Folks ARRA Rockin’ at Camp Fantastic BBQ
NIH hosted the annual Camp Fantastic Barbecue on June 13. As has become customary in recent years, the featured entertainment was a concert by the Affordable Rock ‘n’ Roll Act (ARRA) Band, which is led by former NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins and a number of his scientist colleagues.
Held on the Clinical Center’s south lawn, this year’s event had all the elements of a classic outdoor rock concert, including a swarm of groupies waving printed fans and cheering their support. The BBQ—with cookout fare for sale and a silent auction—raised more than $4,000, according to David Browne of the NIH Recreation & Welfare Association, which coordinates the fun.
Camp Fantastic, a week-long summer getaway sponsored by Special Love Inc., in Front Royal, Va., for kids with cancer, will return on site for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic.
At this year’s BBQ, Browne said, “Favorite auction prizes included a tour and wine tasting at Elk Run Vineyard in Mount Airy, two domestic round-trip airline tickets and four tickets for three-hour admission to the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring—that one was our most-bid-on item.”
This year is Special Love’s and Camp Fantastic’s 40th anniversary, noted Dave Smith, Special Love senior director of outreach and programs, “and we’re celebrating all year long. Camp…will have a multi-colored theme and commemorative clothing. Activities will range from traditional—horseback riding, canoeing, swimming—to unique, with special guests like [celebrity event planner and TV show host] David Tutera, and hybrid activities that can be enjoyed in person or via Zoom.
“Our sibling week, BRASS Camp, is commemorating the return to in-person camp with the theme ‘BRASS Camp Gets Real.’ Each day will have a different reality show theme, including Survivor, American Ninja, the Masked Singer, and a cooking competition. Because BRASS takes place on the shore of Breton Bay (part of the Chesapeake Bay system), crabbing and fishing will be highlights.”
For more information, visit https://specialove.org/.