Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, June 29, 1998

Volunteer Colleen Otto has been going to camp for 20 years


Most people only go to camp when they are kids.

Colleen Otto of rural Lester Prairie has been going to camp every year since 1978.

Otto was recently honored as McLeod County Volunteer of the Year.

A nurse at the Lester Prairie Medical Clinic, Otto has volunteered one week for the last 20 years to work at a day camp sponsored by McLeod County Social Services.

"There are 50 to 75 kids and they come from all over the county, and social services picks who they are. The camp is usually the last week in July at the Glencoe park," she said.

Otto got involved in the day camp when she and husband, Bob, were trying to adopt a child.

"Someone at social services knew I was taking time off from work because we were trying to adopt. They needed a nurse at the camp and asked if I would do it," she recalled.

Otto takes a week of personal vacation time each year for the camp, but to her it is worth it.

"The reward is the kids when you get the smiles and the hugs," she said.

As things turned out, the Ottos did not adopt, but had two of their own children. Their daughter, Angie, has also gotten involved in volunteering at the day camp.

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