ROSES Gap Recreation Centre has welcomed its first group of campers since being damaged in the Grampians bushfire in January.
Owner Lynda Sutherland said there were tears of joy as buses rolled in about noon on Monday.
"It was just lovely, I couldn't believe the day had come after all this time," she said.
About 50 grade three and four students and their teachers were the centre's first campers.
Mrs Sutherland said many of the visitors were from Woomelang Group School.
"They love the camp, aside from this rain," she said.
She said the children had enjoyed the centre's new low-ropes course and bushwalking trail to Barigar Falls.
The original course and bushwalking trail were burnt.
Mrs Sutherland said rain had not dissuaded the campers from trying a flying fox, either.
The campers will leave today, making way for a bigger group from Elwood College in Melbourne.
About 2000 children will stay at the centre from now until Christmas.
Seven months ago Mrs Sutherland and her son Drew, the centre's co-owner, were surveying charred remains of cabins and destroyed power generators.
Mrs Sutherland said the prospect of rebuilding was daunting, but they were determined to get the family business back on its feet.
Staff, community members, schools that had made bookings before the fire, friends and Northern Grampians Shire Council rallied to help the recreation centre reopen.
"Everyone has put in a super effort for us - I appreciate it greatly," Mrs Sutherland said.
"That has got us to where we are today.
"We will just keep improving now as we go along - it will all get better."