CAMP ODAYIN

Rating: 4.93 stars   59 reviews

Issues: Cancer, Sports

Location: PO Box 2068 Stillwater MN 55082 USA

Mission: Camp Odayin provides fun, safe and supportive camp experiences and community building opportunities for young people with heart disease and their families.
Results: We welcomed our first 53 campers in 2002 and have experienced rapid growth every year since. In 2012 a total of 580 people participated in our camp experiences throughout the year.
Target demographics: Children with heart disease and their families
Programs: In an atmosphere designed to enhance self-esteem and acceptance of themselves and others, Odayin campers have the opportunity to come alive emotionally and physically in ways they never dreamed possible by reaching beyond their medical diagnosis. Camp Odayin's Residential Camp is for children ages 8 to 17 with heart disease and Day Camp is for children ages 6 and 7. Family Camp is for families with a child of any age with heart disease. Camp Odayin provides educational activities and support for campers and their families. Camp Odayin has developed medical and counseling staff training materials and conducts training sessions prior to camp. Volunteers are educated regarding pediatric cardiac issues and appropriate responses to various situations.

2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars   Featured Review

Thank you again for another great summer camp experience! My son got in the car yesterday and said, “Mom, that was by far the best year ever!” As we continued to talk about things that happened that week he said, “I love it because everyone is on level ground. There aren’t clicks. There aren’t the jocks, the nerds....we are all the same. It’s not like that at school.”


I know what you do takes a tremendous amount of planning and coordinating but every minute of it paid off! When you cheer for every camper that comes in and identify something specific about them they are really good at...it makes such a huge difference to who they believe they are.

What an extraordinary group of people!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

my daughter has gone to Camp Odayin for her 4th year, this year. It is her favorite place to go in the summer. I asked her the first time she came back from camp, what her favorite part, and she responded "they didn't judge me for my scar." that was the best feeling to me because now she can see other kids with the same kind of condition and see that everyone is the same and it is not stopping her from being her and fulfilling her dreams.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

Our son loves Camp Odayin! It is his favorite week of the year! He comes home every summer to tell us it was the best year ever! We always laugh as we hear that year after year! The staff and volunteers are awesome!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Offer camp for young adults. (18-24ish)

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Camp Odayin is the most outstanding youth organization for kids with heart disease/defects. Our son loves going to camp. It is the highlight of his summer. Our family vacations are scheduled around this camp. We are blessed to know and be apart of this fantastic nonprofit. Keep up all the great work! Tauer Family

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

My son is a graduate this year with great saddness from Camp Odayin in other words he will be 18 and over the age to go next year. this was his 10th year of camp and each year as camp gets closer he has been remembering and talking about his friends and previous years experiences. Camp Odayin has given him self confidence and taught him he is not alone with a chest scar and previous heart problem. The staff and Counselors have been very profesional while making this a fun experience for the kids. The cost for this great camp has been minimal especialy when you get to see the pictures of all the activites and all the smiles on kids that just may not have had another chance to go to a summer camp

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

dont change a thing

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

Every year this is one of my son's favorite weeks. The activities, staff and fellow campers are amazing. What a great organization! My son's comment when he arrived home "Mom, that was an awesome week!" and for a teenager to say that....pretty incredible!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Just finished my 10th or 11th week as a volunteer at Camp Odayin. The experience continues to inspire me. The children attending camp and the vounteers continue to bring endless positve energy and positive experiences for all. It is hard to imagine how the camp can improve, but somehow every year it gets better!
Keep up the great work!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

This is the best camp in the State of Minnesota. I work in the Academic Health Center at the University of Minnesota and recruit medical, nursing, pharmacy, and other health professional students to volunteer at Camp Odayin. These students are in the midst of intensely rigorous academic programs yet care enough to volunteer their experience and skills to make a difference in the lives of the kids at camp in the very limited break they have from classes and rotations. They are also young enough (most in their early to mid-twenties) to be able to relate to the camper population, engage with them, and have fun with them. Perhaps best of all, because the camp is run on an almost entirely volunteer population, the only cost to campers and their families is a $25 registration fee which includes the entire week of camp experiences and activities! The families are so lucky to have the opportunity to attend a camp which focuses on kids with heart issues. I'm a huge fan of Camp Odayin.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a Camp Odayin board member for 5 years and I can attest to the professionalism with which this organization pursues its mission. The staff are committed, qualified and passionate about what they do. The well-being of the campers is always #1 - as it should be. I am proud to be associated with Camp Odayin.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 1 stars  

Disappointed in the Training of the counselors/staff - as they take volunteers-it's very transient. Kids with heart disease are affected emotionally more than just limited activities. All the fun camp stuff is great but these kids have things going on and they admit they aren't prepared to deal with them - though they advertise they give emotional guidance and direction and support.
The volunteer staff don't realize that as its short term good intention for them and they are following the leadership who doesn't want any disagreements. any disruptions just need to just go away until they are done at the end of the week. They could teach in that moment instead their leadership finds someone to take the blame, and any challenge and it comes down harder and harder.

I was asked to take my review down - but I said I wouldn't as I think if unread this I would've realized it wasn't a fit for my son. It might be for some - but he just isn't happy and felt the opposite of accepted seeing how things were run with him and others.

My kid was recently diagnosed 2 years ago and had 2 heart surgeries, where a lot of kids who attend were born with issues, the personal outlooks are different. Levels of limitations through life and understanding and acceptance differ. This camp is very very structured in activity, but not counseling or emotional needs which we believed were going to be the key component we were looking for. My kid hasn't been restricted before and wasn't now, so the activity level was less challenging then other camps so wasn't as impressed as other kids are, and the emotional value we hoped to get wasn't there. My kid felt like an outsider. So I guess when filling out the application and the mention the "right fit" this is what they are talking about and for the right camper it is.
The wrong fit can be harmful.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

It has a lot of good things - buts key missing quality component for the situations that don't fit the perfect "camper". in an age of self discovery they are surprised by issues and need to have consistent and trained staff for adolescent behavior - especially with what these kids have had to deal with - not just have nurses to give meds out and doc on site. Some adolescent heart disease coping / emotional leadership is what I at least expected and find out is missing.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Some

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

No

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Badly

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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