For the past 92 years, Boy Scouts of America-Sioux Council has provided programs for young people that build character, responsibility, fitness and citizenship. With strong support from the business community and over 90 volunteers participating, over $1.3 million was raised through their Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce Community Appeals campaign, which was conducted April through July, 2019.
Boy Scouts of America-Sioux Council Community appeals campaign
Funds collected will be used to make major renovations to the Sioux Council's 45-year old Center for Scouting building. Construction will include an urban adventure center, which will include a 3-story structure to allow for state-of-the-art indoor rock climbing, rappelling, zip line, archery, classroom space and shower facilities—all designed to build individual self-confidence and foster team building, as well as develop social and leadership skills. The new amenities will provide opportunities for Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops and other organizations from outside the Sioux Falls area to utilize the space for overnight programming and serve as a base of operations to participate in weekend trips to Sioux Falls. Plans call for a fall 2021 completion.
Campaign Co-Chair and First PREMIER Bank CEO Dana Dykhouse said that nostalgic feelings emanated from many who contributed financially. “Everyone has a positive scouting experience, and many enjoyed sharing their scouting stories with the campaigners,” he said.
SDN Communications CEO Mark Shlanta also co-chaired the campaign.
The City of Sioux Falls and its businesses will be positively affected by the associated economic impact of an estimated 7,500 visitors from our tri-state area who are expected to utilize the facility each year.
According to Scout Executive Tom Smotherman, the project aligns very well with the Sioux Council's goals as they will be better able to meet its vision of making available, a scouting experience that “wows” every youth within its territory and helps attract youth into scouting, as well as to retain them.
The Urban Adventure Center will enable scouting to continue to build more conscientious, responsible and productive employees, business owners and leaders for the future. Additionally, it will allow all scouts, regardless of where they live within the Council's 61-county service area, the same opportunities as scouts who live in the Sioux Empire area. Visiting scouts and their family members will be afforded the same opportunity to take advantage of the multitude of cultural, educational and recreational activities available to local residents.
Dykhouse was appreciative to be awarded a Community Appeals campaign slot, saying, “the endorsement of the Chamber Community Appeals Committee helped open doors all over the Sioux Falls area.”