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Where Spirits Fly

the story of Camp Knutson

  where spirits fly cover

Order online for $38.00 (incl. tax, S&H)

Purchase online now! 



Also available for purchase at various locations in Crosslake MN:
Lakes Area Gallery and Frame Shoppe (Crosslake Town Square), Lake Country Crafts and Cones, Crosslake Lutheran Church, Old Log Church and at Camp Knutson,

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Each page of Where Spirits Fly 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.

A hard cover, the book is 120 pages of history in photo-rich, coffee-table format. 

The camp has provided a nurturing place for children with special needs to find acceptance, support and love for more than 60 years. The stories detail the camp's history of changing lives, the kids it serves, and the everyday grassroots community efforts that continue to keep the camp vital.

Stories include glimpses into the lives of the children it serves; of confidence gained by visually impaired children learning to water-ski in the 1950s; of the relief and acceptance felt by kids with heart disease when they meet other children facing the same issues they do; of the sheer joy of being able to participate in usual childhood pleasures often challenged by medical conditions.

“In many areas of their lives, kids who face challenges or adversity don’t fully participate. At Camp Knutson, they are in the circle instead of of the fringes,” said Pat Postlewaite, a retired social worker who served as the book’s primary author.

Along with Pat Postlewaite, the book was made possible by a creative planning committee made up of Camp Knutson volunteers, including Kathy Keeling, a retiree of Metropolitan Council; Karen Christofferson, a retired lobbyist; and Judy Morgan, a retired physical therapist. Rob Larson, camp director and Kate Williams, assistant director, rounded out the committee with their historical insight.  

Where Spirits Fly team

“Where Spirits Fly” includes the work of volunteers Pat Postlewaite (left), the book’s primary writer; Beth Larson, the camp’s informal photographer; and Karen Christofferson, the project’s primary contact and researcher. 

“The more I learned about and experienced the work of Camp Knutson, the more convinced I was that its history and stories should be shared,” Keeling said. She approached fellow volunteers with an idea to write a book, and Christofferson signed on immediately.

“The most compelling part of this project was that I had a chance to speak to directors and counselors going back to the 1950`s,” Christofferson shared. “They were young college kids who thought an up north camping experience would be fun, and they wanted to serve their Lord and help kids. When you consider what Camp Knutson has evolved into today, it is simply amazing.”

Where Spirits Fly offers glimpses into the lives of children transformed by confidence gained at Camp Knutson; from kids with visual impairments learning to waterski for the first time, to the relief and acceptance felt by kids with heart disease after meeting new friends with surgery scars similar to their own.

“When anyone, especially kids, goes through shared experiences, a strong community is built,” Postlewaite said. Camp Knutson touches more lives each year, she says, because of the committed work of summer program staff, partnering organizations, volunteers, and friends who give financial gifts. “We hope readers will get an even clearer picture of the life changing things that happen at Camp K, and a richer sense of pride in what the community helps make possible.”

Today, Camp Knutson provides camping experiences for children and young adults with autism, Down syndrome, heart disease, chronic skin disorders, and HIV and AIDS.