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Camp Barnes brings joy to kids for free

Delaware State Police has hosted thousands since 1947
August 2, 2019

Since 1947, the Delaware State Police has hosted thousands of youth to Camp Barnes on Millers Creek on Assawoman Bay for weeks from June until August. Camp Barnes is open to all children who are residents of the state of Delaware and are between the ages of 10 and 13. There is no cost for the children to attend the camp, which runs multiple weeks, alternating boy and girl campers. Nearly 60 campers attend each week

There is a state trooper and a nurse on the grounds at all times while the camp is in session, along with over a dozen counselors who undergo background checks before the camp begins.

The campers are treated to numerous demonstrations during their weeklong stay at the camp. The Delaware State Police helicopter lands at the camp for a Q&A about how the DSP conducts missions from the sky. The Delaware State Police K-9 and Evidence Detection Unit provide demonstrations during the summer. The Delaware Attorney General’s Office also provides campers with an informative session.

Campers can swim in the pool after they take a test to be safe when in the water. Other activities they can enjoy are kayaking in Millers Creek, archery, arts and crafts, nature walks, basketball, soccer, 4-square and wiffle ball. The counselors also referee a Olympics competition where the cabins face off with each other in sports-related activities. Campers compete in activities such as softball throw, soccer kick for distance, basketball foul shots, over-under passing the ball, pass through a hoop race, 50-yard dash, and tug-of-war.

“The Delaware State Police Camp Barnes mission provides a positive and free summer camp experience for the youth of Delaware,” said Sgt. Richard Bratz, Delaware State Police spokesperson. “This allows campers to develop a sense of good citizenship and devotion to community through innovative adventure-based outdoor learning activities while lending a hand in the development of leadership skills to increase self-confidence. Who knew in 1947, when the Delaware Association of Chiefs of Police accepted the challenge to undertake this important endeavor to address juvenile delinquency in the First State, that this effort would have been so successful, lasting many generations? As it turns out, Camp Barnes has grown to be one of the most requested camps in the state.”

For more information about the camp, contact Cpl/3 Shawnn Hatfield at 302-752-3834 or James.Hatfield@state.de.us.