As you’ve likely heard by now, we had a slight mishap here at The Outdoor Campus last weekend.
Our kayak shed—and all the kayaks, paddles, life jackets and waterfowl decoys therein—was burned to the ground, along with all but one of our canoes. While we haven’t heard official word, due to the lack of electricity or gas near the scene and to the recent vandalism in the park, arson is suspected.
We lost twenty-one kayaks, seven canoes, one tandem kayak, around eighty lifejackets, ninety paddles and over one hundred decoys. We’re working on replacing the equipment and rebuilding the shed; in the meantime, we’re renting storage pods and making sure that we’ll be completely ready for kayaking and canoeing lessons by Outdoor University on August 1.
Paddling classes are canceled through the end of this week, and we’ll be re-evaluating when to start them up again after the weekend. We’re determined to not let this set us back for long, and putting the damage behind us and returning our class schedule back to normal is our highest priority.
Finally, we want to express our immense gratitude to the community of Sioux Falls for how they’ve supported us over the past few days. We’ve received loads of generous donations, along with comments and condolences from people who love and appreciate the work we do. It’s humbling to see the effects our efforts have had on the community, and nothing is more rewarding than hearing about the positive associations so many individuals and families have developed with The Outdoor Campus.
Thanks again, and rest easy knowing that we’ll be teaching Sioux Falls to love and respect the outdoors for years to come.