Great Rivers Food Service and Maintenance Spring Gathering

Join us for the Great Rivers Food Service and Maintenance Spring Gathering at Camp Hantesa in Boone, IA! This is event is geared to food service and maintenance staff as well as those with an interest in these areas.


Registration ($65) includes a full day of program and lunch.  Register Now!


9:00 a.m. - 9:20 a.m.               Registration and Hospitality Time

9:20 a.m. -9:30 a.m.               Welcome

9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.              Breakout Session #1

The Grass is Greener: Managing Your Turf for Summer Success               
Adam Thoms, Ph.D., Iowa State University
This session will include an update on what it takes to have a high quality and safe athletic field playing surface. I will discuss the basic cultural practices of turfgrass management to handle foot traffic as well as recovery these include: proper fertility rates, cultivar selections, mowing height, topdressing, how to make lines last longer, and weed control. This talk will also discuss timing of these cultural practices. We will also discuss the comparison of synthetic and natural turfgrass playing fields, and what the research says.
Safe Food Handling
Holly VanHeel, Iowa State Extension Service
Those involved in food service need to follow fundamental safe food handling practices - including attention to personal health and hygiene, temperature maintenance of equipment and food items, and cleaning and sanitizing of your operation.  This session will focus on safe food handling practices and reducing the risks of foodborne illness.

10:45 a.m.-11:45 a.m.            Breakout Session #2

The Crimes we Commit Against our Sites: Challenging Traditional Thinking of how we Manage the Camp Landscape
Tom Neppl and Tom Bentley, Practicing Landscape Architects
Join Tom Neppl and Tom Bentley for a stimulating conversation about new and interesting landscape and land use practices that challenge conventional, ‘that’s the way we have always done it’ thinking. As practicing Landscape Architects, the Toms have collectively worked with greater than 100 commissioned design and master planning projects, nationwide, for camps, outdoor education centers, urban and rural parks and recreation areas. Their project experience ranges from small sites of a few acres to large-scale master planning of sites of greater than 1,000 acres. Drawing from their experiences in the field, they’ll offer ideas and insight related to landscape design, stormwater practices, and vegetation management, citing specific projects they’ve collaborated on. Additionally, they will touch on planning, design, and managing efforts related to intentionally designed nature playscapes in place of traditional playgrounds.
Special Diets at Camp
Amber Kastler, Registered Dietitian, Iowa Specialty Hospital & Clinics-Clarion Campus
Foods allergies are increasingly more common.  Ensure a positive experience for campers, their parents, and camp staff by learning more about the most common food allergies and how to better accommodate individual needs. 


12:00 p.m.-12:30 p.m.            Lunch

12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.              Roundtable Discussions (Facilities Roundtable and Food Service Roundtable)

1:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.                Camp Tours (Camp Hantesa, Des Moines Y Camp)

3:45 p.m.                                      Thanks for Attending!


For more information or questions, contact Betsy Thamert (, 765-342-1349).