Barnum summer concert series aims at building communityIt seems that a Barnum area youth group has learned a thing or two about long-term recovery. Young people from Barnum Methodist Church, Elim Lutheran of Blackhoof and Salem Lutheran of Mahtowa got to know each other pretty well during their efforts to help out following last summer's dire flooding.
It seems that a Barnum area youth group has learned a thing or two about long-term recovery. Young people from Barnum Methodist Church, Elim Lutheran of Blackhoof and Salem Lutheran of Mahtowa got to know each other pretty well during their efforts to help out following last summer's dire flooding.
“Our church set up a command center at Barnum Methodist,” explained student Steve Sorenson, “and volunteers went out to help from there. Some of the leaders brought youth in from the three churches and we held Wednesday night meetings together. We worked on lots of flood projects, serving meals and working on cleanup duties.”
When the emergency response was over, however, the teens understood that the task was far from over.
“The flood relief effort brought a lot of the community together to help rebuild,” said Sorenson. “We wanted to keep that spirit going, and since we know music is really popular around here, we decided to put together a summer concert series.”
Fellow student Kerra Rowell said the combined youth groups solicited donations and wrote their own grant that documented how the young people worked together with the community after the flood.
“We wrote a grant to the Northland Foundation’s Youth in Philanthropy Grant and received $1,000,” said Rowell.
Altogether they raised enough money to rent the Hartman Pavilion at the Carlton County Fairgrounds in Barnum every Wednesday night during the summer, print their initial marketing materials and purchase concessions. Through the grant money, they were able to purchase their own sound system.
Beginning this week and running every week through the end of August, the students plan to host a concert featuring local and regional talent designed to appeal to the entire family. What's more, a community meal will be served at Barnum Methodist beginning at 5:30 p.m. (donations welcome), and then folks are invited to attend the free concert under the log pavilion at the fairgrounds. Sorenson said the concert will go on rain or shine. In case of rain, it will be moved to the 4-H Building on the fairgrounds.
Appropriately enough, the young people chose to call the event, “Chillin’ in the Pavilion,” and they will be volunteering to operate the entire program, with a handful of adults helping them out as an advisory committee.
The series got under way on Wednesday, June 5, with entertainment by Tony Tracy and Barnum High School’s “The Lost Cause.” Next week’s performer will be Nathan Frazer.
And as an offshoot of working on this exciting new project, the young people have also discovered a new direction of their own. Sorenson said they are setting up a week-long mission session at Barnum Methodist in mid-July to discuss how to continue to help flood victims in the long run.
“We’ve heard that one in three people don't have the help that they need,” said Sorenson. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to help some of them out.”
For more information on the summer concert series, see the group’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/chillininthepavilionbarnum.