Camp Hantesa – A Camp of High Ideals
For over 100 summer seasons, Camp Hantesa has been building self-reliance and confidence in young people from Iowa and many other surrounding states.
This display doesn’t show you the sparkle in a child’s eye as they discover something new, as they look through candlelight on Magic Hill, their surprise at a bird call in the woods, their faith as they take their counselor’s hand, or their smile when they have done something well.
What’s kept this camp thriving? Their commitment to diversity and inclusion, incorporating youth voice into all they do, and their intentional efforts to reflect, evolve, and use cutting-edge research to best meet the needs of today’s families, plus remarkable alumni and supporters.
“Hantesa” in the Native American Lakota language means “red cedar”. Just as the needles on a red cedar tree point upward, so does the promise of the next century. In today’s technology-focused age, with more and more stress being put on families and youth, Camp Hantesa has become an even more important means by which Camp Fire’s mission can be accomplished. Camp remains a place where youth come to feel safe, to disconnect from technology, to experience nature, to make friends, to have fun, and to contribute to a community. Their aim for the next century is steadfastly up – to reach more young people from more places, to link adult tradition with youthful discovery, and to exercise all of the creative flexibility for which their programs are known.