The mission of Camp Courageous is to provide exceptional year-round recreational and respite care opportunities for individuals with special needs and their families. The camp is run primarily on donations, giving all individuals the opportunity to give through gifts of time, materials, money, and other means that support the camp.
All people, regardless of ability level, have the right to opportunities found in the world around them. Individuals with disabilities, as well as their families, experience year-round recreational and respite care activities in a camp setting. Camp Courageous of Iowa provides this needed service to all. The camp provides opportunities for social and personal growth within a supportive environment. Campers learn to try a variety of creative and challenging activities and experience success. Campers develop enhanced self-esteem which carries over to work, home, or school environments.
Camp Courageous was founded in 1972 when forty acres of land was donated for the sole purpose of establishing a camp for the disabled. In 1973 five buildings were built from donated labor and materials. By 1974 the camp was ready for its first campers, which totaled 211. Today the camp is open year-round, has over 300 acres of land with 25 buildings, and annually serves thousands of individuals with disabilties, ranging in age from 1 to 105.
Camp Courageous was built and continues to operate on donations, without government assistance, without formal sponsorship, and without paid fund-raisers. Camp Courageous is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization.