Meet the Camp Director
Hello Campers, Families, Returning Campers, and Curious Friends Who I Hope To Meet Soon!
My name is Amy Barnett, and I am the founder and director of Kids Who K.A.R.E. Camp. I have 3 children (14, 12 and 10) who are often involved as a camper, junior counselor, or the camp’s social media experts!
I am often asked why and how I came up with the idea of K.A.R.E. Camp.
As with most parents, it is important to my husband and I to raise grateful, kind children. We try to balance well-deserved “lazy” summer days with opportunities to give back to others. But as a full-time consultant and mom of 3, I was short on time to chaperone projects, and I did not know who to call or how to connect with the right service opportunities. It wasn’t until my oldest daughter built a close friendship with a fellow seventh grader, who was lost to leukodystrophy, that I felt compelled to action.
My parents and my mother-in-law were teachers, and I grew up thinking I might land in a classroom. My mother-in-law also founded one of the first and longest-running summer camps for pre-school children, north suburbs of Chicago. She was ready to sell her camp in 2010, and it was just a bit too early to leave my marketing career. So Grasshoppers was sold, and it left me with a stewing thought to create my own summer camp. In the meantime, I dove into volunteering with Girl Scouts and Girls On The Run, and various roles in the parent associations of my kids’ schools.
I made the leap to form K.A.R.E. Camp after I “retired” as a marketing consultant in 2014. After a lot of brainstorming, research, program design and official paperwork, I launched Kids Who K.A.R.E. Camp on National Youth Service Day in April, 2015. I piloted the camp concept that summer and was gratified to find that it was every bit as fun and rewarding as I hoped it would be—for me and the campers!
K.A.R.E. Camp returns for its third summer in 2017. I have partnered with truly inspiring non-profit organizations and have met many caring, passionate people, who do so much to help the world be a better place. In its 2nd session in 2016, over 100 children attended camp. I continue to improve programming to keep this one of the most unique and rewarding ways for St. Louis-area kids to spend a week or two volunteering during their summer vacation.