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Six students have received scholarships totaling $4,000 from the Minnesota Resort and Campground Association (MRCA) for the 2018-19 school year, according to a press release.

The recipients are children of MRCA resort/campground owners or have been closely affiliated with a member business and recommended by its owner. Since 2008, the MRCA has supported 50 students with financial assistance of $28,600.

This year’s recipients include:

Blair Benson

BLAIR BENSON – son of Jim (& Tammie) Benson of Grand View Lodge, Nisswa

Blair is a 2018 graduate of Brainerd High School and is headed to the University of North Dakota to study commercial aviation. His father, Jim, is the operations manager at Grand View and Blair has worked at the resort in both housekeeping and at the golf course. Blair said, “As a naturally quiet kid, the idea of approaching every stranger who pulled off the golf course to have a conversation seemed daunting at first, but I must say that the job has helped me to build my confidence throughout the years.”

KARLEE FREIHAMMER – Big River Resort, Wabasha

Karlee Freihammer

Karlee graduated in June from Wabasha-Kellogg High School with a 3.947 GPA. She will attend the University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse and is unsure of her major at this point. She has worked at BigRiver Resort since she was in ninth grade and does everything from manning the phones and cleaning the rooms to delivering firewood and doing the laundry. “Working at the resort, you become a proactive member of the community over the summer. I especially enjoy hearing the stories of the travelers,” Karlee said. “This job has pushed me in the direction of traveling, which is something I have always dreamed of doing.”

Elijah Sams

ELIJAH SAMS – son of Brian & Heather Sams of Campfire Bay Resort, Cushing

Elijah graduated from Staples-Motley High School in 2017 and attends Bethel University, pursuing a degree in business. He hopes to work in marketing in the Twin Cities, but eventually plans to return to the resort, which his family has owned since he was two years old. Elijah appreciates the concept of “meaningful work,” the idea that the work you do matters and impacts others. He said, “This is easily my greatest takeaway from living and working at Campfire Bay, that the work I do, no matter how seemingly insignificant, matters to someone, somehow.” He’s already helped his parents with some marketing and branding work at the resort.

LANDON SCHLANGEN – son of Chad & Trude Schlangen of Your Haven Campground, Richmond

Landon Schlangen

Landon graduated this year from Eden Valley-Watkins High School with a 3.975 GPA and will attend North Dakota State University to study computer science or engineering.  Landon said, “Living at the campground has given me a unique opportunity to learn skills such as money management, how to drive a tractor, customer service, beach/grounds maintenance, activity planning and organization.” He added, “The biggest factor in shaping me as a person were the kids that would come every weekend and spend time with me whether it was playing basketball, board games, capture the flag or just talking. I am very grateful to have lived on a campground and wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Makenzie Sokoloski

MAKENZIE SOKOLOSKI – daughter of Bradley & Koreen Sokoloski of Headquarters RV Park, Buyck

Makenzie is a 2017 graduate of North Woods High School in Cook and is attending St. Cloud State University to pursue a degree in early childhood education. She has already earned a two-year degree from Hibbing Community College and aspires to be a kindergarten teacher. Four years ago, Makenzie witnessed her parents’ dream turn to reality as they repurposed a back yard full of timber into a campground. She said, “My parents have always been very dedicated to working hard for what they want…and that really makes me value my own dreams.”

MACY WALDO – daughter of Kevin & Judy Waldo of West Wind Resort, Waskish

Macy Waldo

Macy is a 2018 graduate of Kelliher Public School and will attend the University of North Dakota to study business. She has helped her grandparents, aunt/uncle and father operate the family resort on Upper Red Lake. She started out at a young age washing dishes, became a cook and is now starting to tend bar. She comfortably cooks burgers, walleye, wild rice soup, prime rib and other foods. She said, “I am extremely grateful for the family business; I believe it was the best way to be raised. I am constantly surrounded by family, which means a great support system….”