'Tis the season for camping. With the weather gradually turning toward summer, the campers are flocking to campgrounds for their weekends and vacations.

In the near future, something else will be coming to the Eagle Cliff Campground in Lanesboro - a Red Cross Blood Drive. The dates of the blood drive are Saturday and Sunday, May 24 and 25. On Saturday, the drive will commence at 11 a.m. continuing until 5 p.m. The next day, donating opens at 9 a.m. and will continue until 3 p.m.

Memorial Day often signals a time where families leave for a vacation, sometimes before school is dismissed. Many take their camper to either habitual campgrounds or maybe new ones they have never tried before.

That holiday weekend, many campers are expected to fill Eagle Cliff. So, that provides a perfect opportunity to hold a blood drive.

"We like to do community projects like a river clean-up and adopt-a-highway. But we thought this would be a good opportunity to engage the campers in an activity that can save lives," said Emily Spende, who organized the event.

The drive was scheduled to take place six weeks ago. Unfortunately, seasonal campers did not know about the opportunity. So, a new effort to publicize the event has taken place and posters are being put up in areas around the campground itself and in the Lanesboro area to advertise the event. Some may possibly go up in Fountain.

"Since we did not have the information for the seasonal campers with their reservations last year, we will be doing some recruiting on Friday night. It will require some leg work to ask the people to donate an hour of their time," Spende commented.

There will be some reservations, but Spende believes many of the donors will be walk-ins who have only just heard about the event either the night before or the day of.

"We will be pushing for people to sign up as much as we can. We would like to see people who either have rarely donated or never donated before take part in the drive," Spende stated.

The goal for the drive is to receive 30 units of blood per day. This will likely require at least 40 donors. As mentioned, the process for donating will only take one hour of a person's day and may make a tremendous difference in the life of another person.

Most of the clientele for the drive will be coming from two and a half hours away, but it will be a great opportunity for the campground to come together as a "community" and change people's lives.

This year teenagers as young as 16 may donate, as long as they have parental consent. Spende will have the forms available if this is the case for some people. Those 17 and 18 are also able to participate in the drive. That is the only age limit for donors.

"There is no limit for how old a person is in giving blood. Many people do not know this," she related.

If anyone has any questions about the blood drive, contact Emily Spende at (612) 770-0848.