Creating Smiles at a San Antonio Summer Camp

Medina, Texas based Deer Creek Adventure Camp is teaming up with Camp Barnabas in August to bring smiles and adventure to some special young campers. Deer Creek Adventure Camp is geared toward kids ages 7 to 16 and serves about 100-120 campers per term. Camp activities, as well as adventure activities, round out the camper’s experiences in this safe, Christ centered San Antonio summer camp.

In 2010, the staff at Deer Creek began a partnership with Camp Barnabas to bring a new opportunity for children and adults with special needs to attend summer camp. By bringing the mission of Camp Barnabas to Deer Creek, kids with special needs that live near the San Antonio area can participate in this awesome summer camp opportunity.

What Is Camp Barnabas?

Camp Barnabas is based in Purdy, MO and is a place for children who have intellectual or physical challenges and/or chronic illnesses to be shown the love of Christ. It started as a place for children who could attend a typical summer camp.  Camp Barnabas is not typical; it is an incredible place where people come to just be kids at camp, a place where they are participants, not observers, in life.

Cindy Teas founded Camp Barnabas in 1996, out of an experience with a young camper while she was Director of Health Services at Kanakuk Kamps, a conglomeration of Christian sports-oriented camps near Branson, Missouri. In that 1992 summer, a young camper had complained about pain in her leg, which tragically turned out to be cancer. She ultimately lost part of her leg and had to undergo chemotherapy. However, the young woman yearned for the ability to return to camp and have fun like a “normal” kid. That experience inspired Cindy and her husband to start Camp Barnabas.

Partnering With Deer Creek

This year Camp Barnabas will bring their programs for kids 7 to 18 to the Deer Creek facilities on Wednesday, August 1st through Monday, August 6th, 2012.  This year’s program will be expanded to include children with chronic diseases, along with children that are blind or deaf/hearing impaired. Additionally, kids with chronic diseases such as AIDS, hemophilia, sickle cell, Crohn’s, cancer, diabetes and others, along with those who have been diagnosed with Asperger’s (no PDD or ODD). Siblings are also invited to attend this camp.

From Wednesday, August 8th through Monday, August 13th, the Barnabas team will lead programs for campers with physical ages 7 to 25 who have been diagnosed with a developmental disability or are challenged from autism. Siblings are invited to this week of fun as well. Campers in these programs are ambulatory and must be able to tolerate outdoor activities.

Activities at Deer Creek will include swimming, barn swings, zip lining, a rock wall, field games, arts and crafts, canoeing, and other outdoor adventures. Campers utilize adaptive equipment and programming in all activities.

Shared Mission

Both Deer Creek and Camp Barnabas share a Christ centered mission that embraces the belief that everyone, young or old, normal or physically/mentally challenged, are unique creations and reflections of God. Every person deserves to experience a San Antonio summer camp adventure that pushes their individual limits and tests the boundaries that society builds around them.

Reaching a camper’s fullest potential is a shared mission as well. Life-long positive improvements in confidence, new friendships, and shared experiences work together to build self-esteem and self-worth. The unique attributes that define each individual are embraced and nurtured throughout this experience.

You can learn more about these amazing programs at To learn more about Camp Barnabas, check out If you have questions about which term your child should attend, contact our Camp Registrar, Sandy Smith, at 417.737.7076 or email

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