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Supervised Youth Camping

56461 180th Street
Ph: 515-232-2516
Ames, IA, 50010

Call for Availability


Supervised Youth sites are now available under Level 2 of our COVID-19 Operations Guidelines. View the guidelines here.  

Supervised Youth Camping is allowed only by advanced reservation in the supervised youth areas designated by Story County Conservation at McFarland Park. Eligible groups shall consist of minor members of an established organization under the leadership of at least one adult (18 years of age or older) for every eight minors in the group. 

The following regulations will be enforced:

  • Tent camping only is permitted.
  • Adults must be in attendance during entire encampment period.
  • Camping is allowed in designated areas only, with vehicles and trailers restricted to parking areas. Special arrangements may be made to unload supplies.
  • Other park regulations as posted shall apply.
  • All activity after 10:30 p.m. shall be restricted to camp area. Youth found outside of the area are subject to a violation of park regulations.
  • Quiet hours must be observed after 10:30 p.m.
  • Dishwashing in lakes, rivers, and streams is prohibited.
  • Fires are allowed in designated receptacles only.
  • A reservation fee of $25.00/site/night is required. 

To make reservations, call our main office at (515) 232-2516 between 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Signed contract and payment are due in the McFarland Park office within two weeks (14 calendar days) of your verbal reservation.  Reservations for weekend days shall be made and paid for no later than noon on Thursday before the effective date.  Checks should be made payable to Story County Conservation and mailed to 56461 180th St., Ames, IA 50010-9451.  If payment is not received within 2 weeks, your reservation request will be voided and the date made available to others.  Reservation fees will NOT be refunded should you decide to cancel.

A damage deposit of $50.00 is required per reservation. All or a portion of any deposit may be withheld if additional clean-up or repairs beyond normal maintenance are required. Staff time for clean-up will be charged in one-hour increments at $30/hour (one-hour minimum). These deposits are not a limit of liability for damage to county property. Facility renters are responsible for any damage done to SCC facilities and grounds. The Board may utilize all legal remedies to recover damages. 


McFarland Park (56461 180th Street)


The supervised youth camping area is a primitive camping site; tent camping only is allowed.  No electricity or water is available.  A portable restroom is available nearby during the camping season.  Carry in/carry out policy on all refuse.
Carry in/carry out refuse
Fire ring


The supervised youth camping is allowed only by advanced reservation; the fee is $25 per night, plus $50 damage deposit.

Hours of Operation & Seasons

Park hours are 5:00 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Camping is open April 1 - October 31


The park is open year round, however there is no camping November 1 - March 31.