Boy Scouts cleanup tornado-damaged Camp Simpson

JOHNSTON COUNTY, Okla. (KXII) -- Camp Simpson in Johnston County was hard hit after an EF-3 tornado went through the area. The campground needed repairs to get ready for the upcoming summer season and received help from some familiar faces.

"It shows, I guess, how important this camp is to our community that we're out here," said Troop 18 Patrol Leader Jack Christensen.

It's the sound many across Southern Oklahoma knows all to well. Chainsaws and tractor equipment helping to clean up after a storm.

And that's been no different at Camp Simpson after it was in the direct path of EF-3 tornado Monday that went through the Bromide area.

"And so when you have something like this, it really affects all of the scouts in our council," said Adam Wrublewski, Arbuckle Area Council District Executive.

Camp Simpson is less than three weeks away from summer camp sessions hosting more than 2,500 kids every year.

On Saturday, dozens of Boy Scouts from various troops across Oklahoma wanted to give the place they call their summer home, some help.

"We're cleaning up the dead trees," said AJ McKendrick, Senior Patrol Leader. "And there are some troops re-refrooing the building."

Troops like the one McKendrick is part of from Ardmore. And even members of Troop 73 from Pauls Valley who pitched in.

"I was amazed by all the damage."

"The waterfront took a lot of damage"

"Kind of shocked by this tree."

"Yeah, there was pretty much that entire area was the stump across there."

"It shows how committed we are to the Boy Scouts," said Christensen. "We wouldn't come out here if we weren't ready to be able to earn some merit badges or be able to learn some more."

"I'm just glad to see them take pride in the Camp and stepping up when somebody calls for help," Park Ranger Gene Karr said. "They were right there, and it's been great."

"The fact that they want to come out here and get this place ready for camp and make this place the best we can for our scouts and our program that we're going to have, just speaks to the kind of people that we have out here in south central Oklahoma," said Wrublewski.

Karr says he appreciates the support from all the volunteers and has a message for area scouts about summer camp.

"We'll be ready," Karr said. "No doubt, we'll be ready."