Welcome to Camp C.S. Klaus!

Here you will even more information about what we have to offer during summer camp at Klaus.  Find out all the nitty gritty details, etc.

Although the primary focus at Camp Klaus is to provide an exceptional program for Scouts, we know that offering activities & training for adult leaders can further our goal. Not only do we offer various training to help leaders become knowledgeable and earn certifications, we have activities that keep leaders busy while having a great experience at camp.

Providing a program for leaders to enjoy camping is essential, because if leaders do not want to come to camp, Scouts will not attend, or will not be able to. With activities like the week long Scoutmaster Merit Badge, Scoutmaster Golf, a Scoutmaster Belly Flop Competition, and a Staff versus Scoutmaster Volleyball game, adult leaders will definitely be busy. Additionally, we welcome leaders to participate in Songs, Skits, Cheers, and the Friday Night Camp Fire.

Training & Certification Opportunities at Camp Include:

  • Totin’ Chip
  • Fire m’n Chit…
  • Safety Afloat
  • Safe Swim Defense
  • Climb On Safely

Additionally, a daily Scoutmaster Meeting is held by the Camp Management Staff to keep adult leaders informed of all daily activities at camp, as well as offering an opportunity to check in on the progress of Scouts. Many of the opportunities listed above are unique to Camp Klaus, but we feel they are a necessary part of our vision to help educate leaders and encourage continued involvement in Scouting. We would love to hear from you at any time to make sure your time at Camp Klaus fits your needs!

Each Thursday evening during Boy Scout camp sessions, Camp Klaus welcomes friends & family to our Visitor’s Night. Visitors are encouraged to arrive at camp starting at 5:00 p.m. for the festivities. A meal will be served from 5:00-7:00 p.m. in the Munter Dining Hall. Meals are provided for registered campers and children under the age of 6. The cost is $6 for children from 6–12 year old, and $8 for everyone else. All proceeds from the meal help provide an inexpensive summer camp experience for campers, and donations are welcome. Families may however bring their own meals if they so choose.

We encourage visitors to take a tour of camp with their Scouts to see everything they have been doing. Demonstrations at the climbing tower & shooting range will take place until around 8:00 p.m. at which time everyone will gather in the Parade Grounds for the campfire and Order of the Arrow Call-Out Ceremony. All programs will conclude by 10:00 p.m.

Parking is somewhat limited so visitors are encouraged to carpool if and when possible. Please follow the direction of the parking staff upon arrival. Although vehicles are temporarily allowed in camp to park, visitors are prohibited from driving through camp. If any visitors require assistance, transportation around camp is available but limited. That being said we welcome visitors of all ages and will accommodate anyone when necessary.

Visitor’s Night Schedule:

  •  5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Supper in the Parade Grounds
  • 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Nature Center and Handicraft open; open shoot at Field Sports – rifle & shotgun shooting available for a minimal cost to visitors
  • 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Climbing & rappelling demonstration at the Tower
  • 8:00 p.m. Assembly in the Parade Grounds
  • 8:30 p.m. Campfire & OA Call-Out Ceremony

No Scout should miss out on the opportunity to attend summer camp because of his financial circumstances. Based on need, campership assistance may be available but usually does not exceed one half of the total camp fee. Simply fill out our Campership Requestpdf_icon and submit it electronically or by mail to the Northeast Iowa Council Service Center.

To be eligible for assistance, a Scout must comply with the following:

  • Be registered and in good standing with a Scouting unit in the Northeast Iowa Council
  • Be in need of financial help in order to attend summer camp
  • Be recommended for aid by unit leader
  • A parent or guardian must complete their portion of the application
  • Plan to attend summer camp program operated by the Northeast Iowa Council
  • Furnish the medical, health, and other information required of all campers

Parents and Scout leaders should contact the Council Service Center for more information. All campership information is kept confidential, and funds are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis to those who qualify. Campership applications are due by April 15. It is the unit’s responsibility to show proof of campership awarded at the time of making camp payments.

At Camp Klaus, we want everyone to enjoy the experience of a session regardless of ability. Scouting requires a Scout only to do their absolute best, and we want to meet the needs of each camper while still fostering growth and learning. Below are details of how Camp Klaus works to meet the needs of all Scouts and Scouters to provide a quality camping session:

Limited Mobility:
For those with limited mobility, we provide various amenities and services to make sure you can still get to where you are going. We provide…

  • Transportation around camp via a John Deere Gator
  • Handicap Accessible camp sites
  • Handicap Accessible showers & dining
  • Flexibility in program and scheduling. Our program staff with work with anyone with limited mobility to make sure that they get the best program suited for their needs.

Limited Ability:
Scouting aims to foster growth in youth regardless of ability and requires no more effort than any Scout is capable of. If a Scout has special needs regarding programming, our staff will do its best to fine tune the program to fit and enable that Scout to participate. It is our goal to provide a positive experience to everyone, and to keep them coming back to Camp Klaus again and again.

Allergies & Dietary Needs:
Allergies can be difficult to deal with, but if treated properly along with taking proper precautions, we believe camp can be a safe environment for everyone. Not only do we have a trained Health Officer who reviews each Scout’s personal health needs, but our entire staff is trained to recognize and deal with them. Our Kitchen Staff will cater to specific food related allergies or dietary needs and will set up safe zones depending upon the severity of the allergy. But please be sure any and all allergies are made known to the Council Service Center when your Scout signs up for camp so arrangements can be made prior to their arrival. Thank you!

1. Can adult leaders leave camp during the week?

Yes. We understand that many adult leaders will have other commitments and need to leave camp from time to time. It is each unit’s responsibility to maintain proper adult supervision (two deep leadership) while the unit is in camp. It is also the responsibility of the unit to keep track of which leaders are in camp for each meal, for the purposes of paying fees upon check-out. Units will pay for any extra meals when checking out (rather than individuals paying throughout the week).

2. Do I need to bring my own tent to camp?

No. As a service to all campers, Camp Klaus provides canvas wall tents, with level platforms and canvas cots. It is preferred that all campers use these tents, rather than personal tents, for the purposes of campsite maintenance and emergency vehicle access. Any personal tents that are used must have “No Flames In Tent” either painted on them or affixed in some noticable way, per BSA policy.

3. What is the firearm policy at camp?

Camp Klaus provides all the necessary rifles, shotguns, and archery equipment for all shooting sports activities. Campers are not allowed to bring firearms or ammunition to camp. If special circumstances apply, the camp director should be contacted before camp begins to make arrangements.

4. What is the camp smoking policy?

All buildings at camp are smoke-free environments. In addition, smoking is not permitted in the presence of any scouts. Adult leaders who smoke need to be conscious of proper disposal of smoking materials.

5. What is the camp vehicle policy?

All vehicles are to be parked in the camp parking lot. Personal vehicles are not allowed in camp during camp season. Camp service vehicles will be used to transport troop equipment and trailers to and from campsites. Please be mindful of the weight of your troop’s trailer, as it will be hauled up (and down) a rather steep hill.

6. How much money should I bring to camp?

All campers are provided three square meals each day. However, some scouts find that they like to have other snacks throughout the week. For this reason, Camp Klaus has a trading post stocked with various confections and treats. In addition, the trading post has camping supplies, merit badge supplies, clothing, games, and keepsakes for sale. While there is no specific dollar amount that fits for every camper, it is helpful to figure out a budget for the week and plan ahead.

7. Can I receive mail at camp?

Yes. Mail is delivered to camp each day, and distributed to unit leaders. Please have it addressed as follows to ensure delivery:

Scout/Leader’s name
Troop #
Camp C.S. Klaus
P.O. Box 236
Colesburg, IA 52035

If sending a package via UPS or FedEx, the package must be sent to Camp’s physical address:

Scout/Leader’s Name
Troop #
Camp C.S. Klaus
28157 Horseshoe Road
Greeley, IA 52050

The Camp C. S. Klaus Story

By Paul Lewis


The Dubuque Council has organized and hosted long-term summer camp sessions since 1917. Many sites have served as “Scout camp” to area boys in the council, but the one with the longest history is Camp C. S. Klaus, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this summer.

Developing a camp in a less than one year

The Camp Klaus story begins in January of 1956 at the council’s monthly camping committee meeting. Committee members included Council President Cecil Edmonds, Dr. John Tyrrell, John Oberhausen, Dave Hartig, and Milt Blosch. The committee decided to pursue an alternative to Adventure Island, the previous Summer Camp. The following sites were all discussed as possibilities:

  • Girl Scout camp
  • Y.M.C.A. camp
  • Clinton Scout camp
  • Freeport (Illinois) Scout camp
  • LaCrosse (Wisconsin) Scout camp
  • Waterloo Scout camp
  • Temporarily go back to using Camp Chicagami (at Backbone State Park)
  • Return to Adventure Island Scout camp (near Guttenberg)
  • Contact Clifton Klaus about leasing some land that he owned near Colesburg

By February, 1956, the committee received approval from the Council Executive Board to contact Clifton Klaus about leasing land for a summer camp site near Colesburg. The recommendation initially met with resistance from some Scouters in the Adventure Island district (which would combine with the Chicagami district in 1961 to form the present-day Dellaykee district). Their decision to contact Clifton Klaus, of course, proved to be a good one!

Lots of work went towards preparing Camp Klaus for its first season. The May 1956 Nor’Easter indicated that the lake was well under way. (Apparently the Chicagami district camporee, held in May, didn’t bother the preparation efforts.) The road had been reconditioned, rifle range started, camp sites were being developed, and brush was being cut. Construction on wash houses and latrines had begun, but volunteers were being solicited to help out on any weekend prior to the opening of the inaugural camp season.

There were no “permanent” structures, except for some wash houses, latrines, and a rifle range shelter. Eight boats and nine cameos were available for the Scouts to use. Several wood and wood-and-canvas structures served as staff housing, the mess hall, and storage areas for program equipment. All Scouts and leaders stayed in 2-man tents that lined the hill near the lake.

Several gifts helped to get the camp ready for its first camp season. A one-acre lake, located to your left if you were to cross the creek by vehicle today, was known as “Lake John Deere”. John Deere Dubuque Tractor Works engineers completed construction of the lake shortly before the first camp season. A gift from long-time Dubuque Scouter Dave Hartig Sr. was responsible for the 100 square feet of sand beach.

Water from the creek fed the lake, which averaged 8 feet in depth. According to Robert Formoe, the camp director, the temperature of the water “was 45 degrees near the spring, but it warms up considerably by the time it circulates in the lake”.

Although the site was simply an idea in January, by July it had become a Boy Scout camp, complete with a new lake. July 8, 1956 was the official “opening day” of Camp C. S. Klaus. Council executives presented Clifton Klaus with a document expressing their gratitude for making the camp available. The document was signed by most of the Council Executive Board members as well as Cub Scout, Boy Scout, and Explorer unit leaders. In future years, Klaus would be listed on the roster of the Northeast Iowa Council executive board as the “chief Scout”.

The July 8, 1956 Telegraph Herald identified the following camp staff members:

  • Robert Formoe, camp director
  • Russell Widmer: waterfront director
  • Brian Gifford, assistant waterfront director
  • Hans Schwantje, program director
  • John Roseliep, program director
  • Jim Arthur, program director
  • Dannie Betts, storekeeper
  • Mrs. Clarke Gull, cook
  • Mrs. Harvey Koenecke
  • John Spores, kitchen helper

By the end of the first season at Camp C. S. Klaus, 269 Scouts from 20 units had attended summer camp. Fortunately, the excitement generated by the new camp didn’t end with the successful completion of the first summer camp season. Council membership increased 22% in the first year following the opening of the new camp.

Camp attendance increased even more in 1957: 315 Scouts from 24 troop, plus 11 Explorer Scouts from 3 Posts. Council leadership found this especially encouraging since this was a “jamboree year” in which the Northeast Iowa Council sent 34 boys to the National Scout Jamboree.

The council camping committee, encouraged by the success of the first season, outlined the following goals to be completed prior to the start of the second season at Camp Klaus.

  1. completion of the eight troop campsites
  2. completion of the water system
  3. build a house for the camp ranger
  4. build a lodge (later known as the Red Fox lodge)
  5. enlarge the lake
  6. build two auto bridges
  7. develop permanent activity areas

The council hired Ron Elvidge in April, 1957. Elvidge who was the Scoutmaster of Troop 31 in Dundee, became the first to serve as camp ranger.

The official dedication of Camp C. S. Klaus was held on July 4, 1957. Camp Dedication Committee Chairman, Dr. John Tyrrell, announced that festivities would include a tour of the entire camp, with special attention being given to each of the 8 different troop campsites. The names of the eight campsites, by the way, were Five Cedars, Balanced Rock Big Rock, Bloody Ridge, Bent Basswood, Brookside, Silver Willow, and Boulder Pass.

50 Years of Scouting

Many events have happened since the early years of Camp Klaus. When Clifton and Sophia Klaus celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in 1966, they deed the 140-acre property to the Northeast Iowa Council. Scouts were offered the following program activities during this year: Monday—Paul Bunyon skills; Tuesday—Johnny Appleseed day; Wednesday—patrol cooking; Thursday—wilderness engineering; Friday—orienteering. Aquatics and field sports were also activities that were offered.

In 1967 four Cub Scout ‘Dad N Lad Days’ attracted 1,100 boys and dads. This same year, based on the recommendation of professional forester Gerald Marshall, a large number of elm trees at camp had to be cut down due to the Dutch Elm disease. In 1968, 612 Scouts from 38 troops attended summer camp at Camp Klaus.

In 1974, rock climbing and rappelling was an activity offered to Scouts. This was done near the waterfalls area.

Scouts had the opportunity to earn one of 33 different merit badges that were offered during 1980. The most commonly earned badge was basketry. Home-made ice cream was a popular treat among Scouts.

Soon after the summer camp season ended in 1999, construction began on a 40-foot climbing/rappelling tower. The tower was completed in time for the beginning of the 2000 summer camp season. New low-COPE activities were available for the first time in the 2006 summer camp season.

Many Scouts who have participated in the international camp staff program have enjoyed the opportunity to spend a summer at Camp Klaus. In 2005, for example, Lam Ka Chi from Taiwan was a member of the Camp Klaus staff. In prior years, Camp Klaus has also hosted international Scouts from Brazil, Costa Rica, England, France, Guyana, Holland, Japan and Papua New Guinea.

In addition to hosting the long-term summer camp for Scouts in the Northeast Iowa Council, Camp Klaus continues to be used throughout the entire year. Scouts throughout the past 50 years have participated in district camporees, council-wide camporalls, and weekend troop campouts. Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts have participated in day camps and overnighters. Timmeu lodge continues to hold bi-annual gatherings at camp. In 1991, and again in 2001, Order of the Arrow lodges from surrounding councils came to Camp Klaus for their annual section conclave. Timmeu hosted the section conclave again in 2006 at Camp Klaus.

The council was able to purchase an additional 71 acres for Camp Klaus in June, 2004. All funds came from friends of Camp C.S. Klaus. In the fall of 2009, the camp dining hall underwent a massive renovation and was renamed Munter Lodge. Also in 2009, council volunteers constructed a high COPE course, which was professionally certified in the spring of 2010 and included in camp programs beginning in the summer of 2010.

In recent years, Camp C.S. Klaus has averaged between 350 and 400 youth attending summer camp for a long-term camping experience and those numbers may rise in the future. Since the camp opened in 1956, program activities change. These programs continue, however, to support the three aims of Scouting: citizenship, character development, and personal fitness.

While the faces who attend Camp C.S. Klaus have changed, the spirit in which it was built lives on, the Spirit of Scouting.

The waterfall dumps water into a stream which feeds Lake John Deere where aquatic activities are held. The stream is one of the only naturally reproducing trout streams in the state of Iowa.

Volunteer workers still come out to the camp grounds almost every weekend of the year to help repair old buildings, or more likely, build new ones. The workers range in age from 20-65 and hold a variety of craftsman’s skills; electrician, carpenter, construction worker, etc.

Many community groups use Camp C.S. Klaus for picnics, camping, or family events. The gates are hardly ever closed and you can generally find one or two people fishing by the lake or using its trails to jog on.

Camp C.S. Klaus’ facilities now include: permanent housing for female staff members, married staff members and their spouses, a new visitor’s center, a new camp office, climbing tower, low and high COPE (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience), dining facilities, and all of the outdoors a person could want.

Camp Klaus Logo