Outdoor Education and Adventure Learning
Camp Hantesa works closely with schools, church groups, university organizations, sports teams, corporate groups and other organizations to build a custom experience that fits the need of each group.
Group and individual goals, self-confidence, communication, teamwork, leadership, and decision-making are all essential elements of our adventure program. Our goal is to challenge and inspire personal and team growth in a fun and educational manner. With many options to choose from, we can work to build a program that fits your time and budget. Highly qualified and well-trained staff will guide your group through the program; this ensures participant safety and ultimate group efficacy.
High Ropes Confidence Course - The High Ropes Confidence Course presents a controlled environment to explore personal aspects of challenge, goal setting, confidence and achievement. The High Confidence Course has 7 elements that take place approximately 25 feet above ground. Enter the course through a tube ladder and complete the Burma Bridge, Postman's Walk, Catwalk, Multi-Vine, and Criss-Cross before exiting from the Zip Line. While this activity has a high degree of individual challenge, each participant works with his/her group to execute elements and safely complete challenges. (Recommended for 6th grade and above.)
Leap-of-Faith - The leap-of-faith can be utilized as an activity by itself or in addition to the High Confidence Course. The Leap-of-Faith contains a 20ft pole climb and "leap" towards a trapeeze or other individual challenge. This is commonly our most mentally challenging activity. (Recommended for 7th grade and above.)
Climbing and Rappelling - Rock Climbing and Rappelling offer a wide range of options for Adventure Learning groups. Groups and individuals can easily explore individual challenges and group dynamics though Hantesa's 32-foot Climbing Tower. Two sides boast four distinct rock climbing options (of varying technical difficulty). The third side offers the option to learn and practice basic rappelling techniques on 15ft and 32ft options. (Recommended for 3rd grade and above. Rappelling for 5th grade and above.)
Bouldering Hut - Groups can also utilize our "Bouldering Hut', a 6-walled structure with over 50 handholds to learn the basics of climbing and "spotting". (No age recommendations)
Group Initiatives - Our trained facilitator's lead ground-based activities to face mental and physical challenges, based on the progress and age of your group. These activities are designed to stretch imaginations and encourage solutions. We create an atmosphere that allows each participant to assume different roles and use a variety of positive communication techniques.
Low Ropes Course - Facilitators guide groups though a series of physical and mental team challenges designed to enhance a group's ability to work together. Group members are challenged to work together, communicate, and trust each other to accomplish the initiative. This effort leads to greater trust, togetherness, involvement, increased self-concept, and a broader understanding of each other's needs and abilities; this helps make a successful team. A discussion, or time for "processing", follows each activity; processing helps give the group insight into leadership skills, decision making, and group dynamics. On site challenges may include elements that use wooden platforms, heavy-duty cable, rope, and/or stationary wooden beans. We can also bring mobile options to you! (Recommended for 3rd grade and above.
Herman’s Ranch - Camp Hantesa uses an established herd of horses that are on-site year round. The horses vary in size and may accommodate a variety of riding levels. Certified riding staff lead lessons. Staff are trained through the Association of American Horsemanship Safety clinics. English riding lessons follow programs developed from the Secure Seat Method, which was designed to minimize the risk to the rider. Students may learn the basics of riding, the nature of a horse, and horse science. More advanced options may be available determinant on skill level.
Aquatic Ecology - Students will build on their classroom knowledge of the natural water cycle with hands on experiences. Students may explore local streams and learn about local aquatic animals. Students may also learn about how pollution affects the water cycle and local animal life.
Forest & Wildlife Ecology- Take a hike through the Hantesa forest and discover the rich habitat of local birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Students may learn how to identify trees using all of their senses, or they may learn the importance of the forest for shelter and food for animals. Students may also learn how to identify ecological damage and stress in our local forests and how to improve it.
Rocho’s Cabin - Students travels back in time to the early 1900’s and compare life then and now. Our historical log cabin gives students a chance to relate their lives now to what times would have been long ago. While learning some of the skills and jobs that would have been expected of them on a journey across the United States, they will also get hands-on experiences, such as butter making in a churn, biscuit making, candle and soap making, and rag dolls.
Drama - Our drama center, complete with costumes and a stage, offers a world of opportunities for creative students. Skits, puppetry, story-writing, miming, and directing are all possibilities in this wonderland.
Hand Arts - Copper enameling, bead work, leather stamping, candle making and tye dye are all craft options. We can also work to create a craft more suited to your needs as a group.
Dark Room Art - Create photograms and learn about the importance of light in photography.
Lapidary – Cut and polish a stone using our grinding and polishing wheels. Make a piece of jewelry, a charm, or a keychain from beautiful rocks!
Outdoor and Physical Education Activities
Canoeing and Kayaking - Learn the techniques of these lifelong sports and explore the water ecosystems in our local area. Develop skills in paddling, teamwork, and communication. We paddle either on the Des Moines River or at nearby lakes.
Archery - Students will learn safety strategies, shooting skills, techniques, and scoring for the sport of archery. Games and challenges make for a constant progression in the sport.
Riflery - Students will learn proper gun handling, gun safety and marksmanship in a controlled and safe environment.
Sports and Games – Play group games, soccer, baseball, kickball, cricket or any sport in our large field.
Orienteering - Learn how to find your way through the forest using only a map and a compass. This activity also provides the opportunity for students to work within a team atmosphere to accomplish a goal.
Sledding - Enjoy sledding in the winter down our HUGE sledding hill! We have lots of fun in the snow and have many games to pair with this activity.
For more information, please call Camp Hantesa at (515) 432-1417. For additional pictures, check out our photo gallery.