Camp Hanes kicks off summer after intense tornado cleanup

STOKES COUNTY, N.C. -- The storm tore through the camp, damaging every one of the structures and buildings at Camp Hanes, which is nestled away in the mountains and hills of Stokes County.

"A lot of trees that came down in this area," said the camp's executive director Val Elliott.

The timing couldn't have been worse, as theĀ camp was about to open up for hundreds of kids in less than three weeks, but this group was determined.

"I've never seen anything like a camp that makes a positive impact on a child's life," Elliott said.

That desire to maintain that impact and the importance the camp played in children's lives helped fuel Elliot and his team as they rolled up their sleeves.

"In the last two and a half weeks we have seen our community come together," he said.

More than 200 volunteers pitched in for the cleanup effort, as contractors moved quickly to assess and repair the damage. Elliot believes the storm did anywhere between $1.2 and $1.5 million in damage.

"We had a goal of opening up today," he said. "We had roofers that came together, we had a general contractor that made camp happen."

Roofs were still covered in tarp as campers checked in, but all the structures have been inspected.

Things like the ropes course and zip lines were replaced completely and inspected as Elliott says safety is their priority.

Above all, Elliott was overwhelmed by the support from the community in Stokes County, and really the Triad as a whole, between volunteers, staff, the YMCA family and all the contractors and workers who pitched in to make it happen.

"The love and the support and the caring we've felt from our community has been amazing," Elliott said.