SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A summer staple in Sioux Falls allows kids to experience the great outdoors in the heart of the city.

Camp Leif Ericson offers kids a chance to be kids.

“They get to come outside, they get to play, they get to ride bikes, ride horses, be out in nature and just explore and have a lot of fun with other kids,” YMCA Camp Leif Ericson Camp Director Mike Murphy said.

The first day of camp is June 5th, but camp director Mike Murphy says preparations are well underway.

“With over 60 acres of camp there’s obviously a lot to do, so just making sure we get all our branches picked up, all of our trails wood-chipped, ready for the kids, some fresh paint on some of our buildings,” Murphy said.

Camp Leif Ericson has been at this location since 1966 and could see a record number of kids this summer.

“We’ve seen increasing enrollments every year for the last several years. We have over 3,000 kids already signed up for this summer,” Murphy said.

“We’re a bit ahead of where we were last year. We’re anticipating somewhere around 3,400 campers this summer,” Camp administrator Megan Thompson said.

The number to beat is 3,500. Camp Administrator and Sports Coordinator Megan Thompson says camp is often the highlight of a kid’s summer.

“Every camper who comes to camp has the opportunity to ride a horse, which is something that they might not ever get to experience again,” Thompson said. “Archery, BB guns, nature, crafts, biking, so just activities that they might not have exposure to at home so being able to provide those opportunities is awesome,” Thompson added.

“We just hope to give them a unique experience. We have a lot of activities that they don’t get to do anywhere else in Sioux Falls and so we just want them to have a chance to make some really special memories with other kids and things they can take with them for the rest of their lives,” Murphy said.

If you’d like to sign your kids up for one of this summer’s five sessions at Camp Leif Ericson, click HERE for complete details.