The new, rebuilt ranger’s house at the Little Sioux Scout Ranch in western Iowa will be dedicated Saturday morning. The ceremony comes four months after the home was destroyed by a tornado that leveled the camp, killed four scouts and injured more than three-dozen boys. Lloyd Roitstein , executive director of the scout chapter, says the new ranger’s home, like other re-constructed buildings at the camp, will be equipped with a tornado shelter.
He says, "Everything that we build in the future will be a shelter of some type." Of the four Boy Scouts killed in the storm — three were from Omaha and one was from Eagle Grove, Iowa. Roitstein says safety is the chief factor being taken into account as the new camp is being constructed in Harrison County.
"There will also be the new shelters that will be built that will be very safe for the scouts throughout camp," he says. The boys were praised for using their first aid training and other scout skills to rescue and treat each other until emergency crews could get onto the scene. Several of the boys and their families were honored by President Bush during a visit to the White House. Roitstein says the camp’s new ranger house is the first of the buildings to reopen and he’s confident the ranger and his family will enjoy it.
He says, "They will be thrilled to move into this home which will be a lot larger." The rest of the camp is still being cleared of debris and is scheduled to re-open next spring. Nearly $400,000 has been collected from donors around the country for the rebuilding effort.