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Camp Heartland is one of the biggest camps for kids with AIDS/HIV in the world. It's located in Willow River, Minnesota. It's a place where kids with AIDS/HIV can talk freely about their disease, and can feel like "normal" kids. There are several cabins, and a big main house with an awesome cafeteria. There is a big climbing tower, a playground, and lots more, including a lake to go fishing in.
But Camp Heartland isn't only a camp for kids with AIDS/HIV. People who have family members with AIDS/HIV can go, people who know others who have died from AIDS/HIV can go, and people can go for lots of other reasons.
I went to Camp Heartland because my mom works there. I ate lunch with the kids, played basketball with them, and went fishing with them. It was a lot of fun. If you ask me, I'd rather go to Camp Heartland than any other camp. The counselors are really cool! They make up awesome games and let everyone, even adults, play. At my lunch table, we showed each other challenges and animal impressions.
When I went there, Camp Heartland officially owned their camp. Before then, they had to rent space for the camp. We had a special grand opening to celebrate the new camp. We divided into different groups. I was in the singing group. Erin B., an awesome singer, helped us think up a Camp Heartland song to sing at the opening. Here's the song:
If there were anywhere that I could go,
If there were anyplace that I could be,
It'd be a place with friends that I would know,
Who'd always love and care for me.
If I could be with all my friends,
And share fun times with them,
Water World and basketball,
On the grounds of Camp Heartland.
Toads and frogs and lightning bugs,
Hiking in the woods,
Counselors give piggy backs,
And never-ending hugs.
Who'd always love and care,
Camp Heartland is an awesome place. It's the coolest camp around. If you wish to learn more, make sure to visit the Camp Heartland Web site.