Camp Knutson Annual Reports
Camp Knutson provides camping services for individuals with disabilities and medical needs. Camp is open year-round, also hosting retreats, conferences, meetings and trainings. Read about Camp Knutson’s impact each year in our annual reports.
Campers returned to the grounds of Camp Knutson in 2021, and we were overjoyed to reconnect with them as well as our volunteers and supporters. We also welcomed a new camp partner: Children’s Cancer Research Fund’s Camp Norden. To ensure the health and safety of our campers, staff and volunteers, we needed to get creative with our programming and schedule. We are so thankful for our Camp Knutson community. Because of your support, our campers experienced a summer to remember!
2020 will go down in history in many ways. Here at Camp Knutson we will remember it as a time when we were reminded on a profound level what it means to be human. The pandemic reminded us of our fragility and our resilience. This moment beautifully illustrated how we are all connected and how that connectedness is instrumental in thriving through challenging circumstances. On the surface, we had a summer without campers on grounds. We also grieved that chance to welcome campers, families, friends and volunteers to this incredible place. But what truly stands out about 2020, is how — despite a global pandemic and social distancing protocols — this community came together, yet again, to restore hope and ensure Camp Knutson remains strong in the years ahead.
In 2019, Camp Knutson celebrated the 25th anniversary of its partnership with Camp Benedict, a family camp for individuals living with HIV/AIDS. We welcomed new Program Coordinator, Josh Sitarz and Cooper, Caitlin’s golden doodle who is training to be Camp’s very own therapy dog. We served more campers than ever before and were blessed with many days of beautiful, sunny weather. We are deeply grateful to everyone who is a part of Camp Knutson.
2018 marked the 65th anniversary of Harold Knutson’s gift of his land for the benefit of children with special needs. We are grateful that through the decades, Camp Knutson has remained true to Harold’s vision. This year we welcomed more than 1,100 campers and more than 1,400 retreat participants. Our Camp K family grows stronger every year, as does our appreciation and awe for all that happens here. Our hearts are full — for all the fabulous individuals who make camp happen: campers, staff, supporters and volunteers who truly become an extended camp family.
2017 had a record number of volunteers, a full summer camp schedule and several improvement projects. With the help of volunteers, we were able to restore our signature Bell Tower. We also completed a new waterfront accessibility project that will make life for our campers safer and more comfortable. The variety and complexity of orchestrating all that happens at camp over the course of the year is truly amazing.
In 2016, we served more people than ever before. We had a very full summer serving families who have been impacted by HIV and AIDS, camps for kids with Down syndrome, autism, skin and heart conditions, as well as adults with mental health needs.
Our services during the fall, winter and spring also included opportunities for veterans to have some healing time at camp, a family camp for adopted youth to strengthen their bonds with their new families and a program for youth experiencing homelessness.
We had another stellar year for our campers! Our challenge every year is to create innovations which spark our camper’s interest and enthusiasm. In 2015, we provided new evening themes and interesting new twists on morning activities such as using cans for popping corn over an open campfire, taking an “Expedition to Mars” at the trust course, new archery games, fishing contests, nature games with a focus on Camp K’s trees and vegetation, and more.