Sonflower Camp ready to bloom once again

By Brian Knox | Published Wednesday, May 24, 2014

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Sonflower Camp turns 16 this year – but people of all ages, are welcome, organizers said.

“Everybody’s invited. There’s no age limits. You can be a 2-year-old or you could be a 66-year-old,” said Andrea Duwe, co-director of the camp which was created for special needs children in the area.

Sonny Group

SONNY GROUP – Sonflower Camp leadership team (from left) Elaine Huff, Andrea Duwe, Chris Wann and Julia Wilson share a camp song Wednesday. The camp will be held again the week of June 9. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The “co-” in front of Duwe’s title is one of the new features of this year’s camp. The other half of that title belongs to Elaine Huff, children’s pastor at Crossroads Church in Decatur.

Last year, Duwe had to step back from directing the camp, and Huff and her church stepped in to have a Sonflower Day.

This year, not only is Duwe back, but the nearly week-long format is as well. The camp is June 9, 10, 11 and 13. Events Monday through Wednesday are held 9 a.m. to noon, with check-in at 8:30, at Joe Wheeler Park in Decatur. A swim party is held around mid-day on Friday at Fit-N-Wise.

Julia Wilson, aka “Ms. Julia,” is also back to lend her musical talents. Chris Wann, youth pastor at Community Church, rounds out the leadership team.

Duwe said many favorite activities and performers are lined up once again. The list includes a juggler, unicycler, a story-telling banjo player, ventriloquist, horses children can paint on and even a zebra. The camp will also feature bounce houses, crafts, a petting zoo, the Lions Club train and more.

At least one volunteer is matched up with each camper, Huff said.

“It’s such a great volunteer opportunity for youth,” Huff said. “If they do it one time, they are hooked.”

The popular event drew around 150 campers and about 150 volunteer helpers in 2012.

“Everybody comes together from all four corners of the county and beyond for these treasured lives we call special needs,” Wann said.

Each day has a theme. Monday is Hawaiian Day, Tuesday is Patriotic Day and Wednesday is the ever-popular Cowboy Day.

A new feature of this year’s camp is online registration. Campers, siblings of campers and volunteers can register at Click on the Sonflower icon. You can also call the church at 940-627-4222.

Volunteer training is 6:30 to 7 p.m. June 1 at Crossroads Church.

“Just come, come, come and have a blast,” Duwe said.

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