Hello everyone, long time no talk. We are here in the first week of November and the change in weather indicates a change in what camp looks like and feels like. As the weather chills we are starting to see the end of our very busy fall wedding, retreats, and conference season. Of course we do these things year around but it is not unusual to have multiple groups here at the same time in the fall. The good news is that as we have fewer retreats we are really getting into our Hantesa Day Camps a.k.a. School Day Off. If you don’t know when the Des Moines, Ames, and Boone school districts have a day off of school we are open for camp. Registration is open for our fall and winter day camps on the following days.
November 13, 14, & 26
December 22, 23, 24, 29, 30, 31
January 2, 19
February 16, 26, 27
We also have overnight and resident camp options this winter. We have a resident winter break camp on December 29-January 1, a New Years Eve overnight party on December 31-January 1. And an Outrageous Overnight ski trip on February 7-8. The Outrageous program is for campers grades 5 and up. You may register for those programs or get more details at http://www.campfireiowa.org or by calling the Camp Fire Iowa Service Center at 515-274-1501 or Camp Hantesa at 515-432-1417.
Our next day camp is tomorrow, November 7th, which brings me for the reason for this blog post. Tomorrow is also the last day for Jenna Johnson, our Assistant Director. The fact that you are reading this message right now is a testament to what she has brought to this camp and the council. When she started in late April of 2013 we had not had a facebook post or blog entry in 4 months, we didn’t even know how to access the blog. Since she’s started we have more than doubled the amount of likes on our page going from about 500, to over 1300 now. The last post that we had on our facebook page before she took it over had a reach of 157 people now our facebook posts reach as many as 2000 people. These numbers are important because it shows the increase of awareness of our camp. In 2014 having a substantial social media footprint is vital to our success.
The social media rebirth is a very important thing that Jenna is leaving with us but it is in no way shape or form the only way she impacted Camp Hantesa. One of Jenna’s role as the assistant director is to oversee the programming. If you had a kid come home from our programs and gush about how much fun they had then you can thank Jenna and our program staff. She is a creative but practical mind that has the ability to put together amazing programs that are great for our fun minded campers and our budget minded director. Jenna works extremely hard in assuring that when we have people here at camp for programming; from the a fore mentioned Hantesa Day Camps, to our summer programming, to our family camp programs, that they enjoy themselves and that they have unique experiences each and every time that they are here.
I will miss Jenna professionally a great deal. In addition to the things that I have already mentioned she is organized, professional. prompt, and patient. Above all of these things though is that she is exceedingly kind. Jenna is a genuinely fantastic person. There isn’t a single person who have dealt with her has a bad thing to say about her. She is put into the position of frequently having to communicate with campers, parents, staff, and vendors and these people aren’t always happy with us, but it is impossible to deal with Jenna and not have an appreciation for how nice she is. I would be remiss if I did not mention her husband Kyle as well. Kyle only worked here during the summer of 2013 and he worked exceedingly hard for those 3 months. Kyle’s contribution did not end when he stopped working for us. Kyle and their son Daxton, born February 2014, were frequently around and Kyle never hesitated helping out without being asked and it was greatly appreciated. Many of the beautiful recent photos taken at and around camp were taken by Jenna and Kyle.
Jenna and Kyle are my friends; I will miss them, my family will miss them, camp will miss them. Good luck in South Carolina my friends and thanks for everything. This is good night and not good bye.