Camp Fire Camp Hitaga to close

By Forrest Saunders, KCRG-TV9

WALKER — An Eastern Iowa camp believes this summer was their last.

Camp Fire Camp Hitaga, near Walker, has decided to close after 83 years.

The council which oversees Hitaga said last week it’s selling the camp and will be dissolving afterward.

In a letter to alumni, officials said they can no longer meet financial obligations, including two bank loans and operational costs. Officials blame increasing maintenance expenses and declining attendance.

During the 60s, Hitaga saw 200 campers a week. These days, attendance is nowhere near that.

“For the past two summers we’ve had 150 kids for the whole summer,” said Valerie Smith, the camp’s executive director.

“I’m an alumna as well as the director. It hurts. But, I do also understand the operational reasons,” Smith said.

Camp officials hope that whoever purchases the camp will preserve it, in some way.

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