Labor Day weekend was amazing.  The New York Says Thank You organization arrived at the Little Sioux Scout Ranch in Little Sioux to lend a huge hand with the rebuilding efforts at the ranch.  Projects completed included the construction of an open air chapel, the creation of new hiking trails, prairie bowl reconstruction, the clearing of existing trails, and many other projects.

The chapel was constructed using cedar trees from the ranch and local surrounding areas.  It was erected in time for the closing memorial service and very first church service on Sunday morning.  The chapel is amazing.  It took the work of many skilled and motivated workers from around the country.  We know that the four scouts who couldn’t be with us would be very proud of the efforts and results.

A huge amount of trees, brush, and debris were cleared from a bowl north of the pavilion in an effort to reclaim the bowl to prairie as it used to be many years ago.  With the help of skilled sawyers, hand tools, machinery, and amazing handwork a huge portion of the bowl and hillsides were cleared and exposed to fresh sunlight.

A new trail was blazed north of the chapel with freshly constructed cedar benches and a memorial arch constructed near the apex of the hill overlooking the chapel valley.  South of the camp two crews cleared 2.5 miles of existing trails that had been overgrown and covered with debris from the previous year’s storm.

Firefighters and rescue personnel from New York, Louisiana, Indiana, Texas, Illinois, Kansas, and surrounding areas were all on site and worked extremely hard on all of the projects.  People from all previously effected communities helped by NYSTY were also on site and made all the projected goals a real possibility.

Great new friends were made over the weekend.  HRF would personally like to thank FDNY members Mike, Tom, and Mike for their hard work and new friendships.  HRF would also like to extend gratitude and thanks to Dave and Nina of Indiana for the incredible work and friendship as well.

HRF also wants to thank Jeff and Charlie for all their hard work and dedication.  Without your huge hearts projects like this couldn’t take place.  Thank you for your inspiration.

We don’t know where the project will take us next year, but we will be there.  HRF highly recommends

putting next September on your schedule and planning on taking time out of your lives to help the lives of others in need.  It was awesome.  Huge tasks may seem insurmountable, but with the help of many hands and strong wills we can achieve the unimaginable.