VANDEMERE, PAMILICO COUNTY -

A Pamlico County kids' camp destroyed by Hurricane Irene is finally in the process of rebuilding.

County officials recently approved a permit for Camp Vandemere to move forward with construction plans.

Executive Director Ricky Price said the camp hasn't been the same since Irene.

“It’s too quiet. I like the kids being out here in the yard playing and having a good time," said Price.

"It just changed after it got flooded, so it really kind of changed Vandemere,” said fourth-grade camper Jared Paul.

Hurricane Irene flooded the kitchen and dining hall of the camp. Currently, only the cement foundation of the building remains. Price said Irene caused about $400,000 in damage.

Camp Vandemere has a permit to rebuild a new dining hall, kitchen and two dormitories. Price said the buildings will be on stilts 15 feet off the ground. He said these renovations will cost more than $700,000. He is hoping to fund this through donations and loans.

Right now, the camp can house about 80 children. But the new buildings will accommodate up to 140 kids.

Paul said this would be nice, but he is okay with the way the camp has been running since Irene.

"Even though we didn't have big nice dorms, and I mean a proper place to eat, that really didn't matter to me," Paul said.

Price said they still need to raise $150,000 to start the project. Camp Vandemere is planning a groundbreaking ceremony in October. The new buildings are expected to be completed by next summer.