Progress at Leif Ericson Day Camp following flood

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Hundreds of adults will donate their time to fix a summer mainstay for area children. Last month’s floods caused thousands of dollars in damages to the Leif Ericson Day Camp. The camp’s director says Keller Williams Realty staff is volunteering to clean up the grounds next month. The camp has come a long way, but it still needs your help before it opens in June. 

The arts and crafts building at the camp is far from a masterpiece, thanks to floodwaters. 

“It was a bummer. It was pretty sad. It was sad to see it like this,” Monica Schnetter said. 

Leif Ericson Day Camp is more than just a job for Operations Support Specialist Monica Schnetter. It’s a big piece of her childhood because she would come here. 

“There’s so many memories,” Schnetter said.

The grounds are still drying out, and employees have worked hard to clean everything up. Camp director Mike Murphy says it’s improved a lot since last month. 

“We have been able to access most of our buildings and get those cleaned out. Unfortunately, we’ve sent three big dumpsters down the road with a lot of our equipment and program supplies,” Murphy said. 

The equipment, three vehicles and a bridge are some of the biggest losses. 

“There is a fair amount of work to be done on the grounds, whether it be picking up branches or putting wood chips on our hiking trails,” Murphy said. 

Murphy says community support is helping rebuild the camp. 

“Probably one of the neatest donations we had was a young camper who she served up her weekly allowance and she was able to make a contribution,” Murphy said. 

Moving forward, Schnetter says the camp will re-open on schedule on June 3, painting an optimistic picture for families who look forward to spending their summers here. 

“Seeing it come back to life and seeing all the campers come in that first day,” Schnetter said. “I’m happy to say we will be ready and we’re excited for your campers to come here and return.”

You can still donate to Leif Ericson Day Camp through a GoFundMe account. The money will help the camp recover and pay for new equipment and supplies for programs. 

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