Elks Camp Grassick Season Draws to Close

TR Staff
Staff Writer

By Ellie Boese, treditor@times-online.com
Just south of the Slade National Wildlife Refuge and steps from Lake Isabel, Camp Grassick sits amidst trees and water and sunshine. It’d be a beautiful place for any summer camp, but this place is different. This summer camp is more.
Since 1947, the Elks of North Dakota have owned and operated Camp Grassick, which serves as a summer camp for children and adults with disabilities and special needs. Each summer, the camp holds six different sessions to provide every camper with their best experience. Those sessions include a 3-week therapy camp, a 5-day adult camp, and a 2-week camp, and the camp hosts campers representing at least 30 of North Dakota’s 53 counties each summer. Camp Grassick also partners with Anne Carlsen Center for Children in Jamestown and has a session specifically for residents of the center.
Dan Mimnaugh has been working there for 45 of the camp’s 71 years, someplace he never envisioned himself––nevermind staying for over four decades––and he’s been acting director for 38 years.
“I was going to VCSU and my friend worked out here a year before,” Mimnaugh said. “She convinced me to work out here and it got into my blood. I went back as counselor for years, and I took over director position in 1980.”
Comments from employees and campers’ parents recorded in written testimonies make it clear that Camp Grassick is a special place, and that its director is a big part of making it that way. One counselor wrote, “I have never had a boss with as big of a heart for anything than you and honestly I don’t know many people who are as genuinely caring and amazing as you. The world needs more Dans.”
A camper’s parent wrote, “My child has actually developed a close friendship with another camper. It is great to hear her on the phone, just like any other teenager, laughing and talking; that is a sweet sound to my ears. My daughter has that because of Camp.”
Read more in today's, Tuesday, September 11th, Times-Record