Summer 2021 Updates

December 8, 2020


As vaccine roll-out has continued and CDC protocols have continued to develop, our staff have prepared a final revision to our COVID-19 protocols for the coming summer. You can access the full document here. Key points include:

  1. All campers and staff will undergo daily health screenings at check in. Screening will consist of a temperature check and asking if campers have experienced any symptoms associated with COVID-19.
  2. All campers and staff will wear masks when indoors except when showering, sleeping, or eating. All campers and staff will wear masks during transportation. When outdoors, masks will be optional, so long as all participants are appropriately distanced.
  3. All camps will implement enhanced cleaning/sanitation procedures of facilities, commonly touched surfaces, and shared program equipment/supplies.
  4. All camps will implement more frequent handwashing and sanitizing protocols.
  5. If a camper is unable to attend their planned session due to possible or confirmed exposure to COVID-19, the deposit and any additional payments will be credited to a later camp session.

Camp Fire Heart of Iowa is excited to announce our summer 2021 line-up of day and overnight camp programs! For full details, prices, dates, and themes please visit:

Summer 2021 Day Camps

Summer 2021 Overnight Camps

The following statements from our Executive Director, Kelly Peterson-Cruse, provide a summary of changes to this year’s program offerings and operation due to COVID-19.


The safety of our campers and staff is of the utmost importance and priority to Camp Fire Heart of Iowa. Anticipating the need for additional safety practices and procedures around COVID-19, Camp Fire will be implementing the following protocol and practices for all Summer 2021 programs – following guidance from local, state, and federal officials, the CDC, and the American Camp Association (ACA):

  1. Until guidelines have been lifted, registration will be limited to 50% of normal capacity, allowing for both our day camps and overnight camps to always remain within the recommended numbers for outside and inside gatherings.
  2. Enhanced screening/health check-in procedures will be implemented for overnight programs.
  3. Daily screening of staff, campers and, if applicable, their families will take place at all sites.
  4. Campers and staff remain with their assigned group/cohort as much as possible to reduce the potential for transmission.
  5. Enhanced cleaning protocols will remain in effect for all facilities and activities. Whenever possible, activities will avoid the use of shared equipment/supplies.
  6. Activities will be held in outdoor, distanced settings whenever possible and include staggered scheduling of groups to allow for cleaning.
  7. Camper orientation will include a review of handwashing, cough etiquette, and other health practices.
  8. Vehicles will have reduced capacity to allow for distanced seating arrangements.
  9. Overnight cabins will have reduced maximum capacity and campers will sleep every other bunk, head-to-toe to avoid face-to-face contact.
  10. Campers and staff will continue to use face coverings whenever appropriate. Caregivers will be asked to wear face coverings when visiting camp or dropping off/picking up campers.
  11. In the event of a positive case, onset of symptoms, or contact tracing notification, quarantine protocol will be followed.

We are confident that with these preventive measures we can still provide the quality programming we have all so desperately missed and need in hopes to have 2021 be the Best Summer Ever!



Part of the history and tradition of Camp Hantesa has been our much-loved equestrian programs, including Herman’s Ranch, Equestrian Day Camp, and the Buckaroo/Wrangler experiences. During our break from programming this past summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we had the opportunity to evaluate these programs and, after much discussion, we have decided to “pause” our equestrian programs for summer 2021. Doing so will allow us time to raise funds necessary for facility and program improvements and training of personnel to offer a higher-quality, progressive program centered around horsemanship skills in the future. We understand the meaningful experience this program provides to our campers and remain committed to reestablishing the equestrian programs as a core piece of our services.

Although we know this is a disappointment to many who were looking forward to participating in our equestrian programs this summer, we hope you can understand the need for these updates and appreciate your support during this time of transition. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding the program’s future!


Kelly Peterson-Cruse

Executive Director