Jon Salmon, Director of Camp and Customer Relations Jon’s favorite camp moments are seeing excited campers arrive at check-in and watching them do activities they have never done or thought possible. Jon enjoys watching campers and staff develop a special bond at camp. Jon has been involved with camp for over 15 years and is responsible for resident camp at Camp Friendship and Camp Courage North, as well as the team responsible for customer relations. Contact Jon at: 952-852-0110 ext. 3 or JonS@truefriends.org
Conor McGrath, Director
Conor lives to “first seek to understand, then to be understood”, and he brings this to camping in many ways; through staff, volunteers and campers. Since 2006, Conor has been working in the residential and day camp industry, and with True Friends since 2013 with an undivided focus to customer relations, philanthropy and business operations & planning. Today, Conor leads Partner Camp Relationships, Volunteer & Seasonal Recruitment Services, Program Development and Camping Services at Camp Eden Wood and Camp Courage.
Contact Conor at: 952-852-0113 or ConorM@truefriends.org
Dawn Brenner, Director of Health Care
Dawn’s favorite part of camp is seeing the joy on the faces of all the campers no matter what ability. She believes the experience the health care team receives at camp is unlike anything they will ever receive in a classroom or clinical. She is excited to be part of the camp family and looks forward to seeing everyone involved grow and flourish. Contact Dawn at: 952-852-0105 or DawnB@truefriends.org
Erin LaVine, Manager of Camping
Camp is able to bring out something in people that many other life experiences cannot; and Erin believes it’s a great honor to be a part of it. Friendships are formed, new adventures are had, memories are made and personal accomplishments happen on a daily basis.
Erin joined the True Friends team in the summer of 2009 and has never looked back. Camp is a part of who she is. She has had the honor of running a camp at all of the True Friends sites. Though she wishes she could be at every camp and work with every camper, Erin calls Eden Wood home. She has a passion for play and recreation and is grateful to share it with campers, families and staff. Contact Erin at 952.852.0110 ext 8 or ErinL@truefriends.orgZach Orner, Manager of Camping “Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.” -Edward Abbey
Zach has a deep understanding of the empowering and transformational impacts that camp has in the lives of campers and staff alike. He has a B.A. in Human Services from Prescott College, and is a graduate student at Hamline University. Zach has spent his career determined to improve the field of therapeutic and experiential outdoor-education. Having now found a home with True Friends, he is thrilled to be managing Camp Courage North. Zach can be reached by phone: 952-852-0101 ext 321, or by email: ZachO@truefriends.org Shari Mangas, Director of True Strides
Shari believes that interacting with horses will enhance the development of each individual’s confidence, self-esteem, communication and social skills not to mention “just having fun! The movement and gentle rhythmical rocking of the horse is calming and centering for many children with sensory processing or behavioral issues. She looks forward to spending time with the campers and introducing them to a unique experience that will be unforgettable.Contact Shari at: 952-852-0101 ext. 306 or ShariM@truefriends.org
Deb Allar, Director of Health Care Assistant
Deb has been involved with camp since 2007. It warms her heart to see the campers be so independent at times, and show off all of their talented skills. She believes True Friends is a life changing opportunity for every person involved. Her responsibility has been respite healthcare throughout the years with experience in camping healthcare also. Contact Deb at: 952-852-0101 Ext: 391 or DeborahA@truefriends.org
Jason Colvin, Manager of Program Development “Camp is a place to grow friendships, develop new skills and to gain a sense of autonomy of one’s self.”
For more than eight years, Jason has incorporated experiential education programming that fosters independence, builds self-confidence and enhances personal growth. His focus understands the psychological needs of individual to bring them to the learning edge. From here they have the ability to comfortably stretch the barriers of their comfort zones.
Today, Jason is responsible for creating intentional camping programs, that nurture connections and provides campers the opportunity the awake their greatest potential, and training staff to the highest standards. Contact Jason at: 952.852.0101 x206 or JasonC@truefriends.orgAmanda Sorell, Manager of Volunteer & Seasonal Staff Recruitment
Although Amanda is rather new to the camping industry, she fits right in with her determination, hard work ethic, and passion for making a difference. She graduated from Winona State University in May 2013 with a B.A. in Communication Studies, minoring in Women’s & Gender Studies. Today, Amanda comes to work every day knowing the staff and volunteer opportunities at True Friends aren’t easy and aren’t the right fit for everyone. But for those who DO find their passion for working with the population, who find their new lifelong friend(s), and those who leave camp with a new understanding of themselves and those around them gives a reason and a why for doing what she does. “We’ll never tell you it’s easy, but we will tell you it’s worth it.” Whether you’re ready to jump right in or you have a few questions first about becoming a seasonal staff member or a volunteer for True Friends, I’m happy to help.
Contact Amanda at: 952-697-2295 or AmandaS@truefriends.orgMaureen O’Connor, Volunteer Services and Seasonal Recruitment Coordinator
Having worked at camps in the past, Maureen is thrilled to join the True Friends team and continue pursuing her passion of connecting people to experiential outdoor opportunities. Working within Volunteer and Recruitment Services allows her the opportunity to engage with others and share with them the meaningful experiences that come through involvement in our programs. She loves getting outside, building new friendships, and creating adventures for all people. Get in touch with her and come join in on the fun! Contact Maureen at: 952.697.2286 or MaureenO@truefriends.org