Summer no washout for kids at Camp Heartland

- Summer is coming to an end for many kids, and for the folks at Camp Heartland, it looked for awhile like the rain was going to wash away the whole season.

Fortunately, they still managed to have a lot of fun.

"I'm happy, but I'm sad. I'm going to miss Camp Heartland, but at the same time. I'm going home," 12-year-old Leilani McCall said, while camped out on the floor of the Humphrey Terminal at Twin Cities International Airport with a half dozen fellow campers.

"It was really fun, but we didn't get to do some things we usually do because of the delay," saifd McCall.

The day before Camp Heartland, a week long getaway for kids with HIV and AIDS, was supposed to start back in June, the nearby Kettle River flooded the only road in and out of the campus.

That forced organizers to cancel the session and stranded 35 summer staffers along with members of a church group that had rented the facility for several days.

Heartland was able to reschedule the camp, which started last Saturday, but for six days instead of seven.

Only 50 of the 70 kids could make it and 15 had to fly out a day early in case Wednesday night's storms flooded the camp again.

"At camp itself, they make do with what we have. So whether it's shorter or someone had to leave a day early, they make it campy. So it didn't seem to affect it too much," said One Heartland Registration and Travel Manager Stefanie Tywater-Christiansen.

McCall has plenty of souvenirs to show her friends back in Maryland, but it will be the memories that mean the most.

A fundraiser to cover the cost of rebooking all those flights collected $11,000 dollars more than the $25,000 goal.

One Heartland says it will use the extra money to send care packages to the kids who weren't able to re-schedule.


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