Mother of Camper Killed in Storm Gives Camp Blessing to Re-Open
Updated: Monday, July 14 2014, 07:04 PM EDT
Campers and staff in Carroll County are trying to move on after a deadly storm killed one of their own just last week.
Dozens of large stumps now dot the landscape at River Valley Ranch, stumps left behind from trees that toppled over in Tuesday night's storm. Among the debris staff have also placed flowers, turning the trail into a sort-of memorial pathway.
River Valley Ranch has re-opened since 12-year-old Justin Diggs was killed by a fallen tree as he and more than 100 other campers ran for shelter from the storm. Several children were also injured.
It took dozens of volunteers working around the clock to clean up the in order to reopen. But most importantly, staff said, it took the blessing of the victim's family to move on, and re-open.
Camp counselors have gathered for their own prayer services around the campsite, seeking courage to move on. After careful consideration, camp officials decided it was best to reopen right away, to feel a sense of "normalcy" and "purpose again." But first, they took the opportunity to discuss that decision with Justin Diggs' mother.