Camp 5210, five years of helping families live healthier

Camp 5210 was created in 2010, after the CEO of Park Nicollet suggested to a clinic manager – who happened to be a One Heartland board member – that they should work more closely with local nonprofits on health issues in the community.

The first session of camp – then known as Camp Willow – focused on kids with, or at risk for, type 2 diabetes. The session was attended by Park Nicollet nutrionists and medical personnel as well as One Heartland staff, and was funded by the Park Nicollet Foundation.

23 participants attended the first session, and the camp continued with the same critera for the next three summers. Along the way, One Heartland’s board member moved to HealthPartners where they secured a matching grant. Later, Park Nicollet merged with HealthPartners and the new organization that was formed from the merger continued to support 5210.

This past summer, the criteria for the camp broadened to include potential participants with a body mass index of 85 or higher, not just those that were affected by type 2 diabetes.

Throughout the five summers of camp 5210, the curriculum has remained largely unchanged. The biggest difference between this program and other camp programs is that entire families are invited to camp for two nights and one day – usually on the final weekend – as the goal of the camp is a healthy lifestyle for the entire family, not just the child.

The program includes educational topics on healthy eating (which take place right in the camp kitchen), body image and stress management. These classes are on top of normal camp activities such as swimming, canoeing, archery and fishing. And one day of camp is reserved for an all day beach day.

Camp 5210 has been one of One Heartland’s most successful new programs, This past summer it hosted 63 participants. It goes to show how a strong partnership such as the one with HealthPartners and Park Nicollet can help a program prosper.

Oh, and what does 5210 mean exactly?

Good advice for everyone!

The camp happens every summer at the One Heartland Center in Willow River. The 2015 camp dates will be released early next year. If you have questions in the meantime, please contact Stefanie Tywater-Christiansen at or 612 824 6464.