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Camp Hand in Hand


"Camp Hand in Hand is truly the five very best days of my son David's year. And those days are five days when I can relax as well, knowing that my son is in the very best of hands, having an amazing time. The staff is compassionate, professional and dedicated, and they make the experience SO POSITIVE. I love that David gets to experience a full range of traditional camp activities. He loves it! The Autism Society of Minnesota puts an incredible effort into making Hand in Hand the remarkable experience that it is. I am so grateful." 

Pauline Speranza
Edina, Minnesota


HandinHandWEB

Hand in Hand at a Glance

Session 1:  June 25-30, 2017  (Males 19-21, Females 18+) FULL - Applicants will be placed on wait list.
Session 2:  July 30-Aug. 4, 2017  (Males Ages 15-18) FULL - Applicants will be placed on wait list.
Session 3:  Aug. 6-11, 2017  (Males Ages 22+) FULL - Applicants will be placed on wait list.
Session 4:  Aug. 13-18, 2017  (Males 9-14, Females 9-17) FULL - Applicants will be placed on wait list.

Location: Camp Knutson, Crosslake, Minn.
Staff-to-Camper Ratio: 1:1 - attending to the individual needs of each camper
Medical Physical Required: Yes

Cost Per Hand in Hand Camper/Per Session
On or Before 3/31/17: $1,340
After 3/31/17: $1,540

All four sessions of Camp Hand in Hand are held at Camp Knutson, north of Brainerd in Crosslake, Minn. on a peninsula between Trout Lake and Lower Whitefish Lake. This serene camp location features beautiful woodland settings with modern air-conditioned cabins and bathrooms. All of Camp Knutson’s facilities have been either newly renovated or recently built, including a large recreation center. Nutritious meals are served in a group dining room.

Activities include swimming, boating, geocaching, tubing, horseback riding, fishing, crafts, archery, nature exploration, biking, and music groups led by a board-certified music therapist. Activities focus on social interaction and communication. The camp also offers a small ropes course, paddleboats, and canoes for additional fun. Evenings include bonfires and other fun activities. Each week of camp has 35-40 campers, divided into six groups determined by age, gender, and interests.

AuSM-trained camp counselors and experienced program staff carefully plan and maintain a well-run, relaxed, and rewarding camp experience.

Camp Hand in Hand Directors

Camp Hand in Hand is co-directed by Wendy McNeil and Dustin Suggs. McNeil is a licensed special education teacher with a Masters degree in education. McNeil has been a director of Camp Hand in Hand for 20 years and develops new and exciting activities for all to enjoy. Her personal dedication to these campers and their families remains an integral part of Camp Hand in Hand's continued popularity and success. 

Dustin Suggs is excited to have the opportunity to co-direct Camp Hand-In-Hand after working as a counselor and program staff for the last 15 years. His experience at camp has inspired him to follow a career in education. Suggs is working toward his Masters in Applied Behavioral Science at Augsburg College while working as an educational assistant at Lionsgate Academy. He feels honored to have seen so many campers grow throughout the years and especially enjoys seeing the social development that happens at camp.

Camp Hand In Hand Related Links

Visit the Camp Knutson Website
Click here for the Hand in Hand Social Story

Camp Hand In Hand Menus 2017

Session 1 Menu
Session 2 Menu
Session 3 Menu
Session 4 Menu

Waivers/Scholarships

Click here for more information.

Please note:

  • Your waiver MAY cover all or part of the camp cost. Please check with your individual fiscal agent/case worker to determine coverage.
  • You are responsible for payment if your Third Party Payer does not cover the cost of camp.
  • All payments must be made by the deadline or your camper will forfeit his/her spot in camp, unless arrangements have been made with the AuSM Camp office.