Camp Barnhardt plays host for students in Learning For Life activities

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Steve Huffman
NEW LONDON ó Rain put a damper on turnout, but several hundred students still visited Camp Barnhardt Wednesday for a field day at the Boy Scout facility.
“The good news is, because attendance was down, it gave kids who came the opportunity to do everything,” said Jim Sawyer, district executive for the Central N.C. Council, BSA.
Participants were students enrolled in Learning For Life, a curriculum program offered to select students in area school systems. They range in grade-level from kindergarten through high school
Many of the students are in special-education classes, though at some schools, entire grade levels are enrolled in Learning For Life.
At Camp Barnhardt, activities in which students participated included 10 stations ó ranging from shooting BB guns to taking part in hayrides, from cooking over an open fire to a ride on a high-speed boat supplied by the Rowan Rescue Squad. Also included were archery lessons and instructions on how to read a compass.
Bob Pendergrass, superintendent of the Rowan Nature & Learning Center at Dan Nicholas Park, brought a hawk to Wednesday’s field day and told students about the bird.
“We try to give the kids a Scout-like experience so they can have a taste of camp life,” Sawyer said.
Another field day for more Learning For Life participants will be held next Wednesday. From Rowan County, students from Millbridge Elementary, Erwin Middle, Carson High and Salisbury High schools registered for either this week’s or next week’s field day.
Sawyer said students from 12 schools were registered to participate in the field days. In addition to Rowan, students come from Stanly, Montgomery, Richmond, Anson and Union counties, all served by the Central N.C. Council, BSA.
Camp Barnhardt is 1,100 acres and was constructed by volunteers in the 1960s. Though the camp is used primarily by Central N.C. Council troops, it’s also open to other s like participants in the Learning For Life curriculum.
The Central N.C. Council, BSA, is a United Way Agency supported by the Rowan County United Way and many friends of scouting.