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.
Conor moved from Northern Ireland to Minnesota in 2010. Before the move, he studied social work with a focus on youth development followed by a MBA. Passionate about human services, the move to True Friends in 2013 was a natural fit. As a dedicated leader in person centered planning, staff development and business acumen, today he leads the Camping and Operations Departments for True Friends.
Laura’s career with True Friends began back in 2011 when she worked as a on call Respite Nurse and as a camp nurse during the summer months. Now as the Director of Health Care Laura brings with her a wealth of knowledge and understanding of caring for individuals participating in a True Friends program. Laura believes healthcare is an integral part of each participant’s experience with True Friends, not only from a medication management standpoint, but healthcare also supports each individual’s mental, social and emotional well-being. Laura loves supporting campers during the summer camp sessions saying “I feel lucky to get to experience every camp almost every week. Being present at each camp allows me the opportunity to see the happiness on campers’ faces and the impact the experience is making in their lives.”
Camp brings out something in people that many other life experiences cannot; and Erin believes it’s a 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 True Friends in 2009 and camp is part of her identity. She calls Eden Wood home, has a passion for play and recreation and is grateful to share it with campers, families and staff.
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.
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 people 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.
Deb Allar, Manager of Respite and Respite Health Care
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 health care throughout the years with experience in camping health care also.
For more than 10 years, Jason has incorporated experiential education programming that fosters independence, builds self-confidence and enhances personal growth. He gives campers the ability to comfortably stretch the barriers of their comfort zones. Jason is responsible for creating intentional programs that nurture connections and provide campers opportunities to discover their greatest potential. He also trains staff to the highest standards.
Amanda Sorell, Manager of Volunteer Services & Seasonal Recruitment
With experience in volunteering with a local group home through high school, recruiting for her university as an admission rep, and her Bacherlor’s in Communication Studies, True Friends has been the perfect home to Amanda for 5 years now. She believes that camp gives everyone a place to belong. Seeing those “aha!” moments of learning and understanding something new about themselves and the world – regardless of whether they’re a camper, volunteer or staff member – are what makes camp so special to her. Amanda has a passion and drive to recruit both seasonal staff and volunteers to experience the magic of True Friends’ camps and programs.
Contact Amanda at: 952.697.2295 or AmandaS@truefriends.org
Sierra Meyer, Volunteer Services and Seasonal Recruitment Coordinator
Originally from Minnesota, Sierra studied Non-Profit Recreation at Winona State University. She moved to Colorado for an internship at an adaptive recreation organization in 2014 and stayed for two years. While living there, she saw the positive impact surrounding participation in activities outdoors for people of all ages and abilities. Her favorite part of working with campers is seeing the smiles on their faces when they accomplish something they thought was never possible. Sierra is excited to work with the seasonal staff and volunteers to ensure participants have a positive experience at True Friends.