Welcome to BHSU! 

The campus of Black Hills State University is a wonderful choice to hold your upcoming camp or conference.  Located in beautiful Black Hills the campus is within reasonable driving distance from many area attractions such as Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park, and Devils Tower. A variety of services provide our guests flexibility at reasonable prices. University housing, classrooms, meeting areas, dining service, recreation facility, and other services are available for use during the summer. We are confident that you will find our campus services to be high quality and very responsive to your needs.

If you are interested in bringing a conference to the BHSU Campus and would like to discuss our services in more detail, please contact the Summer Camps & Conferences Coordinator, Nancy Shuck at: 

Nancy Shuck
1200 University St., Unit 9200 
Spearfish, SD 57799-9200
Telephone: 605.642.6908 
Fax: 605.642.6024

Mission Statement

The Office of Summer Conferences provides high-quality, innovative facilities and services to internal departments of the University and external organizations at the local, regional, and national levels. BHSU hosts a wide range of education-based conferences and sport camps for universities, high-schools, civic or charitable organizations, government agencies, tribal and state agencies, non-profit organizations, as well as private-sector entities to promote life-long learning. Under special circumstances, conference services may be provided for non-educational purposes in order to serve University and/or community needs. The Office is the single point of contact for all conference needs. We are committed to the following goals:

  • Attracting high-quality educational programs, sport camps, and events
  • Providing personalized and professional service
  • Coordinating the effective use of university resources


Black Hills State University has a capacity to house 800 people. Our five residence halls and campus apartments provide housing options for unique and different needs. The residence halls vary in size but each offers the following comfort items:

  • High-speed internet access free of charge.
  • Newly updated washers and dryers
  • Lobbies with cable TV
  • Sinks in every room
  • Summer Host personnel with personalized service for your conference

Services Offered

Black Hills State is well equipped to meet a variety of conference needs through the effective use of university resources.

Dining Service

The BHSU Dining Service is a full service dining facility that accommodates groups large and small. Whether it is an eloquent banquet, cafeteria-style dining, a sack lunch, an informal lawn BBQ, or bagged lunches complete with iced coolers, Dining Services is ready and willing to fill your needs.

Dining offers 3 meals a day 7 days a week. Meals are ’all-you-can-eat’ buffet style with a selection of hot and cold entries. Groups residing on campus are required to have three (3) meals a day provided by Dining Services. Exceptions to this policy may be made if your group is not on campus during scheduled meal hours.

Outside food is not allowed on campus because of food sanitary and service quality concerns. Special orders, such as bagged lunches, are welcome; just let us know in advance.

Linen Service

Not interested in hauling and cleaning your own linens? Why not let our summer staff do it for you? Simplify your conference by ordering linen sets for your group. Linen sets include two flat sheets, a blanket, a pillow and pillow case, towel and wash cloth and clean linen exchanges.

Meeting Room Options

When you plan your summer meeting or event at BHSU, you’ll have access to a wide range of high-quality facilities. We can accommodate groups up to 350 people. We offer small meeting rooms, classrooms, conference rooms, a theater, a world-class recital hall and other function space options. We will tailor our versatile offerings to meet your specific needs.

Audiovisual services and equipment, including TV/VCR/DVD, slide projectors, overhead projectors, LCD panels, public address systems and satellite downlink are available.

Donald E. Young Center

The Donald E. Young Center at BHSU offers more than exceptional fitness facilities. Along with the largest collection of exercise equipment in the region, a field house with a walking track, and an Aquatic Center with lap lanes, the Young Center provides personal exercise prescriptions with a certified trainer and classes taught by wellness students.

The Donald E. Young Center houses:

  • 8,000 sq. ft. fitness center
  • 18,000 sq. ft. gymnasium with 2 college size basketball courts, 6 baskets and 3 college size volleyball courts with 3,800 seating capacity
  • 58,000 sq. ft. field house with a 200 meter 6-lane track (8 laps = 1 mile), bat/golf cage and 3 tennis courts, and 6 basketball backstops
  • Aquatic center with a 6-lane, 25 meter pool and a separate therapeutic pool
  • Athletic fitness room, athletic training room, varsity and community locker rooms
  • Dance floor, student health services, concessions
  • ROTC headquarters
  • Academic classrooms with audio and video capability and the Hall of Fame meeting room
  • Wireless Hot Spots

Summer Conference Policies (listed alphabetically)

Alcohol Alcoholic beverages may not be dispensed or consumed in any location on the University campus.

Buzz Cards Every residential guest (or commuter guests with a meal plan) receives a Buzz Card. Buzz Cards are official university/conference identification cards which are electronically coded for guest access to the residence halls, campus apartments, meal plans and the Young Center (gym, fitness center and pool) at no extra charge.  

Campus Access Fee Each group using the campus is subject to a predetermined Campus Access Fee. The Campus Access Fee offsets costs incurred by the University (such as custodial and equipment depreciation) in servicing your group. With this fee, your group also receives individual summer conference guest ID cards and access to the Young Center recreation/fitness facilities. A Campus Access Fee is charged for each and every Buzz card produced for the conference including residential guests and commuter guests. 

Contact Person Upon booking a conference a contact person representing your group must be determined. This contact person will be the only authorized representative to make arrangements with the summer conference office for housing, recreational, meeting space, dining service and program requirements. The contact person is responsible for collection of all tuition fees and process registrations relevant to the conference. The summer conference office will only conduct business with the contact person. Any person requesting information, payment, booking etc. will be directed to the conference contact person.

Definition of a Summer Conference A conference is defined as a gathering of a group of individuals using two or more services for the purpose of learning or developing skills, sharing insights or exploring specific problems related to a defined subject, issue, discipline or profession during a designated period of time. All conferences and events must compliment the educational, research, recruitment or service to the community objectives as defined in the university mission. 

Deposit if applicable The User shall deposit with the summer conference office, at the time of returning the conference agreement, ten percent (10%) of estimated amount in the booking memo. Payments may be made in cash, certified check, or bank cashier’s check payable to the University. This deposit is fully refundable if you cancel your conference and cancellation notice is given to the summer conference office no later than sixty (60) days prior to the time arranged to utilize said space and services. The User will be charged for all space and services reserved unless written cancellation is received in the summer conference office at least fourteen (14) days prior to the time arranged to utilize said space and services.

Dining Services/Meals All Dining requests are made through the summer conference office. Groups residing on campus are required to have at least three (3) meals a day provided by Dining Services. Exceptions to this policy may be made if your group is not on campus during scheduled meal hours. Outside food is not allowed on campus because of food sanitary and service quality concerns. Special orders, such as bagged lunches, are welcomed; just let us know in advance. Please know that meal charges (on your Invoice) will reflect the number of meals requested at the 14-day deadline, not the number of meals actually usedFourteen-Day Deadline To assure a well-organized conference, the User must submit at least fourteen (14) days prior to the start of the conference a final written agenda/program complete housing roster and numbers of residents and commuters to the summer conference office. The numbers will be used to order Buzz Cards and to create check-in sheets. Any changes after the fourteen day deadline may be susceptible to extra charges. The contact person must also give the summer conference office notice of any early arrivals or late departures at least fourteen (14) days prior to the start of the conference. Such notice must be given in writing. Lodging arrangements are not guaranteed, but every effort will be made to accommodate your guests.

Insurance and Assumption of Liability All groups that attend Black Hills State University must show proof of liability insurance. A copy of occurrence based commercial general liability insurance or equivalent form with a limit of not less than $1,000,000. The policy shall not contain any special limitation on the scope of it protection afforded to state employees or agents and shall be primary with respect to any insurance or self-insurance program covering these employees or agents. The group expressly assumes full responsibility for any and all damages which may result to any property by reason of or in connection with the use of the facilities pursuant to this agreement, and agrees to pay the State for all damages caused to the facilities resulting from group’s activities. The User understands that physical illness and/or injury to conference guests is the responsibility of the User.

Laws: Federal, State and Local The user has established the regulations to be observed by conference participants and guests. Such regulations shall not be in conflict with Federal Laws, the Laws of the State of South Dakota, local laws, nor the policies, regulations and/or rules of the University. The User agrees to conduct its activities in compliance with Federal, State and local nondiscrimination laws.

Liability Waivers The state of South Dakota’s Office of Risk Management requires that individually signed waivers of liability must be collected from each participant of a conference. All participants will be required to sign such waiver upon checking into their housing assignment and or checking into their conference. All participants under the age of eighteen (18) must have this waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian prior to arrival and will not be allowed to participate without such signature. These waivers are available through our summer conference office.

Minimum Conference Size and Duration The minimum group size for a residential conference at BHSU is fifteen people who stay a minimum of two nights. Groups with smaller numbers may be accommodated at adjusted rates. 

Operational Dates Summer conferences operate each summer from May 15th to July 31st.

Parking Parking is provided at no charge for all conference guests. 

Payment An Invoice will be issued by the summer conference office after the completion of the conference for all facilities and services. Any additional items used (such as gyms, athletic fields, risers, security, parking permits, parking fines, audio-visual equipment, user staff lodging, meals, early and late arrivals for housing) will also be included in this invoice. The User agrees to pay the University the full amount of their Invoice within thirty (30) days of receipt. The User also agrees to pay an interest charge of one and one-half percent (1.5%) per month for any ate payment fees.

Smoking All University buildings, including the residential facilities, are smoke free. Group supervisors are responsible for the enforcement of this policy. Outside smoking is allowed only within our parking lots.

Supervision of Youth Camps All groups that have youth attendees (anyone under the age of 20) require chaperones according to the following ratio. 

Minimum supervision ratio (supervisor: participants) are:

  • 1:20        Post High School Ages (18-20 years of age)
  • 1:15        High School Ages (16-18 years of age)
  • 1:10        Middle School Ages (13-16 years of age)
  • The University does not recommend residence hall living for participants under the age of 13 unless participant is accompanied at all times by their parent(s).

Chaperones must be of 21 years of age and are expected to abide by and actively enforce university policy governing behavior on campus and the residence halls. Chaperones will be expected to respond to any and all emergencies at any time of day. Chaperones must be identified to summer conference staff at check-in so they can be contacted if necessary.

Tax and Tax Exemption All quoted prices do not include applicable City and State taxes. Please understand that applicable City and State taxes will be calculated and presented on your Invoice unless a valid Tax Exemption Certificate is provided. If your group is tax exempt, please send a copy of your Tax Exemption Certificate form needs to the summer conference office. We must have this copy on file in our office in order to honor your tax exemption.

Summer Conference Procedures

Check-in/Check-out Process

  • Before your arrival, your room was inspected by a Residence Life staff member who noted the condition of the room.
  • Guests should follow proper check-out procedures when moving out of their room or moving to another room on campus. Proper check-out includes removing all personal belongings, removing all waste, cleaning the room and returning the room to the condition at check-in. All keys must be turned in at check-out.
  • Guests who steal, lose, destroy or damage BHSU property or the personal property of another person, will be charged accordingly and must pay the charges.


  • If you lock yourself out of your room, the Residence Hall Staff Member On-Call can help you get in at any time-day or night. Rooms may only be unlocked for the registered guest of his/her own room, in their presence. Rooms may not be unlocked for friends of the registered guest, even with the registered guest's permission.
  • Lock your door whenever you leave. For your own safety, do not lend your room key to another person.
  • Report lost keys or problems with locks/keys to the Residence Hall Staff Member On-Call immediately.
  • The University is not liable for personal property loss or damage.

Mail Mail (including packages, certified or registered mail) is delivered to your group sponsor Monday through Friday, excluding federal and state holidays. You should have mail sent to you at the following address:

Your Name c/o Your Group/Conference Name 1200 University Unit 9200 Spearfish, SD 57799-9200

Repairs and Maintenance Please contact the Residence Hall Staff Member On-Call to request/report any maintenance needs.