Pierre, SD 1953

Pierre, SD Lodge News

Capital Journal Story: Join Boys and Girls Club trip to Badlands

Thanks to the Pierre Capital Journal for publishing this story!

July 18, 2019

Details are finalizing for a free youth trip to the Badlands, one July 30 and another July 31.

The Pierre Elks Lodge and the Boys and Girls Club of the Capital Area are teaming together to sponsor 100 youth for trips to the national park.

“It’s a great opportunity to give kids a new experience,” said Steve Wegman, president of the Pierre Elks. “We try to do things different than other groups do during the summer. We have kite day, digital video making courses, saber sword events,” and Wegman’s list keeps going on.

“I would guess about 90 percent of the local kids have never been to a national park, including the Badlands,” said Wegman. “They might have ridden by it, and some might have been to Mount Rushmore. The National Park Service has waived the entrance fee for the kids to go on this trip, and has provided a ranger to give an overview of how the park system works and of the Badlands.”

Each day, two 29-seat Forell Bus Service air-conditioned buses will carry the youth and Elk chaperones. Thus, with two days of trips, a total of 100 youth will be able to make the free trip.

The tentative agenda for each day is that the buses will leave the Boys and Girls Club at 8:10 a.m., and arrive at the Badland National Park entrance booth at 9:45. Several different walks will start at 10 a.m. from the Door Trail viewing area (which has vault toilets). Lunch will be at the Wagon Wheel Bar & Grill in Interior. After visiting the Ben Reifel Visitor Center, the group will do the half-mile Cliff Shelf Nature trail. The buses will head for Pierre at 3:30, arriving in Pierre before 5 p.m.

Pierre Elks Lodge will coordinate and pay for the meals for the youth. “I will bring the rope for the hiking portion of the trip; four ropes with 10 youth per rope, chaperone in front, middle and end,” said Wegman. The Elks will provide water on the bus, and at the end of each viewing or hiking site.

Youth and Elks members are encouraged to bring hats or some kind of sunshade, sun screen (“I don’t need to become a fry-baby,” said Wegman.), and a pillow to nap on during the bus trip back to Pierre.

For more information, call the Boys and Girls Club of the Capital Area at 605-224-8699.