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.

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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.

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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.”
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Warm thoughts of camp help keep the cold out!

As we continue to endure the never-ending winter, just remember camp is coming soon! Check out our schedule on the Camp & Respite page!

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New Equine Therapy Riding

Check out our latest video here.

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Sharing The Good News

Did you see True Friends on TV? Fox 9 and KARE 11 this week. Pretty exciting!

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Check Out All Our Programs

Our newest schedules are ready to view. See our Camp & Respite page.

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Choose True Friends At Work

“Donor choice” means exactly what it says … as a donor you have the right to choose who will benefit from your workplace campaign gift. If your company does not allow donor choice, please ask them to consider making it an option for future campaigns. If you work for the federal or state government, or your workplace participates in a United Way campaign, you can designate all or part of your gift to True Friends, which will appear in one of three ways:

  1. Friendship Ventures: The former parent agency that oversees all services and programs, and operates Camp Courage, Camp Friendship, Camp Eden Wood, Camp Courage North, Camp New Hope,
  2. Children’s Disability Service Association: A nationally-recognized division of True Friends that supports services for children and adults with disabilities.
  3. Friendship Foundation or True Friends Foundation:
    An endowment foundation that supports True Friends exclusively. If you have friends or relatives who work for the federal, state government or in corporations that allow donor choice, encourage them to support True Friends.
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True Friends Used Goods Program

Several trucks are traveling through the St. Cloud, Twin Cities and surrounding areas, picking up merchandise to be sold at thrift stores.

There are two ways you can donate your used goods to True Friends. Either way, you’ll be given a receipt to be used for tax purposes.

To arrange your pick-up date, just call the toll-free number 1-866-959-CAMP (2267).

You may deliver your donated items to one of five metro stores:

Unique Thrift Stores in
St. Paul
Columbia Heights
New Hope
Valu Thrift Store in St. Paul

If you choose to deliver, please be sure to tell the store that your items are being donated on behalf of True Friends and ask for your receipt. Thank you!

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