Frequently Asked Questions

Programs

Camp

True Friends is committed to providing all our program participants and staff with a safe and high-quality experience.

 

Our process to train staff begins with partnering with reputable local, national, and international organizations to find individuals best suited for the settings in which we provide services. Once the individual has applied, an average application process includes pre-screens, interviews, reference checks, and background checks.

 

Then, once the individual is hired, they must complete several hours of online and in-person training.

  • • 8:00 a.m. Breakfast
  • • 9:00 a.m. Cabin clean up / brush your teeth
  • • 9:30 a.m. Activity time (length of activity time varies depending on location)
  • • 12:30 p.m. Lunch
  • • 1:30 p.m. Rest hour / free activity time
  • • 2:30 p.m. Activity time (length of activity time varies depending on location)
  • • 5:30 p.m. Supper or cook out at camp out
  • • 6:30 p.m. Cabin time or camp out
  • • 7:30 p.m. Evening program or camp out
  • • 8:30 p.m. Cabin time or camp out
  • • 9:00 p.m. Bedtime or camp out – return to camp in the morning for breakfast and showers

Treat others fairly. The Platinum Rule is: Treat other people the way they want to be treated.
Cooperate. Work with your cabin mates, not against them. Lend a helping hand. Listen to your counselors.
Be a good sport. Play fairly, follow the rules, and remember to congratulate the other team with a handshake, high-five, or a camp cheer.
Use good manners. All campers and staff appreciate “please” and “thank you.”
Do your share of the helping. Participate in cabin clean-up, clearing the table at meals, and other cabin chores.
Keep your stuff in order. Small cabins feel crowded when they’re messy.
Label your items. A good way to do so is with iron-on labels. You can order custom labels from irononmdlabels.com.
Care for camp property. Treat equipment with care, so that others may enjoy it after you. Tell a counselor if something is broken. Conserve plants and other nature. Recycle.
Respect others’ privacy. Give your cabin mates some space, especially when they’re changing clothes. Always knock before opening a door and wait for permission to enter each time.
Ask before you borrow things. Most people will say “Yes” to a reasonable request.

Homesickness can affect anyone, young or old. Even campers who have never had a problem before could struggle with homesickness while at camp. There are many factors that may trigger homesickness, but there are things you can do to help prevent or alleviate it.

 

Before Camp
Alleviate homesickness by talking about confidence in a camper’s ability to “get along” at camp. Talk about the interesting things campers will do, the fun times to be had, and things you are excited to experience. When packing for camp send simple, personal possessions that a camper may find comfort in. However, we do ask that items that would be expensive to replace if lost or broken are not brought to camp.

 

Points to Remember
• Homesickness is the distress (usually mild sadness or nervousness) that people feel when they miss home.
• Mild homesickness is normal. Almost all people have some mild homesick feelings when they are away.
• Severe homesickness is rare.
• Talking about homesickness does not cause homesickness, nor make it worse.
• There are many things to think about and do before leaving home to lessen homesickness.
• There are even more things to think about and do during camp to lessen homesickness.
• Homesick feelings are good in the sense that they reflect the love you have for people and things at home.
• Homesickness, and overcoming it, are normal processes that help people develop independence and self-confidence.

Yes, we encourage tours of our locations any time of year.

 

Schedule a tour by calling 952.852.0101 or email [email protected].

True Friends partners with families and guardians to make each camper’s experience successful. In order for us to do this we need guardians and families to provide extensive information about each camper. True Friends also acknowledges not all campers are appropriate for the “camp-type” setting in which the program is provided.

 

True Friends is a licensed home and community based basic support service; we are not an intensive or crisis service organization. Therefore, True Friends reserves the right to deny services to campers who we believe pose a safety threat to themselves, other campers, and/or employees.

 

Care Ratios
Care ratios and session costs are based on care needs. Often staff-to-camper ratios in a camp setting differ from daily living care ratios. If you’d like help determining your care ratio, please refer to our care ratio guidelines below or contact our staff.

 

Care Support: 1:1
• May have frequent verbal or physical outbursts that require staff intervention
• May be unable to communicate needs
• May have trouble participating in a group setting or display inappropriate behaviors
• May need extensive support with medical care needs
• Needs “eyes on” supervision during awake hours. The True Friends staffing model does not offer overnight awake staff. Staff assist campers with typical needs during the night
• Uses manual wheelchair and needs staff support to propel outside buildings
• May need total support with activities of daily living

 

Care Support: 1:3
• May have occasional verbal or physical outbursts that require staff intervention
• May have trouble with large social environments, but does well in small groups
• May need some support with medical care needs
• May need verbal support with activities of daily living
• Easily accepts support from staff

 

Care Support: 1:5
• Can respond well to new and unfamiliar situations
• Can enjoy group settings
• Are independent with activities of daily living
• Easily communicates wants and needs
• Easily accepts support from staff

Respite

True Friends is committed to providing all our program participants and staff with a safe and high-quality experience.

 

Our Direct Care support staff complete over 30 hours of accredited online and in person training. True Friends Direct Support staff are competent as demonstrated through skills and knowledge, training, and education relevant to the services provided.

 

In addition to the accredited online training, all Direct Support staff must complete CPR/First Aid, Medication Administration, Activities of Daily Living, Communication Techniques, and Crisis Prevention Intervention.

 

All staff and volunteers must pass a Department of Human Service federal background check to work with participants.

We work to match our participants with staff to enhance each person’s experience. Respite staff promote participation through motivational support, fostering teamwork and empowering others. Our participants will always have a choice in the activity they would like to participate in and will be encouraged by our staff to try new and exciting things.

 

A typical Saturday at Weekend Respite

  • 7:30-8:30 a.m.

    Wake up and get ready

    8:30-9:30 a.m.

    Breakfast (Dining Hall)

    9:30-10:45 a.m.

    Morning crafts, games, and activities

    10:45 a.m. -12:30 p.m.

    12:30-1:30 p.m.

    Lunch (Dining Hall)

    1:30-2:45 p.m.

    Rest hour (Cabins)

    3:00-4:15 p.m.

    Afternoon crafts, games, and activities

    4:15-5:30 p.m. 

    5:30-6:30 p.m.

    Dinner

    6:30-7:30 p.m.

    Free (Showers, Etc.)

    7:30-9:00 p.m.

    Evening program

    9:00-10:00 p.m.

    Bed (Cabins)

Treat others fairly. The Platinum Rule is: Treat other people the way they want to be treated.
Cooperate. Work with your cabin mates, not against them. Lend a helping hand. Listen to your counselors.
Be a good sport. Play fairly, follow the rules, and remember to congratulate the other team with a handshake, high-five, or a camp cheer.
Use good manners. All campers and staff appreciate “please” and “thank you.”
Do your share of the helping. Participate in cabin clean-up, clearing the table at meals, and other cabin chores.
Keep your stuff in order. Small cabins feel crowded when they’re messy.
Label your items. A good way to do so is with iron-on labels. You can order custom labels from irononmdlabels.com.
Care for camp property. Treat equipment with care, so that others may enjoy it after you. Tell a counselor if something is broken. Conserve plants and other nature. Recycle.
Respect others’ privacy. Give your cabin mates some space, especially when they’re changing clothes. Always knock before opening a door and wait for permission to enter each time.
Ask before you borrow things. Most people will say “Yes” to a reasonable request.

Homesickness can affect anyone, young or old. Even respite participants who have never had a problem before could struggle with homesickness while at camp. There are many factors that may trigger homesickness, but there are things you can do to help prevent or alleviate it.

 

Before Respite
Alleviate homesickness by talking about confidence in a participant’s ability to “get along” during their respite session. Talk about the interesting things participants will do, the fun times to be had, and things you are excited to experience. When packing for respite send simple, personal possessions that they may find comfort in. However, we do ask that items that would be expensive to replace if lost or broken are not brought.

 

Points to Remember
• Homesickness is the distress (usually mild sadness or nervousness) that people feel when they miss home.
• Mild homesickness is normal. Almost all people have some mild homesick feelings when they are away.
• Severe homesickness is rare.
• Talking about homesickness does not cause homesickness, nor make it worse.
• There are many things to think about and do before leaving home to lessen homesickness.
• There are even more things to think about and do during respite to lessen homesickness.
• Homesick feelings are good in the sense that they reflect the love you have for people and things at home.
• Homesickness, and overcoming it, are normal processes that help people develop independence and self-confidence.

Yes, we encourage tours of our locations any time of year.

 

Schedule a tour by calling 952.852.0101 or email [email protected].

True Friends partners with families and guardians to make each camper’s experience successful. In order for us to do this we need guardians and families to provide extensive information about each camper. True Friends also acknowledges not all campers are appropriate for the “camp-type” setting in which the program is provided.

 

True Friends is a licensed home and community based basic support service; we are not an intensive or crisis service organization. Therefore, True Friends reserves the right to deny services to campers who we believe pose a safety threat to themselves, other campers, and/or employees.

 

Care Ratios
Care ratios and session costs are based on care needs. Often staff-to-camper ratios in a camp setting differ from daily living care ratios. If you’d like help determining your care ratio, please refer to our care ratio guidelines below or contact our staff.

 

Care Support: 1:1
• May have frequent verbal or physical outbursts that require staff intervention
• May be unable to communicate needs
• May have trouble participating in a group setting or display inappropriate behaviors
• May need extensive support with medical care needs
• Needs “eyes on” supervision during awake hours. The True Friends staffing model does not offer overnight awake staff. Staff assist campers with typical needs during the night
• Uses manual wheelchair and needs staff support to propel outside buildings
• May need total support with activities of daily living

 

Care Support: 1:3
• May have occasional verbal or physical outbursts that require staff intervention
• May have trouble with large social environments, but does well in small groups
• May need some support with medical care needs
• May need verbal support with activities of daily living
• Easily accepts support from staff

 

Care Support: 1:5
• Can respond well to new and unfamiliar situations
• Can enjoy group settings
• Are independent with activities of daily living
• Easily communicates wants and needs
• Easily accepts support from staff

Retreats

How do I know which location is the best fit for my event?

We are happy to learn more about your event, and suggest the best location, cabins, spaces, and more. Please fill out this form or call 952.852.0104 to get started.

 

Is there a minimum number of people we need to make a reservation? 

In general, we have a 10 person minimum for lodging and a 15 person minimum for dining. 

 

We are a family of 4. Do you have any options for us? 

Yes! Camp Courage has three Rotter cabins available for rental, which have two bedrooms and can each sleep 1-6 people. Each cabin has a full kitchen.

 

Does True Friends require a deposit for our retreat?

Yes, True Friends requires a 30% non-refundable deposit.

 

Do I need to make any other payments before I arrive? 

No, only the deposit is due prior to your arrival. We will send you a final invoice within 7 days of your departure.

 

What if I need to update my reservation? 

You can make changes to your reservation up to 90 days before your arrival. At 90 days prior to your arrival, you are locked in to 80% minimum billing. At 14 days prior to your arrival, you are locked in to 95% minimum billing.

 

What time is check-in and check-out?

Check-in is 3:00 p.m. or 2 hours before your first meal, whichever is earlier. Check-out is 11:00 a.m. or 2 hours after your last meal, whichever is later. Check-in and check-out times will be included in your reservation detail paperwork.

 

Do we need insurance? 

All retreat groups need to provide proof of liability insurance. Please present your Certificate of Insurance, obtained from your group’s own insurance carrier, to True Friends.

Do you provide special dietary accommodations? 

Yes! True Friends accommodates vegetarian, gluten- friendly, lactose free, and whole food allergy needs.  Advance notice must be given.

 

What is included in my meeting space? 

If you reserve a meeting space, we will reach out to talk over specific needs. True Friends provides tables, chairs, AV equipment, wi-fi, flip charts, etc. at no additional cost.

 

Do I need to bring my own bedding? 

Yes, please bring bedding for a twin bed (sleeping bag, pillow, sheets, etc.). If you prefer, we also have linen packs available for rent. These must be reserved prior to your arrival.

 

Do I need to bring soap, toilet paper, etc.? 

True Friends provides hand soap and all paper products.  Please bring your own personal shampoo and body wash, and other toiletries.

 

Am I allowed to bring my pet to camp?

No pets are allowed on the property, with an exception for working animals.

 

Is there a camp nurse available? 

No. Groups are advised to have First Aid supplies available and an individual who is trained and certified by a nationally recognized provider to provide CPR/AED, First Aid, and emergency transportation as necessary.

Where do I check in? 
Check in will be determined based on location. True Friends will arrange a check in location with you prior to your arrival. 

 

Is there someone I can contact if I need assistance?

Yes! As our guests, you will have a True Friends host available to check in with throughout your stay. The host will greet you when you arrive, be available at meals, and on-call should you have any unexpected needs.

 

Is there wi-fi? 

Yes, all of our meeting spaces and most of our cabins have wi-fi available. 

 

Is smoking allowed? 

Yes, in designated outdoor areas only.

 

Is alcohol allowed? 

The possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages while at camp must be pre-approved by the True Friends Hospitality Director.

 

Does camp have quiet hours?  

Quiet hours are 11:00 p.m.  - 7:00 a.m. This includes both loud indoor activities (i.e. bands, stereos) and any outdoor activities.

 

Do we need to clean our cabins before we leave? 

All groups are responsible for completing basic cabin and/or meeting room cleanup before departure, as per instructions given upon arrival.

If you have a question for us, send us a note via email at [email protected] 

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Therapy and Adaptive Riding - Coming Soon!

Travel - Coming Soon!

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Health Care

Health care is an integral part of supporting individuals while participating in one of our programs. Supporting participants with a variety of needs means we rely heavily on caregivers to provide the most accurate, up-to-date information about their participant. Our application process collects the necessary information to care for participants as safely as possible. 

 

Employees supporting health care services go through extensive hands-on, onsite, and online training. Staff are trained by our Registered Nurses and camping professionals; from verbal cues to total assistance, our staff are here to help parents and caregivers sleep easy and give individuals a positive experience like no other.

 

If you have specific questions about the health care services offered, reach out to the specific program manager or director or call us at 952.852.0101 or email [email protected]

All medications, including over-the-counter medications, treatments, and vitamins, are checked by the health care staff at check-in. All pill form medications must be brought to check-in pre-set.

 

Pre-set medications reduce the opportunity for error, in addition to shortening the length of the check-in process.

 

All pill form medications must be pre-set for the weekend or week with a current medication list from the primary medical professional that includes:
• Name and dose of medications
• Number of tablets, capsules, mls, etc. to be administered at each med pass
• Time of administration

 

Liquid or powder medications must be kept in their original container, labeled as follows:
• Person’s name
• Name of medication
• Dosage and time of administration
• Prescription #, city of pharmacy or institution
• Physician who prescribed

 

There are a variety of options available for individuals to pre-set their pill form medications:

• Contact your local pharmacy and ask about multi-dose medication packets.
• Create your own pre-set medications at home by labeling individual bags or using a Pill Holder Organizer/MediPlanner.

In the rare event a camper needs off-site medical support, our health care staff will contact you using the phone number(s) provided at check-in. The decision to consult you when your participant is seen in the Health Center at camp is determined on a case-by-case basis.

The health care staff are authorized to administer certain over-the-counter medications for minor ailments as specified in the Physician’s Standing Orders, which are reviewed and approved annually by the True Friends medical advisory board.

 

These non-prescription medications are only used on an as needed basis. Standing Orders must be approved at check-in for health care staff to administer.

Due to federal regulations, medical cannabis, synthetic THC, and CBD oil is NOT allowed on True Friends property. If you have specific questions call 952.852.0101 or email [email protected]

Finance

Waivered Service Funds, County Funds and Adoption Assistance Options

True Friends maintains a 245D Service License through the state of Minnesota. We accept county funds, adoption assistance, and waivered service funds (BI, CAC, CADI, CDCS, DD, or EW).

 

Private Pay Options

  • • Credit Card Payment
    To pay via credit card please login to your Camp Wise account or call 952.852.0132. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express are accepted.
  • • Check Payment
    Make checks payable to True Friends. Include the participant’s first and last name with the session number in the memo line.
  • • Send checks to:
    True Friends
    10509 108th Street NW
    Annandale, MN 55302

Yes, True Friends does offer financial assistance to pay for a portion of your experience. 


Due to limited Financial Assistance funds available, financial assistance requests must accompany the initial application

Funds are awarded on a first come, first served basis and will not be awarded after the service has occurred. Please note: if you are using waiver funds to pay for any portion of your fees, financial assistance is not available.

 

If Financial Assistance is given, it will be included in your confirmation letter.

Deposits are required to attend a True Friends Camp program. Please see the camp catalog to identify the deposit amount required for your session(s).

 

Applications will not be confirmed or processed until a deposit has been received. Deposits will be applied toward the total cost of camp.

 

Deposits are not required for individuals using waivered funds, county funds, or adoption assistance funds to pay for their sessions due to the requirements of those programs. 

Still have questions?

We are happy to answer any questions you have! Just reach out.