Knowing More About Friendship Ventures

If you are looking for information about Friendship Ventures, what they do, how and where the event will run,  here I quote from to guide you to know more about what Friendship Ventures actually is.

Who does Friendship Ventures serve?
Friendship Ventures welcomes people as young as age 5 and well into their senior years who have developmental disabilities and who also may have physical disabilities.  We serve people regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, political beliefs, sex, religion, disability or national origin.

Where is Friendship Ventures located?
Our headquarters are at 10509 108th Street N.W., Annandale, Minn.
We operate three camp locations in Minnesota:

-Camp Friendship near Annandale
-Eden Wood Center in Eden Prairie
-Camp New Hope near McGregor

All locations feature accessible accommodations.

Are there other organizations in Minnesota that provide the same opportunities?

No. Friendship Ventures offers the widest variety of unique programs and is the only organization in Minnesota that serves all ages* and levels of developmental disabilities. (*beginning at 5 years old)

Do you accept people with severe or multiple disabilities?
Yes. Friendship Ventures is unique in serving people with a wide range of disabilities, including those who have severe developmental disabilities. We welcome many participants who also have physical disabilities, visual or hearing impairments, chronic medical conditions, severe allergies and behavior issues. Our medical and direct-care staff are qualified to manage most challenging situations.

What programs do you offer?
Friendship Ventures offers summer camp, winter camp, respite care (including weekends year around) and Friendship Getaways. In addition, Ventures Travel, a division of Friendship Ventures, provides supervised travel opportunities for older teens and adults with developmental disabilities. We also offer Team Quest team building programs and Friendship Ventures Conference & Retreat Centers to the general public.
How long has FV been providing services?

Our first summer camp was offered in 1964. Since then we have served nearly 100,000 participants and their families.

What is your counselor–to-participant ratio?
Ratios vary according to the needs and abilities of participants. The range is from 1:1 when needed to 1:4 for most programs.  The ratio for Friendship Getaways is 1:5.

How many participants can you accommodate?

Friendship Ventures’ capacity varies depending on the program and location.  We typically serve nearly 3,000 men, women and children each year.

What geographic areas do you serve?
Participants come from 84 of Minnesota’s 87 counties and 425 communities throughout the state, and still more come from all over the United States.

What about individuals with specific dietary needs?
Our staff includes medical and food service professionals qualified to prepare special diets and accommodate food allergies.

How do you screen your staff?
Both paid staff and volunteers at Friendship Ventures are required to go through an extensive interview process and pass a criminal background check.

What type of medical staff do you have?
Our director of health care is a registered nurse who oversees medical care and a health care team that distributes medications, monitors day-to-day health and treats injuries or illnesses at each location. We also have a medical advisory board comprising physicians and other health care professionals who annually review and provide advice regarding medical and health care procedures.

Could I come by to check out a camp before I make my enrollment decision?
Absolutely! Tours can be arranged upon request. Please schedule yours in advance by calling our main office at (952) 852-0101 or (800) 450-8376.
Business hours are:

- Camp Friendship 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
- Eden Wood Center 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
- Camp New Hope 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday

Will Friendship Ventures provide transportation to and from camp?
All individuals are responsible for their own transportation to and from camp, although if caregivers are willing to carpool, we will connect them to individuals in their area.

Is financial assistance available?
Yes. On average, 80 percent of our participants receive full or partial scholarships. Those needing financial assistance should complete the Scholarship Grant Application section on the application form. Parents or other caregivers of individuals eligible for county funds or Consumer Directed Community Supports (CDCS) for respite care or camp programs should contact us to find out whether these funds may be applied toward program fees.

Is Friendship Ventures accredited?
Friendship Ventures resident camp programs are certified by the American Camp Association (ACA) for all three locations.  These programs comply with nationally recognized standards for content, personnel, administration, health care and facility operations.The ACA visits each location on a regular basis to confirm our eligibility for continued certification.

What educational benefits do you offer?
Our goal is to help clients achieve the highest level of self-worth, independence, and participation in their communities. To that end, participants are encouraged to develop skills and practice decision-making, participate in challenging and fun activities, enjoy and appreciate nature, meet new people and renew old friendships, and have a safe, relaxing and fun vacation. Participants learn new skills that benefit them at school or work, in family and social relationships and the community.

How is Friendship Ventures funded?

As a nonprofit organization, our funding comes from individuals, service organizations, groups, foundations and private and corporate donations as well as the Friendship Foundation, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization that encourages and manages planned charitable gifts on behalf of Friendship Ventures.

How much of the money donated to Friendship Ventures actually goes to fund programs and services for children and adults with disabilities?

Ninety cents of every dollar donated to Friendship Ventures supports services that directly benefit participants.

How can I support Friendship Ventures?
Your support enables us to serve all participants for less than it actually costs and to maintain and improve our facility to better serve their needs. There are opportunities available for everyone to help, for example:

- Donate supplies
- Donate services
- Donate a used vehicle
- Become a camp counselor
- Provide office support
- Volunteer at special events
- Assist with fundraising and public relations
- Organize and participate in work-site projects
- Reserve facilities for your group’s event
- Make a financial donation
- Use Team Quest programming for your church, school, business or community group
- Book a stay at Friendship Ventures Conference & Retreat Centers.
- Check out our wish list to see what items we’re in need of and take your pick!

How are volunteers and staff prepared to meet the wide variety of special needs?
Our training program for seasonal staff and volunteers who provide hands-on care is comprehensive and effective. We make sure they are prepared to deal with the medical, behavioral and developmental needs of clients and to keep them safe and healthy.

Is Friendship Ventures accredited?
Friendship Ventures is certified by the American Camp Association (ACA) for all three locations.  These programs comply with nationally recognized standards for content, personnel, administration, health care and facility operations. The ACA visits each location on a regular basis to confirm our eligibility for continued certification.