Waves of Generosity: Camp Barnabas Unveils New Waterpark, Enhancing Lives with Community Support

By:  Brennan Brossman, Commercial Aquatics Sales Manager, PoolCorp Commercial Aquatics

In a world that often seems filled with chaos, uncertainty, and division, there are places that shine brightly as beacons of hope and inclusivity. Camp Barnabas is one such place—a haven where differences are celebrated, and lives are transformed.

Camp Barnabas is a renowned faith based non-profit organization that operates a unique and inclusive camp experience for children with special needs. Located in Missouri, it provides a safe and fun environment where kids of all abilities can enjoy various outdoor activities, including a waterpark. Founded in 1994, the camp is dedicated to promoting friendship, personal growth, and positive life-changing experiences for campers and their families. With a passionate team of volunteers and staff, Camp Barnabas offers a wide range of adaptive programs and support services to ensure that every child can thrive and create lasting memories. Every year over 1,500 campers are registered and come from 32 states across the country.


The grand opening of Camp Barnabas’ new waterpark was a monumental occasion, marking a significant milestone in the camp’s mission to provide exceptional experiences for children with special needs. This ambitious project became a reality through the unwavering support and generosity of Sun Belt Pools, a company committed to making dreams come true.


With the help of generous donations by several vendors, support from Counsilman-Hunsaker and the expertise of Sun Belt Pools, Camp Barnabas transformed its facilities to include a state-of-the-art waterpark tailored to the unique needs of their campers. This waterpark is designed to be accessible to all, ensuring that children with various abilities can splash, play, and create cherished memories in a safe and inclusive environment. Counsilman-Hunsaker Principal, Darren Bevard stated “Counsilman-Hunsaker is delighted and extremely grateful to have the opportunity to support Sunbelt Pools and Camp Barnabas in replacement of the camp’s aging aquatic facility.  When Sunbelt Pools initially contacted us in August of 2021, it was very apparent that this effort could positively impact the lives of so many individuals – individuals who may not have the opportunity experience aquatic recreation outside of the Camp Barnabas programs. We look forward to seeing the joy that this collaborative process will bring to patrons of Camp Barnabas for years to come.”


The grand opening event was a heartwarming celebration of the community’s dedication to making a difference in the lives of these special children. Campers and their families were greeted with smiles, laughter, and an abundance of aquatic adventures as they explored the waterpark’s features.


This partnership between Camp Barnabas and Sun Belt Pools exemplifies the power of collaboration, demonstrating that when individuals and organizations come together with a shared vision, they can create transformative experiences that impact lives in profound ways. The grand opening of the waterpark at Camp Barnabas symbolizes hope, inclusivity, and the boundless potential of philanthropy to change lives for the better. “Because of the generous donations from the manufacturers and because we believed in this project, we were able to give them the waterpark they truly deserved.” said Robert Morgan from Sunbelt Pools.


What made this grand opening especially special were several key aspects:


  1. Inclusivity- The waterpark was meticulously designed with inclusivity in mind. It featured adaptive equipment and accessibility ramps, ensuring that campers of all abilities could fully participate and enjoy the water-based activities. This commitment to inclusivity was a testament to Sun Belt Pools’ dedication to making the park a welcoming space for every child, regardless of their physical or cognitive challenges.


  1. Tailored Features-The waterpark’s features were thoughtfully tailored to meet the specific needs of Camp Barnabas’ campers. From sensory-friendly elements to gentle water jets and splash areas, every aspect of the park was designed to provide a sensory-rich experience that catered to the campers’ unique requirements.


  1. Community Engagement- Sun Belt Pools didn’t just provide funding and expertise; they engaged with the Camp Barnabas community in a meaningful way. Employees from Sun Belt Pools volunteered their time to assist during the grand opening, forming connections with campers and their families. This sense of community and shared purpose made the event even more special.


  1. Impactful Legacy-The grand opening was not just a one-time celebration; it marked the beginning of a legacy. The waterpark would continue to be a source of joy and empowerment for countless children with special needs in the years to come, thanks to Sun Belt Pools’ dedication and ongoing support.


  1. Emotional Significance-For campers and their families, the grand opening was a momentous occasion. It provided an opportunity for these children to experience the sheer joy of a waterpark, something that might have seemed out of reach in the past. The smiles, laughter, and tears of happiness at the event were a testament to its emotional significance.


The grand opening of the waterpark at Camp Barnabas was made possible by the exceptional efforts of Sun Belt Pools and unbelievable generosity of the pool equipment manufacturers. It showcased the power of collaboration between a philanthropic organization and a community-focused non-profit, resulting in an enduring legacy that would positively impact the lives of children with special needs for generations to come.


As we conclude this journey through the remarkable world of Camp Barnabas, let us carry forward the spirit of inclusivity, compassion, and boundless possibility that defines this extraordinary place. Together, we can continue to inspire and uplift, making a lasting difference in the lives of individuals and communities alike. Camp Barnabas is more than just a destination; it’s a beacon of hope, acceptance, and joy, guiding us all towards a brighter, more inclusive future.

Copyright © 2024 Brennan Brossman. All rights reserved.

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