Digital Exclusive: Local camp prepares to bring campers back for summer

Digital Exclusive

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Summer camps will be starting up for the season in around a month, including one for people with disabilities.

Camp High Hopes is preparing to begin this year’s Summer Sleep Away Camps on June 13 and the Day Camps on June 14.

“Well, right now, it’s just a lot of staffing still, to be honest. We’re trying to coordinate all of our counselors, making sure that we’re set for the summer. We expect to be about 70% capacity this summer, so we are expecting a few hundred campers to be joining us,” said Chris Liberto, executive director.

Chris Liberto, executive director for Camp High Hopes, said the camp will follow the latest CDC guidelines. The staff will wear masks indoors and social distance as much as possible.

“You know, our cabins are set up to where our campers are split into four pods anyway, so a lot of our programs will be based off of, kind of, that theory of having our campers into different pods,” said Liberto.

Derek Bergman, camp director for Camp High Hopes, said some of the activities that campers will do include climbing a monkey tree and making arts and crafts.

“We got archery that everybody gets a chance to try out. We have waterfronts where we will take canoes out; we’ll throw some fishing lines in the water and see what we can get to bite. We have a giant swing,” said Derek Bergman, camp director.

With 90 acres of land, people can enjoy the outdoors and have a traditional camp setting, which goes along with the camp’s focus on being outside more often this year.

“It’s all fun, but at Camp High Hopes, we meet the ends of our campers and vary our activities based on their abilities and do everything we can that they all can succeed,” said Bergman.

Last season, the camp stopped having campers come during the COVID-19 pandemic and did virtual summer camps and sent camp boxes but had people return in September of 2020.

“[At] Camp High Hopes, our tagline is ‘Where Smiles Happen,’ and we’re excited to see those smiles coming back. We have campers that we haven’t seen in two years. I have talked to some of their parents; they’re excited to come back, the staff is excited to see them,’ said Chris Liberto, executive director.

Liberto mentions the decision to move forward with the summer camps are based on need and the camp saw some of their largest numbers from their fall and winter weekends.

For more information on how to apply to part of this summer’s Camp High Hopes staff, click here.

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