Dedicated to Children with Diabetes

Camp Hertko Hollow is dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth who have diabetes. The goals at camp are: Recreation, Education, Regulation and FUN! Campers enjoy the traditional camp activities while learning about living with diabetes. Meeting other youth and counselors who have diabetes is also a great benefit of the experience.

Recent News From Camp Hertko

January 2015 Newsletter

Jessica Thornton - Friday, January 09, 2015
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A message from the Executive Director . . .

It's a busy time for Camp Hertko Hollow! We've wrapped up a very successful annual campaign, moved our office to the new Wellmark YMCA, and are now deep in planning for Family Weekend and Teen Retreat (April 24-26), as well as our summer sessions! We are also pleased to announce that we have changed the way that we price Camp Hertko Hollow for Summer, 2015 in a way that makes it better for parents. Our new pricing model strives to maximize our capacity while also keeping camp affordable for the majority of our families. While the true cost for one week of Camp Hertko Hollow continues to be approximately $1300, we are able to charge a much lower fee ($650 for week long camps/$325 for mini-camps) thanks to the generosity of the various donors that support camp. In addition, if a family cannot afford to pay the full fee then all we ask is that they pay what they can afford. A family’s financial situation should never get in the way of their child benefitting from a Camp Hertko Hollow experience. Camp is also aware that diabetes affects the whole family, which is why we also welcome non-diabetic siblings (pending availability), to attend Camp Hertko Hollow and receive the same diabetes education that will prove valuable for the entire family. We are excited about this new way of pricing and hope that it will make it even easier for families to send their child to camp this summer.

Thank you for being part of the Camp Hertko Hollow family!

Jessica Thornton, Executive Director



Ages: 13-17 Year Olds 
Dates: April 24-26, 2015 
Total Fee: $75/per participant 
No camper will be turned away due to an inability to pay. Financial assistance is available if you cannot afford to pay the full fee. For more information, call 515-471-8523.

Our next Teen Retreat will be held April 24-26 at the Y Camp in Boone, Iowa. This weekend deals specifically with the concerns and needs of teenagers. Teens are increasingly independent and face ongoing challenges related to making decisions and managing their diabetes. Activities are designed to challenge and support teens so they leave the weekend feeling recharged and empowered.

Ages: All ages welcome! 
Dates: April 24-26, 2015 
Total Fee: $75/per participant 
No camper will be turned away due to an inability to pay. Financial assistance is available if you cannot afford to pay the full fee. For more information, call 515-471-8523.

Our next Family Camp weekend will be held April 24-26, 2015 at the Y Camp in Boone, Iowa. Children with diabetes of all ages are encouraged to attend with their family members, close friend, grandparents, and even babysitters to learn about managing diabetes. 
Because diabetes affects the whole family, Camp Hertko Hollow’s Family Camp Retreats are for the whole family. This weekend is a wonderful opportunity for families to come together to learn more about diabetes and share their common experiences in a supportive setting. It’s also great for newly diagnosed children or children who haven't attended summer camp yet – during the Family Camp Retreat they will get a taste of what summer camp is all about. The weekend includes numerous camp activities in addition to workshops on diabetes. Informative speakers and panel discussion give everyone a new perspective.



We're gearing up for a fun-filled summer, and are now accepting registrations for campers and volunteer staff. It's guaranteed to be your favorite week of the whole year. and register today!



April 24-26, 2015: Family Weekend

April 24-26, 2015: Teen Retreat

June 21-June 24: Mini-Camp 1 (half week session for 6-7 year olds)

June 24-June 27: Mini-Camp 2 (half week session for 6-7 year olds)

June 21-June 27, 2015: 
1. Kids Week (8-12 year olds) 
2. Counselor in Training – CIT (17 year olds)

June 28 - July 4, 2015: 
1. Teen Week (13-17 year olds) 
2. Leaders in Training – LIT (16 year olds)


Dr. Ed Hertko, founder of Camp Hertko Hollow and his wife Vicki Hertko accept their award for raising over $30,000 for the annual campaign.


This year's annual campaign was a huge success in thanks to the 47 volunteers who brought in over 500 donations totalling $131,349! What a blessing to have so many passionate volunteers, who are willing to make donation requests on behalf of camp. These volunteers' efforts make a huge difference to our organization, but most importantly to families who otherwise would not be able to afford to send their child to Camp Hertko Hollow. Specials thanks to the following individuals who helped with this year's annual campaign:

Mike Appleseth

Brant Ausenhus

April Barr

Sara Behn

David Blacksmith

Jolene Brady

Dave & Jill Brown

Amy Buress

Stephanie Cater

Anne Citarella

Brian Davis

Tammy Deheer

Stephanie Doerhoff

Ross Eoriatti

Travis Grassel

Ivan & Steph Gurerra

Susan Haines

Vicki Hertko

Joe Jorgensen

Jean Koch

Chris Koepplin

Jeff Kramer

Alex Kretzinger

Billie LeClair

Brad Long

Gregg Anne Lowe

Chasity Mease

Emily Melendez

Judi Norman

Troy Norman

Shelly Nurse

Patrick Patterson

Nathan Reese

Julie Roosa

Dave Sherry

Kaj Sinclair

John Smick

Amy Tappendorf

Eileen Thompson

Betsy Tille

Jace Wallerich

Judy Winegar


November 2014 Newsletter

Jessica Thornton - Thursday, October 30, 2014
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A message from the Executive Director . . .

November is just around the corner - and not only is it National Diabetes month it is also the month in which we kick off Camp Hertko Hollow's annual campaign! The annual campaign provides thousands of dollars to our campers every year through scholarship funds. In fact, this past summer 96% of our campers received some sort of financial assistance in order to attend camp. This year's campaign will generate close to $150,000 that goes directly towards providing families with the financial assistance they need to be able to afford camp. We have been doing this for 8 years now and can see first-hand how it affects these families - it truly makes a difference. Of course our campaign would not be possible (or successful) with out the help of our numerous volunteers who make calls to their friends/family/colleagues/etc. asking for contributions. If you would be willing to make a few calls on behalf of Camp Hertko Hollow please contact our office. If you're reading this newsletter you're likely already passionate about Camp, and would therefore be an excellent campaigner! The commitment is minimal and the experience is fun as well as rewarding. Please consider joining our team of volunteers to help us reach our annual campaign goal, and thank you for being part of the Camp Hertko Hollow family!

Jessica Thornton, Executive Director




April 24-26, 2015: Family Weekend

April 24-26, 2015: Teen Retreat

June 21-27, 2015: Kids Week 
(6-12 year olds)

June 28 - July 4, 2015: Teen Week 
(13-17 year olds)



The Run Like a Girl - 1K race was held on September 5th with proceeds benefiting Camp Hertko Hollow. Nearly 200 participants gathered for a fun evening in Downtown Des Moines - many of which were in costumes! Clutch from KGGO helped emcee the event and music was provided by the bands Nothing Special and The Holy Rattlesnakes. Special thanks to Crystal Repp, Brian Davis and Stacy Heidemann for coordinating the event as well as Mullets and El Bait Shop for hosting the festivities. Camp Hertko Hollow is grateful for your support!


Look for more shout outs each month, thank you to everyone who make camperships possible for these great kids!**


Check this out: SMASH DIABETES!

In an effort to support people living with diabetes and accelerating critical research, we ask you to join, Smash Diabetes, a creative campaign developed to drive awareness and raise new funding to advance cutting edge research.

Smash Diabetes is all about giving visibility to an invisible disease and sharing with the world how much diabetes stinks. It’s about showing the world how frustrating it is to live with the never-ending grind behind the scenes. Sure, we can eat candy on Halloween, Easter, and those other commercialized, sugar-saturated holidays, but it poses a set of challenges that most people don’t understand.

This November, to kick off Diabetes Awareness Month, we encourage everyone to Smash Diabetes by creatively (and safely*) smashing a pumpkin, or other autumn-esque objects, to represent the daily frustration of living with diabetes and desire to support those affected by diabetes and advance critical research.

To learn more visit SMASH DIABETES.ORG

September 2014 Newsletter

Jessica Thornton - Friday, September 05, 2014

A message from the Executive Director . . .

It's hard to believe that we were at camp just two months ago - welcoming 297 kids and 125 volunteers to two weeks filled with fun and memories to last a lifetime! As I think back on those two weeks I feel so grateful for the new friends I met, all that I learned about diabetes, and the time I got to spend outside enjoying the sun (and rain). At the end of those two weeks I was tired, and dirty, and anxious to sleep in my own bed. But, as I drove out of camp and arrived at the top of the hill I felt inspired. Inspired to spend the next eleven months planning for another successful summer session, inspired to raise funds to send as many kids as possible to camp, and inspired to be part of the Camp Hertko Hollow family. We are gearing up for Summer, 2015 as we speak and hope that you will continue to join us - as a camper, a volunteer, and/or a donor. Camp Hertko Hollow would not be possible without all of you - thank you for being part of our family!

Jessica Thornton, Executive Director

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