Hand in Hand

Hand in Hand has a 1:1 staff-to-camper ratio.

Camp Hand in Hand is 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 the addition of 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.

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

Camp Knutson Website

Camp Hand in Hand During the Pandemic

As the pandemic continues, regulations change daily. A complete list of guidelines for this 2021 summer camp season will be available in May. Below are possible precautions that will be put into place to keep our campers and staff as safe as possible:

  • AuSM and partnering camp locations reserve the right to make specific asks for campers to provide official copies of COVID-19 test results in a certain window and to minimize risk of exposure in the week before camp.
  • Campers must be transported to and from camp by a caregiver. Drop-off and pick-up times will be staggered to reduce crowds and contact.
  • Campers must be willing to have a daily forehead temperature taken.
  • Campers must be able to follow social distancing guidelines, wash hands and use hand sanitizer, follow verbal or visual prompts for safety guidance, and be willing to wear a mask.
  • Additional changes to elements of the camp experience may include meal service, sleeping quarters, activity offerings, and interaction with others.

Camp Hand in Hand Directors

Dustin Suggs co-directs Camp Hand-In-Hand after working as a counselor and program staff for more than 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.

Sarah Hauer began her Camp Hand in Hand journey as a camp counselor 16 years ago, and camp has inspired the trajectory of her professional career. She currently is in her ninth year working in education, her sixth year as Special Education Teacher and Case Manager, and first year as an elementary school teacher within the Anoka Hennepin school district. Hauer has worked extensively with youth with autism and emotional behavior disorders, and she has been honing her skills in building relationships, addressing needs, and ensuring all will thrive in a safe, supportive environment.


Camp Knutson, 1148 Manhattan Pt. Blvd., Crosslake, MN 56442


To be announced


2022 information available soon.