Although we are still unsure of what exactly caused the fire, we do know that it began in the back of our barn, somewhere near the garage and our office space. It quickly spread to the indoor arena, moved to the horse stalls, and through the apartment, and to the other side of the front of the barn. During the pathway of this fire, we lost the primary operating spaces of our camp including:
--Indoor riding arena, and all of our horseback riding equipment/tack for campers.
-- Indoor rock climbing wall and landing pad.
-- Native wildlife display center where we keep bones, fossils, and feathers collected by children throughout the farm, and where we house our reptiles that campers catch in aquariums.
-- Outdoor arts and crafts pavilion and all the supplies.
--Snack shack with storage and refrigerators, where campers buy their favorite treats and drinks.
-- 24 horse stables for animal shelter and storage, and all the materials we were keeping inside for the winter that we use to operate camp during the summer, including animal food, lunchtime operation bins and coolers, Covid-19 supplies and PPE, life jackets, water inflatables and the blobs for the lake, sports and games equipment, fishing poles and supplies, talent show sound system, computers, camper merchandise, and more.
-- Office space where our staff gathers for interviews, meetings, and photography editing.
-- Security system, which included video cameras and TVs, that we used to monitor visitors and maintain the safety of our campers.
--Garage, along with all of our equipment (tractor, trailers, excavator, skid steer, lawnmowers, Polaris, and Gator), and all of our power tools and hand tools.
-- Commercial kitchen, which contained gas range, double oven, commercial refrigerator and freezer, ice maker, work table, sink, dishwasher, microwave, water jugs, storage and cabinetry, cleaning supplies, and kitchen utensils.
-- Nurse station, which contained workspace for our nurse, a sofa and chairs for sick campers to rest, all of our medical equipment and over the counter medicines for children; also a washer and dryer, and a sink and cabinetry.
--Personal family apartment, which we have spent life in since my parents renovated the space when I was a child. This home area contained a kitchen and bathrooms and bedrooms; it is a deeply personal space where we have spent significant time raising our family, sharing with friends and our counselors, and with campers who needed space to rest, and schools to use for field trip purposes.
-- All furniture, tables, chairs, lighting, professional framed photos of campers, and more – everything we use throughout the barn, to make our environment functional, comfortable, and welcoming for our campers and our staff.
Other ways to help
We will need tradespeople (builders, architects, carpenters, plumbers, HVAC, electricians, roofers) to help with the rebuild. Right away, we are also in need of storage containers, equipment, power tools, and hand tools. If you feel led to help in any way, please let us know.
At Camp Hi-Ho, it has always been our mission to provide a space for thousands of children to safely explore the outdoors, meet friends, learn and grow as they experience new things, and enjoy the freedom to simply be kids during their camp experience. We are hopeful that good will come from this tragedy and beauty will rise from the ashes that remain. Again, we are overwhelmed by the love and generosity that has already been shown for our family and Camp Hi-Ho. Thank you for your support.
- Katie Zalla
- Catherine Bell
- Kristin McAllister
Fundraising team (3)
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