Boy Scout leaders today announced the preliminary cleanup and reconstruction plans for the Little Sioux Scout Ranch in western Iowa. Four Boy Scouts were killed and dozens injured when a tornado struck the camp nearly a month ago.
Dave Sinsheimer, director of the restoration project, says the camp will remain closed this season as plans take shape. "In order to efficiently organize this undertaking, we have engaged several local professional architectural and engineering firms. They have volunteered their services to the Boy Scouts and the Mid America Council," he says. "We are currently coordinating seven task teams undergoing concurrent reconstruction projects."
Sinsheimer says all new structures will be designed to provide shelter in a storm. Nathan Dean, the ranger of the scout camp, lived with his wife and children in a house on the property that was destroyed by the twister.
Dean says his family is grateful for the response after the tornado passed. "Of course, we are going to hold all of them very close to our hearts and in a very special place," Dean says. "On behalf of my family, we would like to thank our families and the countless people and communities who helped us and continue to help us through this tough time. Their thoughts, prayers and donations…again, we can not thank you enough for what they have done."
The ranger’s home will be among the first camp facilities to be rebuilt. There’s also a plan for a memorial to honor the four boys who died in the June 11th tornado. Three of the boys were from Nebraska. The fourth was from Eagle Grove, Iowa. Fourteen-year-old Aaron Eilerts had just finished eighth grade and would have entered high school this fall.