About Us

The Down Syndrome Foundation sole mission is to support the Down Syndrome Camp and offer a unique and safe environment where individuals with Down syndrome, ages 10-21, can cultivate friendships, discover new abilities and talents, develop an increase in self-worth and independence, and have the unforgettable life-changing experience of overnight camp.

The Down Syndrome Foundation was founded in 2000 by a group of parents who wanted to develop a camp for young adults with Down syndrome. The sole purpose of the Down Syndrome Foundation is to support the Down Syndrome Camp. The Board of Directors are all volunteers and have a passion in offering a quality, safe, memorable camp experience. All funding from the Down Syndrome Foundation goes directly towards the benefit of operating the Down Syndrome Camp.

Down Syndrome Camp Leadership

Angie Kniss

Angie Kniss

President and Founder

Angie had the privilege of starting the Down Syndrome Camp in 2000 and is currently the President of the Down Syndrome Foundation. She is the parent of a young adult with Down syndrome and brings passion and energy to DSC that is contagious to campers and staff. She loves to see the campers reach new heights and ensures that camp is a safe, enjoyable experience for everyone.

Nick Engbloom

Nick Engbloom


Nick Engbloom is a development officer for the University of Minnesota Foundation/University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital. He is responsible with the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors through following functions. Nick has been involved with the camp since the very beginning starting as camp counselor, counselor coordinator and now oversees the coordination of campers/camp director. Nick has an older brother with Down syndrome who was one of the first campers to attend the camp.

Ellie Wilson

Ellie Wilson

Counselor Coordinator

Ellie Wilson is the full-time Director of Education, Programs and Training at the Autism Society of Minnesota. As such, she oversees a wide variety of programs that are designed to enrich the lives of individuals with ASD by coupling social skills learning opportunities in clubs and classes. In her role, Ellie also offers general and specific trainings and workshops to individuals, families, educators, professionals, community partners and various civic agencies.

Down Syndrome Foundation Board Members

Angie Kniss – President
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Melani Hanisch – Board Member
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Nick Engbloom – Secretary
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Shari Williams – Chief Financial Officer
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Maureen Lindholm – Board Member
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Wayne Lindholm – Board Member
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Marci Kelley – Board Member
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Gordon Bentley – Board Member
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Maria Harris – Board Member
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Jason Beckendorf – Board Member
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Aaron Holland – Board Member
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Ellie Wilson – Board Member
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Jenna Laabs – Board Member
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