Former campers return as Camp Knutson program staff
Their stays at the Crosslake camp often overlapped.
CROSSLAKE — When Charlie Nelson saw the list of the new Camp Knutson summer program staff in 2021, he was surprised to see that he’d be working with his friend from Camp Odayin, Steph Dalueg.
Nelson was a camper for eight summers, Dalueg for 10. Many of their summers at camp overlapped.
Camp Odayin is one of 12 partners hosted by Camp Knutson. Located north of Crosslake on the peninsula between Big Trout and Lower Whitefish lakes, Camp Knutson is a supportive, medically sound camp for children, youth and families with disabilities, medical conditions and other identified needs.
Camp Odayin provides a safe, fun summer experience for children and teens with heart disease. Three Odayin camps are scheduled this summer for campers ages 7-17.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these camps have not been held since 2019.
“It’s so fun to have all the campers back and to be able to connect with them again,” said Dalueg.
Both Nelson and Dalueg had originally planned to work as program staff during the summer of 2020, so they were thrilled to hear that Camp Knutson would once again welcome campers on grounds in 2021.
After another memorable summer, the two each decided to return this summer as program staff.
“When I was younger, I had a really great experience at camp,” said Nelson.
“It’s just a really special place. I wanted to provide that experience for kids in similar situations as me. I made really great connections with great people here, and ideally, I wanted to give that back to the campers,” he said.
Dalueg had a similar reason for wanting to come back as program staff.
“As a camper, I always felt how happy camp made me, and I wanted to be able to facilitate that for other kids,” she said.
Camp Knutson will host its annual fundraiser, Night Under the Stars, on Saturday, July 16. Find tickets at campknutson.org.