All of our volunteers follow the same three rules:
1. Volunteers will never intentionally be left alone with camper.
2. Volunteers are not responsible for camper personal cares.
3. Volunteers are not responsible for camper behavior management.
Respite Weekends (year-round)
Join a variety of participants who call camp home and are ready to meet a new friend – YOU! Respite volunteers arrive at 5pm on the Friday of their scheduled weekend and stay until the fun is over around lunchtime on Sunday. Volunteers get to play games, lead activities, assist staff, and hang out with some pretty great people at two camp locations, Camp Friendship & Camp Eden Wood.
*Note: January-April and September-November dates fill FAST due to our partnership with a special education class at St. Cloud State University.
Summer Camp (June-August)
Summer camp is the heart and soul of True Friends. We provide weekly camp and recreational adventures for children and adults with disabilities. Some sites offer specific programs for a particular age group and diagnoses, and other programs are open to campers of all ages and ability levels – to learn more, check out this year’s camp catalog. Similarly, each site and program has a minimum age requirement for volunteers (see below).
Our Youth Development & Leadership program at Camp Friendship offers teens ages 14-18 a service opportunity unlike anywhere else. Our trained Youth Development Coordinators provide a supportive environment for youth to learn about the population we serve and grow as individuals. Through a variety of fun and challenging team-building and reflective activities, teens will create strong friendships with each other, and with campers. There are 20-25 spots available each week. Weekly availability varies and spaces fill quickly.
Camp Friendship YDL program is great for teens needing service hours for NHS, lettering in Community Service, classes, and more. It’s also great for church youth groups in need of a meaningful mission trip, athletic teams, and teachers/professors looking to find a worthy service opportunity where students gain hands-on experience supporting others and allowing True Friends to fulfill our mission.
Opportunities at Camp Friendship, Camp Courage, and Camp Courage North are residential, which means you stay on-site for the week(s) you’re scheduled. True Friends provides meals + housing at no cost to our volunteers. Camp Eden Wood day camp volunteers are not residential, however, must be able to commit to Monday-Friday of a week from 8am-5pm – lunch provided.
Cold and snow can’t stop us from playing at camp! Every year, we run a week of camp that includes zip-lining, dog sledding, hot cocoa, popcorn, sledding, snowball forts, bounce house, archery tag and more for campers of all ages and ability levels.
Winter Camp volunteering is open to 20 returning teens who are ready to be a Cabin Assistant, families, and new and returning 18+ volunteers. We’ll continue to provide meals and housing at no cost to volunteers.