Tennis & Life Camps

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Swimming in the Water of TLC

We swim in the water we are born into at birth.  Sometimes it is full of love.  And sometimes it is not. And we don’t realize, often, that if it is not, when we grow up we can climb out of that water that is unhealthy for us and find water that will give life, […]

Serving Up Love at TLC

Four former TLC staff members (and dear friends of mine) are teaming up to help provide access to TLC for players and families who would not normally be able to attend due to financial barriers. By running in this year’s Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon and 10-Mile, Team TLC is hoping to raise enough funds to […]


She wailed like a wounded animal. Her eyes darted from place to place looking for some sort of refuge from her pain. There was no way of getting through those tears to calm her.  I watched and my heart broke.  She was eleven years old and she was relentlessly homesick, away from home alone. I […]

Gratitude Minute

People are strewn all over the courts, lying face up, or standing stock still.  It is as quiet as a graveyard.  But it might be the most alive minute of the day at TLC. It is a minute of being completely present.  Of leaving every care behind.  Of remembering who or what we are grateful […]


TLC summer is in full swing.  It is everything we hoped for.  Except…   We have not seen the sun in five days. We have lost outdoor court time each of those days. The clouds have pressed down on us, even when it’s not raining.   And yet….   We have the magnificent bubble.  That […]

300, 200, 100, Tommy!

He was a snot nosed little kid when I first met him.  Ok, maybe not snot nosed, but he was not tall.  As a 15 year old, probably 5’4”.  And curious and bright eyed about everything.  A sponge.  Someone who you noticed.  Bright.  Articulate.  Social skills beyond his years. He came to TLC, and as […]

The Big “L”

I had the privilege of going on the road to meet TLC adult campers recently. One trip was heart wrenching.  Trudi Roesch, longtime adult and family camper, advocate and cheerleader of all things TLC, ringleader of pulling groups together to make the five-hour trip to Gustavus from Cedarburg, passed away after a short battle with […]

Rising From The Ashes

Twenty years ago today, March 29, 5:30 PM, Steve Wilkinson’s birthday, the future of Tennis and Life Camps was in question. A mile wide tornado, the largest in Minnesota history, ripped through St. Peter and Gustavus Adolphus College leaving an eerie nothing in its wake.  90% of all the trees in town and on campus […]

Why Are We Even Here?

Last weekend, our daughter swam in her college conference swim championships. She was seeded anywhere from 7th to 10th in her individual events, and had one of the slower relay times on her relay teams going in. She swam the meet of her life. She ended up with five firsts and a fourth, and was […]


This is a love story. The end of December, Boy and Betty Toy and I met at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis.  We sat across the desk from each other, Boy and Betty with pens in hand.  Boy teared up.  He said, “I woke up this morning. l looked at Betty and said, ‘Can […]