Hey, kids! Want to attend the creepiest camp in South Dakota? Tell your parents to send you to the New Hope Christian Camp and Retreat Center, where a thief killed his four kids and his wife before setting his house on fire and shooting himself!
New Hope Christian Camp and Retreat Center, located on the former Westerhuis estate, has undergone extensive renovations and its “retreat center” is nearly complete, likely ready for use by the end of May, according to Daum, with the Platte Area Ministerial Association.
…The Ministerial Association hopes the camp will bring healing for Platte residents who were stunned by what authorities ruled as murder-suicide.
New Hope sits on the land formerly owned by Scott and Nicole Westerhuis, a pair of Platte residents allegedly involved in a string of scandals resulting in the termination of an annual $4.3 million management contract held by Mid-Central Educational Cooperative, at which both were employed. In Sept. 2015, Scott is accused of shooting and killing Nicole and the couple’s four kids, setting the family’s home ablaze and killing himself [Caitlynn Peetz, “New Hope Retreat Center Opening Next Month,” Mitchell Daily Republic, 2017.04.12].
Pastor Daum was among those leading prayers for the Westerhuises immediately after the September 2015 killings. The Platte ministerial association bought the Westerhuis property at auction for $375K last September.