Monthly Archives: January 2015

Why is camp a need for our customers?

A hot topic in healthcare currently is health literacy, which is defined as the “degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2010). Good health literacy means that people are able to make positive decisions that promote health in all aspects of life- health provision, exercise, healthy eating, etc. Health literacy is a very important aspect of life that can prevent negative health-related behaviors.

Kaitlin Pearson (p-y) Kelly Lambert (p-y) Lucy B. (s-y)True Friends’ summer camps provide a critical avenue that we believe can increase health literacy in participants. Camps such as Hemophilia camp, Camp Discovery and Brain Gains offer programs to increase participants’ ability to take charge of their own health and decisions. Core programs such as our Adult Retreats, Special Olympics camp, and Deaf and Hard of Hearing Camp also include health literacy activities that enhance participants’ health literacy skills. True Friends will be using evidence-based techniques this year to run better programs that enhance health literacy.

Many individuals with disabilities face significant barriers that impact their ability to increase their health literacy and access to good health care (Scheer, Kroll, Neri, & Beatty, 2003). Camp offers a critical opportunity to promote these skills. With an increased emphasis in the healthcare field on preventative health measures, client-centered practice, and empowered decision making (Piskur, 2013), camp is more necessary than ever before.

By: Mel Kloek, Program Director of Camping


Piskur, B. (2013). Social participation: Redesign of education, research and practice in occupational therapy. Scandinavian [...]

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Dance with Courage

Dance with Courage turned into Crafts with Courage, an event held at Dance Arts Centre’s stuido to raise money for campers. The event raised $28,000! Thank you to the Dance Arts Centre and their dancers, donators and supporters!

We are sad to share that due to recent events, Dance Arts Centre is unable to take their dancers to Mall of America for the 9th annual Dance With Courage event. However, they still feel very passionate about the purpose of the event which is to support and fund raise for True Friends camps. The events around MOA are not stopping us from reaching our fundraising goal of $20,000.00, it is inspiring us! We appreciate your support in helping us make this happen.

True Friends teams up with the Dance Arts Centre to present the 9th Annual Dance with Courage on March 8 from 1-3 pm at the Mall of America Rotunda.

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Hundreds of local dancers will participate to help raise money for True Friends. There will be an opportunity for the public to join in on some fun social dances and see performances by the Vikings Cheerleaders and Dance Arts Centre’s competition dancers.

Visit the event’s website to view the participating dancers and donate!

Dance with Courage Impact: Liza’s Story

Liza Liza is a happy, hard-working 14-year-old who loves organizing her room, hanging out with friends and reading. She recently swam 9 laps during a Special Olympics training session, stopping only briefly to catch her breath between lengths. We are thrilled that she’s back in the pool after being [...]

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2015 Arctic Plunge for Camp

Join us at the 6th Annual Maple Lake Artic Plunge! Brave jumpers and donors will help us provide life changing experiences to our campers with disabilities at True Friends. The Arctic Plunge is held in conjunction with the Maple Lake Ice Fishing Tournament.

**The Maple Lake Ice Fishing Derby and related activities scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 31, have been postponed to Saturday, Feb. 7, due to unsafe ice access.**

$100 minimum registration – get your friends and family to sponsor your jump!

erin.jason.3Registration: 9:30am
First Jump: 10:30am
Cash prizes for top three costumes
Jump in groups – up to 5 jumpers

Located on the south side of Maple Lake along Hwy 55.

Visit our plunge page to make a donation!
Contact Ruth Kewitsch for more information: or 952.852.0128



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Ventures Travel goes to Branson – Photo Blog

One of Ventures Travel’s most popular vacation spots is Branson, MO. Groups take in the shows and sights, stay in condos and soak up the atmosphere. Read a blog from one of the travel staff on a recent trip!
Jenny bday cake

Day 1: The Journey Begins – A caravan to MO

This trip is lucky enough to have 11 very excited travelers ready to experience the Branson Holiday Lights! In a caravan of vans, and one fearless lead car, the group headed south. We enjoyed lunch during a stop to pick up a traveler in Faribault and then continued onto Osceola, Iowa were we stayed overnight. But not before the entire group enjoyed dinner at a local restaurant, Nana Greer’s Family Table, where we were able to sing an enthusiastic Happy Birthday to Jenny, one of our travelers (who waited very patiently all day). We had an early night in order to get an early start for Branson!

Day 2: Welcome to Branson – The Oak Ridge Boys’ concert and Mel’s Hard Luck Diner

The two groups split and took on the road separately to Branson. After quite a few more miles, we all made it safe and sound to the beautiful hills of the Ozarks where six incredible condos were waiting for us. Everyone has their own room and bathroom, and the balconies all overlook Table Rock Lake. After unloading the vans with travelers and luggage, claiming rooms, and ooh-ing and ahh-ing about the Jacuzzi tubs (!!!), we loaded back up to head to The Oak Ridge Boys’ concert. But first, we stopped at Mel’s Hard Luck Diner [...]

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