Camp Discovery residential camp has a 1:4 staff-to-camper ratio.
To help bridge the gap of not being able to be together in person, AuSM is working to create alternative camp-focused programming that can be done virtually with guidance from our awesome camp staff. We plan to announce more details about this new offering Camp Discovery is ideal for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder who will enjoy a summer camp experience with a high degree of structure and small group activities. Campers should be able to positively interact and safely participate within small groups, as this camp provides 1:4 support.
Camp Discovery is held at True Friends/Courage North, a beautiful 100-acre facility on Lake George near Bemidji, Minn. Campers will stay in cabin groups of eight, according to age, gender, and interests. Cabins have restrooms and electricity. Campers will enjoy their meals in a dining hall or on an outdoor deck.
Camp activities include swimming, kayaking, canoeing, hiking in Itasca State Park, arts and crafts, nature experiences, recreational games, live action role-playing games, and more. Camp Discovery also includes special evening activities. Campers participate in small group discussions and activities that focus on special interests and making a connection with others. Adults with ASD work as mentors, providing empathetic, positive role modeling throughout the week.
Camp Discovery Directors
Jill Pring, MEd, is an ASD consultant for Northern Lights Special Education Cooperative working with students from birth through age 21 and has 18 years of experience working with individuals on the autism spectrum both as a special education teacher and as a consultant. She also teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses on ASD for the University of Minnesota Duluth. This is her 11th year working with Camp Discovery.
Nichelle Zimmer, MS, is a school psychologist for the Forest Lake Area School District and has more than 20 years of experience as an Autism Resource Specialist, working at both the elementary and middle school levels. This is her 12th year at Camp Discovery.
Lacey Hendrickx, BS, Special Education, is a Special Education teacher at Sebeka Public School. She works with elementary students. She also has experience working with high school students. She has eight years of experience working with individuals on the autism spectrum as a special education teacher. This is her 6th year working with Camp Discovery.
Mike Cohen, MS, Special Education, is a special education teacher in Cloquet, Minn. in an elementary setting. He has worked with individuals with autism in schools for the past nine years. This is Cohen’s third year at Camp Discovery.
True Friends/Courage North, Lake George, Minn.
To be announced.
Summer 2021 dates will be announced in late 2020.