"Camren loved golf. It was one of his passions," said his mom, Brandy Chausse. "I'm hoping this course will help get other kids excited about golf too."
Camren's Mini Greens, a free, nine-hole miniature golf course, will be officially unveiled at Shane Cole Park in Nokomis this Sunday, Sept. 8, from noon to 4 p.m. in memory of Camren Neisler.
The son of Tim Neisler and Brandy Chausse, Neisler was a 2018 graduate of Nokomis High School and member of the Ramsey-Nokomis co-op golf team, who passed away on Oct. 25, 2018. A group of volunteers helped Chausse host the inaugural Camren's on the Green golf tournament in March of this year, and part of the proceeds from that tournament helped with the construction of the new miniature golf course.
"One of the things we wanted to do is better our community in Camren's memory," said Chausse.
She said two different members of her committee suggested building a miniature golf course, so they started looking into it and found a place where they could buy the holes.
Each of the nine holes has been lovingly planned to keep Camren's memory alive with help from some of his closest friends.
One hole features a Farmer's Oil building, built by Chausse's dad and painted by Julia Crowe. Another will feature the letters of his name as an obstacle for golfers. And still others will feature some of his other hobbies, like fishing and baseball.
Chausse said her dad did most of the woodwork for the course, while two former CEO (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities) program students helped out as well with some of the metal hole signs and the landscaping. Some of Neisler's friends built the fishing spot, "Bing Bong's Bait Shop."
Chausse added that C&C Heating in Nokomis created the metal sign for the entrance to the course, and it was painted by Pat Jachino.
"Everywhere I go, people have just donated their time and talents to this cause," Chausse said. "People are very generous."
The nine-hole course will be open the same hours as Shane Cole Park, and a deck box will hold the golf clubs and balls. Chausse said golfers are welcome to bring their own clubs as well, but only putters. They will have cameras installed to deter vandalism as well, and children 12 and under should have an adult golfing with them. Chausse also hopes eventually to have some benches installed near the course.
At the grand reveal this Sunday, there will be a few food vendors starting at noon, and the course will be officially unveiled at 1 p.m. Festivities last until 4 p.m.
Volunteers with Camren's Causes will also be selling Queen of Hearts raffle tickets that day to benefit fundraising efforts for Nokomis Memorial Pool. The first drawing will be Sept. 19, at 7 p.m. at The Depot in Nokomis. Chausse said they plan to continue the drawing to benefit other causes in the future.
For now, she's anxious for some of Neisler's friends to see the hard work at the golf course and hopes the community will enjoy it for many years to come.
"I would like to see families come together and utilize the course," Chausse said. "I hope that the ones who knew Camren will tell stories about him while they golf, because he was really quite a character. We're very excited to have this course in his memory."