Sunday, September 30, 2012

What Happened at Lake Barkley, KY. Stroke Camp ?

by Chuck Jones

I just got back from the weekend camp held at Lake Barkley in Kentucky, September 21-23. Over 50 stroke survivors, caregivers,  and volunteers attended this one. I want to thank Lourdes, Western Baptist, and Murray-Calloway County Hospital, our Kentucky sponsors this year, for making this camp possible. You have touched over 50 lives this weekend as they have never been touched before.

Lake Barkley is near Paducah, about an hour's drive from there, and, to me, is a "twin" lake with Kentucky Lake. Both are man made lakes. Kentucky Lake is 184 miles long, created in 1944, and Lake Barkley, created in 1966, is 118 miles long.  Most people hear of Kentucky Lake but not so much about Barkley.   I think what brings Kentucky Lake to the fore is that it was created first, plus it is larger, and most important to fisherman, according to wikipedia, "it holds records for the largest of three species of fish ever taken in Kentucky: white bass (5 lb.), Buffalo carp (55 lb.), and yellow perch (1 lb., 4 oz)." Lake Barkley holds the record for yellow bass (1 lb., 1 oz). Lake Barkley is just east of Kentucky Lake and the strip of land between the two is known as...uh...The Land Between the Lakes.

Okay, I hope you're still awake after that geography lesson. Here is where we stayed - The Lake Barkley State Resort Park.

The Lodge

 For those of you who may feel a little uneasy about attending one of our weekend camps because of the word camp in our name, this is a typical setting.

Our motel style rooms were here

We provided motel type accommodations with dining rooms and conference rooms for our meals and activities. Our campers were not sleeping in tents and eating around a campfire (although that doesn't sound too bad, does it). 

Just a walk along the shore of this...

Beautiful lake

For those who needed to get around the area we provide transportation. We also have carts that transport four, sometimes six, riders. But for 99% of our activities we did not need to leave the building. All facilities are handicap friendly.

These are the great and beautiful people attending this camp.

This year our theme is simulating a Caribbean cruise ship. Our tee-shirts reflected that.

We had  team projects.

 Team competitions.


This one was a Barbie Doll skit.  Well, come to a camp and you'll find out what it was about.
I have no idea what these two are doing.

Champagne anyone?

All cruises have Champagne night, right? Hmm...this might explain those two guys above. No not really. It was non-alcoholic, which raises even more questions about that pic.

And, then, what cruise goes without Karaoke night? Certainly not this one.

Maybe throw in a little Limbo?

How about a casino? I think all the cruise ships have a casino, now. We had Black Jack, Roulette, and Bingo. Just for the record and in case the Feds are monitoring our blog, there was no money nor personal gain obtained from our casino, unless there is a way to regulate just plain fun. 

 We even had our own Gilligan and the entire passenger list of the SS Minnow.

And let's not forget the crafts 


 And those terrific manicures.

Just this last weekend we had a camp at Natchez Trace State Park, Wildersville, TN near Memphis, Tennesee. Then we have one October 19-21 at Living Springs Camp, Lewistown, IL. And our last one for the year will be October 26-28 at Butman Methodist Camp, Merkel, TX.

If you missed out this year do not fret. Next year we are anticipating 25 camps throughout the United States. Check our web site for dates and registration forms at - look for the "Stroke Camp Dates" link on the left side of the screen. The 2013 schedule will start being posted sometime around March or April of next year. If you have any questions please feel free to use the Contact Us link, in the list of links, at the top left of your screen.

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