HOW WE STARTED- LAUREN'S STORY
As a child, Lauren Hauschild attended Kanakuk Kamps for several summers. She was diagnosed with cancer in 1992, and after going through chemotherapy, the loss of her leg and the adjustment to an artificial limb, she still wanted to attend camp, and did so the following summer. But, she often found herself in the camp's medical center, unable to truly enjoy her camp experience.
One afternoon toward the end of Lauren's stay, Cyndy Teas (Director of Health Services for Kanukuk Kamps at the time) sat down with her and asked how things were going. Lauren told her that she wished she could just be a normal kid at camp. Cyndy asked her what that would look like, and Lauren described a place where different is normal and normal is different. "Everyone would be in a wheelchair or on crutches. No one would care that your hair was missing from chemo," Lauren said. "It would be easy for anyone to do all of the activities of camp. Cancer wouldn't isolate you--it would unite you--and when you came there, you would be loved."
Lauren inspired Cyndy and her husband, Paul, to start Camp Barnabas. In 1994 and again in 1995, they rented a Kanukuk facility and held a special week of camp for children with cancer or blood diseases and their siblings. They purchased Soaring Hawk Camp near Monett, Missouri and launched Camp Barnabas for the summer of 1996.
Co-Founder, Paul Teas, was born in El Paso, Texas and grew up in west Texas on his family's ranch. He received his bachelor of Arts degree in Archaeology from the University of Texas at Austin, was a certified master scuba diver, and began his career as an underwater archaeologist. He has worked on a variety of archaeology projects in the United States, Central America and Australia.
Paul is constantly amazed and humbled by the wonderful children who come to Camp Barnabas. "They are truly heroic people who have an appreciation and excitement for life," says Paul. "They really love others the way God expects us to love Him. I am always challenged and encouraged by the campers that I get to know and their courageous and bold lives." Paul and his wife, Cyndy, have two children, Kayman and Trace.
Co-Founder, Cyndy Teas, is a Registered Nurse whose passion for serving people with special needs developed during her 25 years as a pediatric nurse. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Texas at Austin and has served in pediatric home health, hospital pediatrics and pediatric ICU. She spent several years as a camp nurse and Director of Health Services at Kanakuk Kamps in Branson, Missouri.
Through these experiences, Cyndy realized the challenges and pressures placed on a family with a chronically ill or physically or intellectually challenged child. She is committed to seeing that people with special needs are given human dignity through the unconditional love they receive from Camp Barnabas.
Cyndy finds life's greatest joys are her family and her career. A native of Dallas, Cyndy enjoys spending time with her children, Kayman and Trace, her twin sister and older sister, all living in different parts of Texas.