Our mission is to support Camp Knutson through acts of service,
including camp programs, fund raising, and camp maintenance.
The Camp Knutson Volunteer organization offers many great opportunities for volunteers to work with campers on beading, crafts, biking or fishing. Other activities for the Camp include gardening, assisting the counselors, and much more. A complete list of details for activities are on the Volunteer Opportunities page. In addition to the service work, the organization offers a chance to use your talents and skills while making new and lifelong friends. For information on becoming a Camp K Volunteer, please see the Member Information page. Pages on the left-hand side of your screen. Just click on the page.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF CAMP KNUTSON: Then and Now
Harold Knutson: Former Minnesota congressman Harold Knutson donated his cottage and thirty acres of lakeshore property in 1953 to be used as "a summer retreat for neglected, unfortunate, deprived and handicapped children."
For more than 50 years, thousands of children have taken part in the summer programs offered at Camp Knutson. Over the years, others who have been touched by Mr. Knutson's vision continue to support, sustain, and improve Camp Knutson for the future.
Camp Knutson is a service of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS). LSS is one of the state's largest non-profit social service organizations with service goals organized around children, youth and families, people with disabilities, and older adults.
Today Following a three million dollar drive in 1998, led by Jerry and Sandy Bilski and by hundreds of dedicated friends of the camp, to expand and renew the camp for the future as originally envisioned by Mr. Knutson, eleven new buildings and extensive landscaping became closer to the camp you see today.
Campers are enrolled at the camp through partner groups and associations who work in collaboration with the Camp Kuntson staff to provide specialized care and camp curriculum for their campers' needs.
In 2016, additional expansion of dorm space became a reality with the help of CKV fundraising. The number of camps, and certainly the number of individuals welcomed to attend Camp Knutson each year also continues to grow.
Currently the following camps are welcomed, sometimes on multiple weeks each summer:
Camp Benedict (HIV/AIDS)
Camp Discovery (Skin Conditions)
Camp Hand in Hand (Autism) I,II,III,IV (4 weeks)
Camp Odayin (Heart Disease) I,II,III (3 weeks)
Camp Red (Burn Survivors)
Down Syndrome Foundation
Youth Experiencing Homelessness
Minneapolis Community Adult Group (Mental Health)
Over 1200 children and adults enjoyed time at Camp Knutson this past year.
It takes 16 talented Staff counselors from all part of the country directed by two dedicated and talented leaders in Jared Griffin and Caitlin Mailin; countless staff counselors and medical staff from the guest camps, Camp Knutson employees for dining and maintenance, and over 100 Camp Knutson volunteers to assist in this world-class program of acceptance, possibilities, and joy!
Where Spirits Fly is a hard cover book of photo-rich history in coffee-table format. Each page brings to life, Camp Knutson’s vision of providing a nurturing place for children with disabilities and/or fragile health conditions to find acceptance, support and love. It is available in the Canteen.
Night Under the Stars (NUTS) is the main fundraiser sponsored by the volunteers. The event is the third Saturday in July, and features silent and live auction, music, wine and appetizers, and a gourmet dinner. Reservations are made online with RSVP cards sent to all volunteers, community and interested members. In 2017 volunteers raised over $97,000 for the camp. The proceeds were used to improve the waterfront and make it more handicapped accessible. Contact Shari Schumacher for additional information. Call or text Shari @727-698-4474
Quilt Auction: This auction, held annually since 1986, features beautiful hand-made quilts donated by churches, quilt groups, and individuals across the country. Quilts are submitted to the Camp and sold at the Auction, held the second Saturday in August on the camp grounds. Sponsored by the Paul Bunyan Regional Auxiliary, the event begins with a Silent Auction from 9:30 - 11:30 A.M., with the Live Auction beginning at Noon. Over $65,000 was raised in 2017! Contact Marie Fischer at email@example.com for additional information.
Golf Scramble: This event is a new activity being planned for September of 2018. Mardy Brodil is working with volunteers to give us complete details. Stay tuned!
Ice Tee Open: This fundraiser is sponsored by Moonlight Bay in Crosslake, MN: Golden Eagle Golf Course, Fifty Lakes, MN and is held at the Moonlight Bay Restaurant usually in February. It is well attended by surrounding communities as it keeps the enthusiasm and awareness for the needs at camp during our long Minnesota winters.
ANNUAL EVENTS and OPPORTUNITIES AT CAMP
FOR VOLUNTEERS AND SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES:
Spring Luncheon Meeting for the volunteers kicks off all summer events. It is an opportunity to greet old friends and welcome new volunteers for 2018. New information for all members and orientation for new volunteers makes this a "must come" gathering. The Spring Meeting is the best time to complete a Time and Talent preference form, to sign up for volunteer activities over the summer and to get involved in activities such as our Night Under the Stars fundraiser, the new Ice Cream Social, special events, and to get answers to any questions you may have.
Family Sundae Funday invites past donors, volunteers and surrounding community members to a grand “kickoff” for the summer season at Camp. Come experience the Camp! This new event will be Sunday, May 27, 2018 from 11:30- 2:00. Food, games, ice cream and fun for all ages on the Camp grounds. Watch for more details this spring.
Fall Luncheon Meeting is the second and final meeting for volunteers on Thursday, August 30th. Voting for a New Board and other positions as well as planning for the next year. It is a celebration of work well done.
Pancake Breakfast Camp Knutson Counselors and Staff host CK Volunteers, friends, and families at the Camp for a complimentary “Thank-You” breakfast held each Saturday of Labor Day weekend. This year will be September 1, 2018.
All CK Volunteer Appreciation Picnic The Camp Counselors and Staff host a picnic for the volunteers, on the Camp Grounds. This year’s picnic is September 10, 2018. It is a thank you for work well done.
A Canteen/Camp Store is available to campers, counselors, and volunteers to purchase CK apparel and candy treats. It is located in the Recreation Center/Bazinet building. There is a “Fairy Fund” for volunteers who are interested in donating funds specifically for kids who come to camp with no money or funds, allowing them to make purchases at the Canteen. Members can see Caitlin or Jared, camp directors, for more information.