SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A flood of happy children is much better than the floods a local camp is still cleaning up from. Leif Ericson Day Camp is officially open for the season. We’ve been following the camp’s progress after on-going spring rains caused severe flooding and thousands of dollars in damages. It was a bit of crunch, but campers and staff say everything seems to be getting back to normal.
“Off to a great start. We’re excited to have campers back,” Mike Murphy, camp director, said.
On Monday morning, counselors called out to campers to put them into their groups.
“I love that we can go on hikes and sleep over here,” Ellie Sershen said.
The trails are happy for this nine-year-old.
“I wanted to go this year because I would get a Ole Horn,” Ellie said.
It’s an award counselors give to campers who come here for three years.
“You can blow in it and I always wanted one because a lot of my friends have one and it looks really cool,” Ellie said.
Ellie was worried she wouldn’t get it, because of how the spring storms and floods damaged the camp. Uncertainty also washed over eight-year-old Benji Blake.
“I was worried that some of the good stuff wouldn’t be open,” Benji said.
Thanks to donations and volunteers, camp director Mike Murphy says the camp is better than ever.
“It’s been a bit of a road that last two months, getting everything back on track and ready. But today really makes it all worth it, seeing those smiling faces come running off the buses,” Murphy said.
Murphy says the large 26th Street Construction project didn’t slow down anyone’s arrival this morning. Murphy says 600 campers are registered for this session, and there are 700 for the next one. Registration is still open. Both Benji and Ellie are happy to be back.
Brady Mallory: “What do you think about it now that you’re here?”
Benji: “I think it’s good now.”
Brady Mallory: “Does it look like this place flooded?”
Ellie: “No, it doesn’t.”