Arika grew up in Council Bluffs, Iowa. She attended Abraham Lincoln High School. She moved to Des Moines in 2000 with her mother, sister, and brother and began working at a childcare center. Arika has also worked as a Bank Teller and a Customer Support Technician/Technical Support Agent. In 2008, Arika recieved her Administrative Assistant Associate Degree.
Arika's favorite thing to do is spend time with her three beautiful daughters, Akira, Kiara, and Tiana. She also enjoys playing volleyball, singing, bowling, and playing softball. She loves any opportunity to help people and be around children.
Jenna has been with Camp Fire in various positions since 2011. Starting as a Camp Counselor, she then worked as a Site Director, then Program Director. Jenna is from Norfolk, Nebraska and graduated with her degree in History and Secondary Education from the University of Sioux Falls in 2012. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, listening to 90's music and playing softball.
Jo has been going to camp since she was six and has been a counselor at Camp Hantesa for five summers. She studied criminal justice in college and just got married at the beginning of this past summer! She loves nature, being outdoors, and teaching others, especially campers, about what is all around them. She is very excited about being at Camp Hantesa, and not just in the summer.
Michael grew up in Garden City, a small town in western Kansas. After college Michael, a proud Kansas State graduate, worked in New England camping for over a decade. Michael got his start as the Athletic Director at Camp Waziyatah. He then moved on to Camp Wekeela, where he stayed for seven years as the Head Counselor. Finally he graciously accepted the position of Assistant Director at Camp Caribou.
While at Camp Wekeela, Michael met his wife Erika. They have two daughters, Maya and Annika, who absolutely adore summer camp.
Michael loves traveling around the country with his family in their spare time. As previously mentioned, he loves all things Kansas State, he and his girls spend time in Manhattan, KS following everything from football to track & field. One of his daughters wants to be a K-State basketball player and the other wants to be the mascot. Michael can also be found playing a sport with a ball of some sort whether it be golf, tennis, basketball or Australian Rules Football; he loves them all. Michael is thrilled to be working with Camp Fire and is excited to get to know and love Iowa!
Owen was born and raised in Des Moines. He grew up attending Camp Fire and Camp Hantesa programs all the way through high school. After high school, Owen began working at Camp Hantesa; first as a general counselor and later as the LC/Apprentice Director. Owen is graduated from Iowa State where he studied Biology and Child, Adult, and Family Services.
In his spare time he enjoys hiking, canoeing, and camping; especially with his puppy, Robin. Owen is very excited to begin working more with Camp Fire and is looking forward to many great summers ahead!
Bob has served as the director of Camp Fire Heart of Iowa since 2005. Bob has over 20 years of experience working in youth development and nonprofit management.
Prior to coming on board with Camp Fire, Bob held a variety of positions in youth development primarily with the Boy Scouts of America, including directing the Learning for Life division in Minneapolis and as a field executive, in Omaha, developing at-risk youth and in-school character education programs.
In addition to his knowledge in program development and fundraising, Bob has served as a camp director and outdoor education facilitator. He holds a degree in Public Administration from the University of Northern Iowa.
When not at Camp Fire, Bob enjoys camping, photography, training dogs, and spending time with his wife, Brenda and two sons, Dakota and Jake.
Jennifer was born and raised in Des Moines and went to East High School. She attended Wayne State College in Wayne, NE, where she was a four year starter for the softball team. Jennifer graduated with a Pychology Degree in 2011. After college she was a Graduate Assistant for WSC, and then was an Assistant Softball Coach for three years at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, IA. Jennifer enjoys sports, movies, Mexican food, and spending time with family and friends.
Marilyn grew up in Norwalk, Iowa, a suburb of the Des Moines metro area. She graduated Simpson College with degrees in English and Secondary Education and is licensed to teach 5th-12th grade English/Language Arts. While in college, she worked as a mentor for first year students through Simpson Colloquium Leadership and as a senior writing consultant in the Simpson Writing Center. After graduation, she worked as an SES Instructor, providing free reading comprehension and vocabulary tutoring services to lower income students in Des Moines Public Schools. Marilyn enjoys reading, spending time outdoors, watching Harry Potter movies, and spoiling her two kitties, Bill and Stanley. In her spare time, you could find her enjoying the lake, exploring new locations, or spending time with her friends and family. She is excited to be working at Camp Fire and is looking forward to making some great memories!
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