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Camp Leif Ericson prepares for another record year

todayMay 27, 2024 4

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SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO)– Now that school is officially out for the summer, many kids are looking forward to one of their favorite parts of summer vacation. A look at how camp registrations and staffing are going at Leif Ericson in tonight’s Your Money Matters.

“The biggest part is just being outside and having fun,” Leif Ericson camp director Mike Murphy said. 

That’s what summer has always been about at Camp Leif Ericson; a concept that’s only grown since its start in the 1960s.

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“Last year was a record year for us. We had 3,500 campers and we’re on track to probably hit that number again this summer,” Murphy said.

The boost in attendance follows the growth of the Sioux Falls region, but it’s also thanks to the many staff members the camp is able to hire each summer.

“We typically hire about 120 seasonal staff for our program and obviously that does play a big role. But then also just having enough space and enough activities for all the kids plays into it as well,” Murphy said.

Campers all over KELOLAND are excited to get on the bus to camp soon, the staff need a little time to train first.

“Our returning staff come in and we get to do some team building, get to learn our camp activities better, and just prepare to see campers next week, Monday,” Leif Ericson staff member Annika Hindbjorgen said.

This is Annika Hindbjorgen’s 14th summer working at the camp.

“I did actually go to camp when I was six through 14. Here I was everything about every summer. And as soon as I finished my last year of camp, I immediately applied and became a junior staff, a staff, a director, running all sorts of programs out here,” Hindbjorgen said.

It’s a dream job for many high school and college students, especially those who hope to work with youth in their careers.

“We have a lot of education majors and so this is a great opportunity to develop some of those skills as well. But at the end of the day, we get to be outside, we get to have fun with kids and we get to do a lot of fun activities,” Murphy said.

“I’m in charge of the four and five-year-old group, and I work middle school all year long. And so to come outside and hang out with little kids and watch them just explore and have fun and make connections with each other is just really special,” Hindbjorgen said.

There are only a couple of positions left to fill at camp for the summer and a few camper openings left in the later summer sessions. Visit their website if you’re interested in either.

Written by: Badlands Classic Rock

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