Located in the beautiful Brainerd Lakes Area of Minnesota, Confidence Learning Center otherwise known as Camp Confidence is an outdoor center for persons with developmental disabilities. The program at Camp Confidence is aimed at promoting self-confidence and self-esteem, and the necessary skills to become full, contributing members of society. The campers achieve this through active “hands-on”, activities and participation in a variety of outdoor experiences. The staff are able to provide activities in outdoor education and recreation that are not or can not be offered in their local setting. Over the years, thousands of individuals have experienced personal growth while participating in educational programs which include archery, cross country skiing, canoeing, and fishing just to mention a few. Such activities as the Confidence Course allow campers to challenge their limits and prove themselves to the most important person of all, themselves.
Campers are brought to Camp from all over Minnesota and the mid-west by their staff, family or care giver, which is responsible for their direct care. The typical overnight group stay is two nights, however, longer or shorter visits are available. Visiting groups include group homes, families, public schools, state facilities, treatment centers, achievement centers and scout groups. Coming to Camp helps basic living skills through planning, preparing, clean up of meals and care of campsite or cabin. Camp provides facilities and equipment, as well as a number of program specialists and college interns to assist the groups with activities and programs. During inclement weather, groups can participate in nature study, arts and crafts, the astronomy room, or audiovisual education in the John Mariucci Lodge.
Confidence Learning Center is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit charity in its purest form. Camp Confidence receives no federal, state or local tax support. Nor does any religious group, college, scouting group, service organization or any other group act as our “parent ” sponsor. What we do have is a collage of individuals, families, corporations, service clubs and small businesses that have helped us to develop a 140 acre year-round camp for persons of all ages with developmental disabilities.
Camp Confidence began in April of 1969 when Dick Endres (Camp founder), a small group of local business people, and many individuals from the Brainerd State Hospital combined their energies to form Minnesota Therapeutic Camp, now known as Confidence Learning Center. From that day forward, Camp has grown incredibly both in numbers of campers and facilities.