(KSCJ photo)

Sioux City’s “Camp High Hopes” is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

“We serve 500 campers every year with special needs, disabilities and chronic illnesses,” says Sarah Morgan, the camp’s executive director, “so they get to come to camp and do things they’re never been able to have a chance to do and probably never will have a chance to do in their every day life.”

Archery and canoeing are among the activities for campers. The facility opened in the fall of 2012. Morgan says there’s been a lot of growth since then and new programs are being added this fall and next spring.

“When we add more facilities and we add more programs, that means we can have more campers come, which means we can impact more lives, so that is what we’re all about is to grow each and every year,” she says. “Obviously, we had to take a step back in the pandemic, but we are back to full strength to what we were pre-pandemic, which is awesome.”

A crowd gathered at the facility Sunday for a celebration that featured games, a fire truck and two birthday cakes. Morgan says there were smiles all around.

“That’s the reason we’re all here,” Morgan says. “That’s the reason we all do what we do and put in the long hours is to see our campers smile.”

The Camp High Hopes property covers 90 acres and includes a lake and a lodge. Fundraising for the camp began in 2004 and it opened eight years later.

(By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)