What is Camp RED?


Camp RED, which stands for Realize Every Dream, is one of the first children’s burn camps in Minnesota. Currently we offer one summer residential session in August. Whether your camper was burned recently or years ago, you are all progressing through recovery with developmental changes and challenges.

Camp will be August 19-22, 2019

Registration for new and returning campers and/or families opens March 1, 2019.

Camp RED gives burn survivors (ages 6-16) the opportunity to live beyond their scars and to be kids again. Our hope is that your time at Camp RED will help you Realize Every Dream for a better tomorrow!

For 4 days, you and your camper will be surrounded by other families who have shared experiences and similar injuries, feelings, fears and concerns. It does not matter what state you live in or what hospital has provided your card, you are welcome at Camp RED. Our caring volunteers want to support you, celebrate each camper and encourage their emotional healing with a variety of outdoor activities in the most beautiful setting. Campers will create new friendships and memories to last a lifetime!

Click below to see the 2018 highlight video:

Click below for the 2017 Camp RED highlight video:


Donate Today

We  humbly ask for your support to send a child to camp today for a better tomorrow. Click here to donate today or send a check directly to PO BOX 374 Champlin, MN 55316

If you have questions,
email us at info@campRED.org



If you would like to volunteer as a camp counselor for the residential session, email us at brooke@campred.org to apply. We are looking for caring, dependable people (over the age of 20) to bring the fun, supervise campers and be silly. Applications will be reviewed upon submission and accepted on a rolling basis. Interview (new applicants only), background check and August 18, 2019 training is required.

Applications are due by July 15, 2019.


Meet Our Leaders 

Together with other volunteers, our leadership staff form the Camp RED
team serving with love, compassion, high energy and loads of knowledge.  
They put their hearts into making camp the best experience
for every camper and his/her family.


Meet Our Founder,
Jake LaFerriere

From the time Jake woke up in the burn unit of Hennepin County Medical Center, his battle and gratitude for life began leading him down a new path full of surprises, transformations and purpose. Before Camp RED came to fruition, there were many moments of serendipity that Jake humbly calls  "thin spaces." Looking back he says it's because that's where he found God's miracles waiting so he could serve others with compassion on a grander scale than as a Station 8 firefighter. And by design, Camp RED is one huge miracle Jake gets to share with burn survivors and their families. Click below to read more about Jake's story.


Brooke Byrd
Executive Director

Ms. Byrd, aka Chief Smile Officer, was raised in Marietta, Georgia and joined the Camp RED family in April 2017. She holds an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education and proudly served the children of Douglasville, Georgia for 14 years as a first and second grade teacher. Since 2004, Ms. Byrd has volunteered at Camp Knutson and feels blessed to spend her summers in a place where kids can Realize Every Dream.


Dr. Jon Gayken, MD
Medical Director

Dr. Gayken’s interest in burn surgery began when he was a patient in the HCMC burn unit nearly 20 years ago.  His recovery from extensive skin grafting has given him deep passion and knowledge of both the acute and long term psychological outcomes affecting burn patients, their families and the reintroduction into their new life and into society.


Maria Schugel
Assistant Director

Maria joined the Camp RED family in the Fall of 2016. She is no stranger to the life of firefighters because she herself was raised by one. Cultivated at an early age, her passion to serve is evident in her chosen professions.  She comes to Camp RED with diverse experience with non-profit organizations including the ACA where she  led many camps to be their best. Thanks to her skills, she has created a behind-the-scenes operation at Camp RED that is second to none.  She currently works as a therapeutic recreation program director in Chanhassen.


Chris Dunker
Vice Chair
Chris joined the Firefighters For Healing team as the Vice Chair in 2014.  He has a unique ability to maximize each hour of every day to connect with people, raise capital and build community. His role on the Board has evolved and utilizes his strengths to make magic happen and build on the dreams we all have for the burn survivor and firefighter community. He lists 'realizing our dream' of launching Camp RED among our team's greatest accomplishments and his favorite memory of the inaugural year at Camp RED was without question the 'water wars' with the Cross Lake firetruck. 



Angie Whitley
Lead Nurse

Nurse Angie joined the Camp RED team in the summer of 2017. She has spent many years as a burn nurse at HCMC caring for burn patients.  She is overjoyed to continue caring for these kiddos outside the hospital at Camp RED. When you see Nurse Angie at camp, she's the one carrying around the camera. In-between mending bumps and bruises with ice packs and band-aides, she serves as the unofficial camp photographer. Some would say it is her insurance policy to avoid being pushed into the lake or splashed with water!