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Camp Mitigwa derecho damage (Woodward, IA)

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August 10,2020: derecho heavily damaged Camp Mitigwa (Mid-Iowa Council) just eight days after the last campers left.

Sept 5, 2020: two construction companies Fareway and Dean Snyder Construction have each committed to fully fund ($40K) construction of a new storm shelter at Mitigwa. Each shelter will have a capacity of 40 campers.

Mitigwa was the only Scout summer camp open in Iowa this year, hosting nearly 1,000 boys, girls and adult leaders without any COVID cases. An additional 10 storm shelters are needed to sustain campers when Mitigwa is at full capacity.


I had thought building camp tornado shelters were a priority these past 12 years after the Little Sioux Scout Ranch tragedy which also occurred in Iowa.

June 11, 2008:  Four scouts died when a 165 mph  tornado tore through the Little Sioux Scout Ranch in western IowaThere was no basement or in-ground shelter at the camp when the tornado hit.

2009: Mid-America Council launched a major fundraising campaign to build emergency shelters at all of its camps.

2009: National acquires West Virginia property - Summit Bechtel Reserve

2013: two tornado shelters built at Little Sioux and a siren was added. The new structures have concrete walls, steel shutters and doors and emergency power backup, and were built to withstand an EF5 tornado.

2013: 18th National Scout Jamboree held at Summit Bechtel

Be prepared.

Edited by RememberSchiff

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MidAmerican Energy announced Friday it will donate $125,000 to build another two shelters at the reservation.

Scout executive and CEO Matt Hill said since becoming CEO in 2018, one of his priorities has been adding shelters to the camp, but his attention diverted when the pandemic started. 

"When the weather event (derecho) happened, then that kind of re-sparked the momentum I guess for it," Hill said. "It's unfortunate that a weather event like that could have been a tragedy is what it takes to get this going. But at the same time, I guess it's a silver lining."

As a result of the derecho, the Mid-Iowa Council needs to raise $1.2 million to cover the damages, spokesman Dan Gelis said. The building with the most damage was the Blank Dining Hall which had extensive roof damage, Gelis said. 

Source with storm damage photos:


Edited by RememberSchiff

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