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Camp Cambria Foundation Invests $2.2 Million in Camp Courage Renovation

The Camp Cambria Foundation is investing over $2.2 million renovating several buildings at Camp Courage in Maple Lake, MN.

“The gift from the Camp Cambria Foundation will truly enhance the quality of experience our participants will enjoy for generations to come,” said True Friends President & CEO John LeBlanc. “We are humbled by their dedication and commitment to support individuals of all abilities.”

The Camp Cambria Foundation and the Arthritis Foundation team up every summer to offer a specialized camp session for kids and teens with juvenile arthritis called Camp Cambria, held at Camp Courage in Maple Lake. Over the years, the foundation saw an opportunity to not only create a better experience for their campers, but also for over 1,300 children and adults with disabilities who enjoy Camp Courage each summer.

Renovation of the Lakeside dining hall, health center and arts & crafts building began in February and will continue through early summer. The dining hall will be torn down to the studs and rebuilt to be a year-round gathering space featuring an upgraded kitchen and restructured bathrooms. The health center will see new updates in layout, equipment and finishes; while the arts & crafts building will provide more accessibility.

The renovation is supported by several local and family-owned vendors from a variety of fields including electrical, plumbing, roofing, HVAC and many others.

Learn more about the project by visiting www.truefriends.org/ccfreno.

True Friends Names New President & CEO

John LeBlanc was recently named President and CEO of True Friends effective January 1, 2018.

“I am thrilled to be leading such an inspiring organization that has a strong foundation created by Ed Stracke,” said LeBlanc. “I look forward to continuing to offer the same life-changing experiences for individuals of all abilities, while being responsive to the growing needs of the populations we serve.”

John was first introduced to True Friends through one of his sons.

“Our family initially learned about True Friends when we were looking for a camping experience for our son who happens to have a physical disability,” said John. “When we picked him up from his first camp experience, he was so excited to give us a tour and show us all the things he did during his week of camp. Right then I realized how impactful True Friends is for participants and their families.”

John was inspired by the mission of True Friends and sought opportunities to be further engaged. He came on board later in 2014 as a Development Officer and had the opportunity to expand into the Chief Operations Officer role in 2015.True Friends began the search for a new President and CEO in the summer of 2017 with support from the search firm CohenTaylor. John was chosen from a group of five highly-qualified candidates to succeed Stracke, who had led the organization for over 33 years.

Prior to his career at True Friends, John worked in Fund Development for a variety of nonprofit organizations in the Twin Cities. John lives in Minneapolis with his wife Michelle and their four children.

Testing the Limits

Harley is 11 years old and has a smile that can light up a room. He just attended Summer Family Camp at Camp Courage in Maple Lake and it was his second time attending camp. “It’s nice to get away from my parents every so often,” he said with a laugh. “I get to meet other children like me. At camp I see them every single day, it’s so cool.”

Growing in Volunteerism

With the end of summer on the horizon it’s always fun to look back on the past few months and reminisce about the fantastic volunteers that joined True Friends for weeks of great adventures. On June 10, Camp Friendship welcomed its first week of volunteers. Summer staff are always excited for volunteers to arrive as they often become unsung heroes of camp. Volunteers are the helping hands that give campers new smiles, hugs, and friendships.

A Place to Be Welcomed, Accepted

Camp sweethearts and nature lovers Billie and Mark have been coming to Adult Retreat at Camp Courage for quite some time now. Billie has been attending camp for 23 years and Mark has been attending for 19 years. “I came the same year as she did one time,” he said with a smile. “We met and that was it.”

August 7-12, 2016

Check out all the fun from Camp Eden Wood & Camp Friendship!
Please note, we do our best to include all campers and locations, but cannot guarantee any photos.

Camp Eden Wood

Camp Friendship

July 31 – August 5, 2016

Check out all the fun from Camp Eden Wood, Camp Friendship and True Strides!
Please note, we do our best to include all campers and locations, but cannot guarantee any photos.
Camp Eden Wood

Camp Friendship

True Strides

July 24-29, 2016

Check out all the fun from Camp Friendship & Camp Eden Wood!
Please note, we do our best to include all campers and locations, but cannot guarantee any photos.
Camp Friendship

Camp Eden Wood

July 17-22, 2016

Check out all the fun from Camp Friendship & Camp Eden Wood!
Please note, we do our best to include all campers and locations, but cannot guarantee any photos.

Camp Eden Wood

Camp Friendship

July 11-15, 2016

Check out all the fun from Camp Friendship, Camp Eden Wood & Camp Courage!
Please note, we do our best to include all campers and locations, but cannot guarantee any photos.

Camp Friendship

Camp Eden Wood

Camp Courage