In 1964, a group of parents with Arc Minnesota converted a lake resort near Annandale into a resident camp for their children with developmental disabilities. Although the camp, which they named Camp Friendship, was created to benefit the children, parents soon appreciated the respite they enjoyed while their children were at camp. Over the years, Camp Friendship evolved into Friendship Ventures and then True Friends, and our programs and services have grown well beyond the camp's boundaries.
In the late 1980s Creative Options Respite Care and Ventures Travel were created, and in 1986, Friendship Ventures became an independent, nonprofit organization.
In 1995, the organization expanded its services in the Twin Cities area through the acquisition of Camp Eden Wood in Eden Prairie. The original facility was established in 1925 as the Glen Lake Children's Camp, where it served as a summer haven for children with tuberculosis. In the late 1950s, Arc of Hennepin County operated the site as Camp Indian Chief for people with developmental disabilities.
In 2005, Camp New Hope, near McGregor, merged into the nonprofit. The camp was originally established in1968 by four Cambridge State Hospital doctors who saw a need to get patients with disabilities out of the hospital. The merger made it possible to expand disability programs into Northern Minnesota.
In 2012, Camp Courage in Maple Lake and Camp Courage North in Lake George were added to our conference and retreat family through a legacy partnership with and acquisition of both Courage Camps A year later, the new parent company name of True Friends was created to reflect the mission of our organization.
In 2013, True Friends, brings together five amazing lakeside camps to serve people of all abilities. Learn more about our parent company.