Brookings Youth Sports

Cash Money Youth Skills Camp comes to a close

After three years, the local youth camp will not run this summer.


BROOKINGS – After three years of serving the Brookings community, the Cash Money Youth Skills Camp will not be put on this summer.

The camp was free and helped kids from first grade to 12th grade develop football skills. Camp director Noah Clair said the decision to stop putting the camp on was a hard one,

“It was a decision that was not made lightly. A lot of prayer went into it and it was a very tear filled decision when it came to make one. It takes about half of a year to plan it and fund it. Over the last couple years I considered being done but I felt like god was pushing me to continue doing it,” Clair said.

He added that he realized last year during the camp, which had more than 500 attendees, that it was time for the camp to be done.

“It’s been a great run the past couple of years, but it’s time to be done. The middle of the camp last summer, I knew. I was soaking it all in and taking in everything because I knew in my heart that it was going to be it. As months went by I felt peace about it. When time came in early December to start thinking about if we were going to do it again, I prayed about it and I was at peace,” Clair said.

The camp had become a bit of a staple during the Brookings summer and it was held at Brookings High School. Last year the likes of former South Dakota State quarterback Chris Oladokun, Super Bowl champion Pierre Desir, former SDSU football coach John Stiegelmeier and many members of the SDSU football team helped out with the camp.

Clair said it got to be too tough to put a lot of the stuff together by himself and it was exhausting.

“It’s exhausting to put it together. There’s a reason that we’re the only camp in America that does it this way. There’s a reason that we had hundreds of college and pro athletes come to Brookings and that it’s gotten national recognition from coaches. But it’s also exhausting. I’m 26 and I’ve been doing it since I was 23, 24 and it’s hard to raise $9,500-10,000 to put it on and fundraise all of that. … And then the organizational aspect of assembling all of the people to come to Brookings and the insurance of the field and publicizing the camp, it’s exhausting,” Clair said.

Despite the famous names that volunteered to help out with the camp, Clair said helping out the kids is the thing that he will remember most about the three years the camp took place in Brookings.

“It was never about the names [that helped out with the camp]. The names were nice, and it’s cool to have big names there, but we kept the mission the mission the entire time. That was to impact kids and to give every single kid, whether they were an athlete or not, the opportunity to have hope,” Clair said.

However, this might just be a break for the Cash Money Youth Skills Camp. Clair said he hopes to put it on again sometime in the future and Brookings will be the first place that it will be held when it returns.

“I am so thankful for God allowing for this to be my thing,” Clair said. “… God did some amazing things behind the scenes last year that allowed this to happen and God deserves all of the credit. … 100 percent there will be another camp. After a year off of it, I’m sure I’ll miss it. … I would love to do it again and I’m sure it will happen again.

“If it ever gets going again, Brookings will always have one. I might be having camps in different parts of the country, but there will always be one in Brookings because it was the original place it started and I love the people of South Dakota.”