illnesses, along with their siblings. The program exists to offer life-changing experiences to campers and to the people who serve them. Utilizing the camp venue, our organization provides ministry and social experiences that increase spiritual knowledge, social learning, and human dignity. Our goal is to show others the love of Christ in every aspect of our ministry. Camp Barnabas goes beyond one week at summer camp. The Barnabas experience changes perspectives and redefines disability.
Over the past 22 years, Camp Barnabas has welcomed more than 75,000 campers and missionaries to camp. We are passionate not only in changing the lives of those with special needs and chronic illnesses, but also changing the lives of all who come in contact with Barnabas: siblings, missionaries, parents, staff, and donors.
Camp Barnabas has two locations in the Ozarks: Camp Barnabas at Teas Trail in Purdy and Camp Barnabas at Table Rock Lake in Shell Knob. At our two locations, we meet the needs of people with disabilities so they can have an incredible camp experience and learn more about Christ. To make camp possible, we team up with groups and individuals all across the nation to match up each person one-on-one with our campers. Camp is more than an experience. Lives are changed for everyone involved.
“I witness a lot of firsts here. I’ll overhear campers say ‘I’ve never been paint balling before!’ or ‘I’ve never even been invited. Did you see me?’ Each one spectacular and special. I wish I could depict every moment. There is nothing like experiencing someone’s emotions in a first time opportunity. You can’t win it, you can’t earn it, you can’t put a price on it. It is a blessing in the purest sense of the word.” – Mike M.
“The gift from the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation is absolutely incredible,” says Krystal Simon, Chief Development Officer. “Because of their generosity, we get to say yes to more campers. We also get to say yes to the parents who champion for their kids tirelessly throughout the year, but for one single week they get a chance to just breathe. To know that their children are safely and wonderfully cared for.”
On average 60% of camper families seek scholarship assistance and it is projected that nearly 70% will need financial help in 2018.
“The actual cost for a camper to attend Barnabas is close to $1,500, but we only ask families to cover $775,” says Krystal. “Even so, we never turn a family away due to financial hardship and work to provide a range of additional scholarships for families who couldn’t attend otherwise.”
Scholarship assistance is made possible through the generous donations Barnabas receives from donors and organizations such as the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation.
“Gifts like these helps us get to say ‘YES. Yes, you can. You can live a life of purpose,’” says Krystal. “Our campers are loved. They are encouraged to try new things. They are reminded that they are wonderfully and perfectly created. It’s a week they’ll never forget.”
Based in Southwest Missouri, Camp Barnabas is a non-profit charitable organization that includes two locations dedicated to providing life-changing experiences to individuals with special needs and chronic illnesses as well as their siblings. Each summer Barnabas serves approximately 2,000 campers and welcomes 2,400 missionaries. Over the past 24 years, Camp Barnabas has welcomed more than 75,000 campers and missionaries to camp. Barnabas exists to offer opportunities to all individuals, regardless of their disability or diagnosis, and to the people who serve them by providing social experiences that increase spiritual knowledge, social learning and human dignity. In addition to camp, Barnabas also includes Barnabas Prep, a two-year faith-based collegiate program designed specifically for students with special needs. It is an independent living learning experience that helps individuals recognize their strengths and potential and challenges them to grow into their best selves.
For more information about Camp Barnabas, visit www.CampBarnabas.org.
“It is so great to see the ministry that started here many many years ago is continuing not just to bless the campers but to really bless the young people and even the adults that serve and are a part of this ministry. Just know God is still the guiding force at Barnabas and it is an amazing place that it always has been. It is fun and it will change your life forever. “
- Cyndy Teas (Camp Barnabas Co-Founder)