Camp Barnes is considered hallowed ground for those of us that have had the privilege of attending the week long overnight camp. The Delaware camp experience is offered as part of the 4-H youth development program. The camp is such an important part of 4-H that many attribute the camp as building their character. Memories from camp are forever etched into the minds of those having the camp experiences of meeting new "soon to be" friends and learning new leadership skills for life. At times, our non 4-H friends might ask about camp and it may be difficult to explain the aura that is present at camp. It is easy to say that the experience is "life changing."
The purpose of this website is to share some memories and to document some of the history of 4-H at Camp Barnes. The 4-H Camp was started in 1948 and with a seventy plus year history, there are a lot of memories, experiences, and changes that we have seen. Yet, the camp remains fundamentally the same.
The foundation principles of 4-H are presented in the pledge and the motto. No matter how good something is, there are always ways of making it better. Delaware 4-H camp is instilled in these principles which has contributed to the seventy year longevity.
Sunset on the Mighty Muddy Miller Creek
While the information presented on this website is provided as experienced by one individual, it is also a tribute to the thousands of 4-H members that have had the honor of walking the path to the Council Circle over the last seventy plus years. Additionally, it is to honor those that have gone before us that have made camp a reality for us to experience, especially Sam Gwinn and Jim Baker.
This website is planned as a historical journey at Camp Barnes as experienced and witnessed through the eyes of one individual that became a "Product of the Program."
Feel free to make suggestions or additions. One item that is needed is a picture (or pictures) of the firing range that used to be there.
An Overview of this website:
As I have experienced the camp program at Camp Barnes through the years and almost from the beginning of the 4-H camp program, I have witnessed many changes in the program. A lot of the history has faded and I began to think that it would be a worthy endeavor to relate some of my experiences along the journey through the years at camp. Like many of the Delaware 4-H families, it can become a family affair. My brother and sister attended camp. Both of my daughters, Katy and Nancy, attended camp. In 2019, a granddaughter attended as a first year camper.
My goal for this website is to relate some of my experiences at camp and while doing so, provide some information about the changes. As an example, I will tell about the "old" Council Circle. Many of the younger campers have no knowledge that there was another Council Circle, and this website can become an historical reference.
My hope is to make it an interesting story of my many trips to camp.
Camp Barnes was founded in 1948 by Delaware Association of Chiefs of Police for the recreation of deserving youth from throughout the state. The camp was named to honor Colonel Herbert Barnes. Fortunately, Dr. Sam Gwinn was able to make arrangements for the 4-H program to utilize the camp a year later.