Camp Patterson Lake Washington

Campers gather at Lake Washington’s Camp Patterson in 2017. (File photo)

The Mankato Kiwanis Club has canceled 2020 youth summer camps due to COVID-19.

“Unfortunately, there just isn’t a safe way for us to provide facilities for the many different camps that are held at Camp Patterson this year,” said Shannon Sinning, Camp Patterson Committee Co-Chair. “We reached out to organizations that hold camps at Camp Patterson and they agree that it would be impossible to practice social distancing in a traditional summer camp setting.”

Each week, up to 165 campers utilize the Camp’s facilities on Lake Washington in Le Sueur County, southeast of St. Peter and Kasota.

Camps originally scheduled for this summer included YMCA Youth Camps, Celebrate Me Week, Camp Shiloh, Royal Family Kids and Camp OZ and others, with a total of over 2,500 individuals being served each summer. Kiwanis will focus on maintenance this summer instead.

“On a positive note, in the absence of campers this summer, we can instead concentrate on making needed repairs and improvements to Kiwanis Camp Patterson,” said Shannon Gullickson, President of Camp Patterson, Inc., the 501c3 organization that owns the camp on behalf of the Mankato Kiwanis Club.

“The camp was first established in 1927. Recently, we’ve been taking a close look at how we can ensure Kiwanis Camp Patterson will serve the needs of youth well into the future,” said Gullickson. “We were already taking steps to kick-off a $1.5 million capital campaign and plan on accelerating our fundraising efforts so that we can use this time without campers to proceed with some of the construction we were trying to fit into the fall of 2020 and spring of 2021.”

The capital campaign includes plans for a new restroom and shower building, an expanded dining hall and storm shelter, six additional cabins and other needed repairs to improve handicap accessibility. Information on Kiwanis Camp Patterson and the $1.5 million capital campaign can be found at www.kiwaniscamppatterson.com.

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