Could Legionville be used in new ways?

By Tim Engstrom
Campers learn to fold an American flag in June 2022.

Camp could handle plenty more

REDWOOD FALLS — The current summer of camping at Legionville has 304 campers registered. The camp is capable of handling 144 weekly.

“So our mission next year will be trying to expand our presence to the local communities, the schools and our Legion posts about Legionville and what we can do,” said Carl Moon, who is the president of the Legionville Board of Directors.

The current Constitution and Bylaws for Legionville do not provide for year-round use of other programs that deviate from the teachings of safety patrol, Moon said.

DSO Ray Kane has proposed using Legionville as a retreat for female veterans. Another proposal from members calls for Legionville providing an environment where veterans could feel safe and open up about their experiences. Yet another idea is allowing Scouts to complete their community service projects there.

Campers raise their right hands during graduation in August 2023.
Campers raise their right hands during graduation in August 2023.

Moon said Camp Manager Adam Felton told the board that some schools are using Legionville graduates to teach other children about safety patrol. The state only recognizes Legionville and American Automobile Association (AAA) for certification. Anyone with awareness of other similar training needs to report it to the camp manager or department adjutant.

Land that had been for sale in Sections 13 and 14 — about 80 acres — was pulled from the market as a result of declining land value, Moon said.

A donor wall has been approved for inside the barn.

Legionville’s revenue exceeded expenses, as of May 31, by $67,394. Total donations received as of July 7 were $52,481.

A work-and-play weekend on May 20 went well but only 6th District members attended.

The roofing project for the dining hall is complete and new dishwasher installed. All toilets have been installed, and there remains five hot water heaters that will cost $5,600 each to install, totaling $28,000.

Felton is looking into the purchase and disposal of mattresses for the dormitories. One hundred fifty-four are needed at a cost of $150 each, totaling $23,100.

“We are hoping that we can find a company that will donate that expense and take them off our hands when we buy them from them,” Moon said.

Dorms, he said, need 21 sets of new faucets and drains.

Felton looked into a fishing pier. However, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources indicated the pier would have to be about 200 yards long to reach a decent fishing depth, so that’s out of the question.

Moon said Auxiliary Fun Weekend is Aug. 4-6. The Camporee is set for Sept. 7-10. The Harvest Rally is Sept. 9. The American Legion Riders Romp will be Sept. 14-17. The SAL’s John Zgoda Disabled Veterans Deer Hunt is Oct. 4-8.

The Parker family, in 1954, donated the original 560-acre site on North Long Lake where Legionville exists, so that the Legion and the Minnesota State Patrol could have a place for school safety training.