Around the Campfire

Hopes, Beliefs, and Convictions in 2020

Throughout 2020 True Friends has been hopeful for what we could do and achieve together, as a community, with caregivers, staff, donors, and many others. The uncertainty of what would happen next when COVID-19 first hit left our community feeling concerned and scared, but during this time we have been able to persevere and overcome the challenges of this year. One individual said me “True Friends is too important to this community to fail.” Hearing that belief, I felt such pride for this amazing organization. The belief that we are “too important to fail” has remained with me, and our staff as we continue to be innovative, and to reimagine our programs and services.

2020 Program Update

Wow. Over the course of the last several weeks, a lot has changed in the world, in Minnesota, and here at True Friends. While we all adjust to this new journey we are on, we wanted to take a moment to update you on the current status of True Friends programs and services.

True Friends and the COVID-19 Pandemic

All True Friends program and services are currently suspended until May 4. True Friends’ mission is to provide life-changing experience and adventures for all abilities. Today, our mission takes on another meaning as we are all having a collective life-changing experience, enduring the COVID-19 pandemic.

True Friends Programs and Services: COVID-19 Update

Dear Friend, 


True Friends has been receiving a variety of questions regarding the impact COVID-19 (Coronavirus) may have on our programs and services. True Friends has been, and will continue to, closely monitor COVID-19 and follow recommendations and protocols established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and Minnesota Department of Health. 


Ensuring the health and safety of participants, guests, and staff is our top priority. True Friends has evaluated the operation for each of our programs and services and has made the decision to suspend all programs and services beginning Monday, March 16 until Tuesday, March 31 and will tentatively resume regular operations beginning Wednesday, April 1, 2020.  


True Friends has placed additional guidelines in place to ensure the well-being of participants, guests, and staff. We are not aware of any individuals connected to True Friends who have been exposed to COVID-19.  


True Friends offices will remain open, we ask if you would like to visit one of our locations, please call us first at 952.852.0101. 


True Friends will follow directions and protocols set by the CDC, WHO, and state and local agencies. In the event of an outbreak or mandate prohibiting large group gatherings applicable to True Friends programs and services, True Friends will reevaluate these decisions and continue to communicate any changes. 


If you have immediate concerns regarding our programs and services please contact us during regular business hours, Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at 952.852.0101 or at 


We will continue to track COVID-19, use best practices to reduce the spread and impact, and communicate any potential impact at True Friends. 


John LeBlanc 

President & CEO, True Friends 

That’s a Wrap, Celebrate the Last 10 Years with True Friends!

It is officially 2020 and True Friends is excited to ring in the new year. We wanted to start this year off with celebrating some of our top moments from the last 10 years!

True Friends Awards Scholarships to Two 2019 Summer Staff!

Each summer True Friends hires hundreds of summer staff to support our summer camp program. Staff members are given the opportunity to apply for scholarships to help support their education. This year, thanks to some generous donors, we were able to award scholarships to two individuals.

See the World with Ventures Travel

Nearly every other year Troy Hunstad has been traveling all around the United States through customized trips with Ventures Travel. From the Grand Canyon to Key West to Hawaii, Troy is an experienced traveler.

Volunteer With True Friends!

Every year True Friends welcomes 400+ youth, adults, groups, and family volunteers who contribute over 20,000 service hours. The hours provided by volunteers save True Friends over one million dollars every year. Support from volunteers like Gabby is invaluable. “I started volunteering because I wanted to challenge myself with a community I was unfamiliar with,” Gabby said. “The more I volunteered, the more I grew. I learned patience, trust, and how to be more kind.”

Team Building With a Personalized Approach

Team Quest is a leadership development program that provides specialized team building, high ropes, and professional development opportunities for youth to adults. Team Quest focuses on empowering individuals and teams to discover their capabilities by providing programs that stretch the boundaries of one’s comfort zone to increase self-efficacy.

New Year, New Values at True Friends

At True Friends we continually strive to learn, grow and evolve in an effort to enhance our programs and services; to ensure we are offering life-changing experiences to individuals of all abilities. When it comes to making decisions about those programs and services, we look toward our values to guide our thinking. In 2018, as we took a closer look at our values and how they fit into our plans for today, tomorrow and in the future, we found ourselves wanting to say more.