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Camp High Hopes

Camp High Hopes is located in Sioux City, Iowa and offers respite waiver approved camp sessions and non-waiver campers with disabilities. The camp was founded in 2004 and looks to offer a fun, safe, and recreational environment each and every day for people with disabilities, as well as their friends and family. Campers most often come from Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Minnesota, and everyone who attends has a special need, disability, or chronic illness. There is a program most likely offered no matter one’s age or diagnosis. Camp High Hopes serves about 500 campers annually, and on average approximately one third of that population is deaf and hard of hearing. It’s important to remember to register early for Camp High Hopes, as spots are limited and fill very quickly on a first come-first served basis; also, those who register early get “Smile Bucks” to use inside the camp store. The Camp has several different sessions available throughout the year:

  • Summer Sleep Away (June-August): These include overnight camp sessions for youth and adults with varieties of disabilities. Each week runs Sunday through Friday and the Youth and Adult programs are broken into generalized and specialized programs designed to suit certain needs. This is for ages six and up.
  • Summer Day Camp (June-August): This is the perfect camp for those who aren’t quite ready for a week away from home, but still want to take part in all of the fun activities. This is a Monday-Friday day camp where each camper is able to have fun in the sun. Campers must be six and up to participate.
  • Spring & Fall (September-May): Camp High Hopes likes to keep busy no matter the time of year. Overnight weekend “respites” are offered during the fall and spring for youth and adults with disabilities that need a little break from reality. The camp also offers sessions that include School-Break Day Camps for children and teens, as well as Sleep-away sessions for Adults. Campers must be six and up.
  • Camp-Your-Way: Camp-Your Way is an opportunity for first time campers or caregivers to have a night out and experience Camp High Hopes outside of regular sessions. Camp-Your-Way is scheduled on an individual basis depending upon staff availability. Those wishing to take part must call the Camp High Hopes’ office at least two weeks in advance of the desired date. This is the best way to introduce someone to camp. (Ages 4+)
  • Travel: For those who are more experienced in camping there are travel opportunities to Siouxland offered through Camp High Hopes. From a day trip to Omaha to a weekend in the Black Hills, there are several sessions offered on special occasions throughout the year. (Ages 18+)


Everyone at the 90-acre property of Camp High Hopes is given the opportunity to experience new challenges and accomplish things they never expected. Individualized adaption, encouragement, and a culture of challenge by choice allow each camper to experience Camp High Hopes in a unique way. This enables the campers to set and meet individual goals. The Camp High Hopes experience is one of a kind. Campers are welcome to participate in swimming, archery, canoeing, fishing, boat paddling, arts and crafts, and much more. Campers are also given the opportunity to make life-long friends by spending morning, noon, and night with their fellow campers. At sleep-away camps, campers spend the night in Camp High Hope’s Cardinal Cabins. Each cabin has space for seven campers and three staff members. They are climate controlled, have fully accessible restrooms and roll-in showers and have an electric hospital bed. The cabins have keycard controlled access for optimal safety for the campers at night.

Safety is a top priority at Camp High Hopes, and because of this both campers and staff go through screening processes. The nurses, medical center staff, and activities leaders have current licenses and certifications for their area of work. All staff members are CPR and First Aid certified, so they are ready to respond to any emergency. In addition, the Camp Program Director is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, which ensures that programs are adapted to campers’ abilities and conducted in a safe manner.

The bonds formed between counselors and campers last forever. The minimum staff-to-camper ratio is 1:3, although 1:1 assistance can be specially arranged or found in the 1:1 programs offered by Camp High Hopes.

Campers will build self-esteem, form bonds, and challenge themselves in a safe and fun environment. A small $50 deposit fee is required when submitting an application in order to be enrolled. Sleep Away camps are $575 and Day Camps are $225 which helps to cover the cost of food, shelter, counselors, and activities.

Camp High Hopes is accredited by the American Camp Association.

For more information on Camp High Hopes, see their Facebook page, Twitter page, website, email or call.


Phone: (712) 224-CAMP

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