A little insight as to how we handle inclement weather

Hello, we hope you are all doing wonderfully on this soggy Monday. Now seems like a great time to let you all know what goes into our programming decisions when we have weather concerns. First of all, our decisions are made in the best interests of our campers and counselors. The key to handling weather successfully is to be cautious but not overly cautious to the point where we are not running a quality program. As parents we want to know that the people looking after our children will safeguard them as if they are our own, which we do. We also want to deliver a quality program because we want the campers to have a fulfilling, satisfying experience.

As of this moment Boone is in a Tornado Watch. We are still running a full program because outside of a few raindrops the weather, while gray, is calm. Knowing the difference between a watch and a warning whether it is flood, thunderstorm, or tornado is a key component to driving our decisions. A watch can be issued and you can have a wonderfully idyllic day. Technology has helped us a great deal when it comes to how to deal with the weather. We can see the radar to tell when a storm is approaching and if it will dissipate or strengthen. We also have the ability to use lightning detectors and trackers to see just how close the lightning is.

In times like today when there is poor weather all around us but not at camp we use these things to monitor our surroundings including battery powered radios. We keep in constant communication with our day camp coordinator, resident camp coordinator, bard director, and pool director to make sure that they have the same current information that we have. We do have a plan as to how to deal with severe weather if it hits and we have trained our staff on how to act if action is needed quickly. When there is lightning within 10 miles everyone has to be inside, preferably Clayton Lodge, but if campers are already inside of a building we will keep them there until the lightning has gone. Campers are not allowed on horses or in the pool until the lightning has passed by at least 10 miles. Again we have the technology to see where the strikes are, if that technology fails they have to wait 30 minutes after the last strike before entering the pool or getting on a horse. In case of Tornadoes we have two shelters at our main camp, our preferred shelter is once again Clayton Lodge where we have a concrete basement where everyone can go. If the storms happen too quickly we have a basement under Miles Crafts Building for campers and counselors on Happy Hill and Miss Suz has graciously allowed our equestrian riders to use the basement of her house if we have people at the barn.


We hope this lengthy explanation has helped all of you understand the hows and whys of how we handle storms here, unfortunately we have had a lot of practice the last couple of weeks. As always if you have any additional questions please give us a call, 515-432-1417, or you can email us at hantesa@campfireiowa.org or me personally at michael@campfireiowa.org. That’s all for now, I have weather updates to give 🙂



Michael (Mr. Purple)

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