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 me 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 take 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 from a full-time marketing consultant to build K.A.R.E. Camp in 2014. After brainstorming, discussions with parents, market research, program design and official paperwork, Kids Who K.A.R.E. Camp launched 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 fourth summer in 2018. I have partnered with truly inspiring non-profit organizations and have met many caring, passionate people, who do so much to make the world be a better place. In its 3rd summer in 2017, over 175 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.