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!
Our Son has a serious heart defect that makes our lives allot "different" from the normal family..daily medication, monthly (or more) doctor visits, extra precautions, disrupted events, and additional stress is just a little bit of what we deal with out of the love for him. No one "gets this" like other heart families, Camp Odayin is where we can all feel "normal" in the big group, we are not the minority here! We laugh, cry and share and learn from each other and come home with life long friendships that will support us all year long. Our family becomes closer as we learn we are not the only ones "dealing with this" we can de-stress and talk about ways to do make life better/easier. The camp staff always has great activities planned that takes us out of our "comfort zone" and lets us be silly in a way that makes lasting memories. We love Camp Odayin!
We are a family of four; our oldest child has a heart defect. Family Camp Odayin is a time for us as a whole family (not just the kids) to spend time connecting with eachother and connecting with other families who also have a child with a heart defect. We share similar experiences, hopes, and fears. Attending Family Camp Odayin makes us feel less alone and more "normal". The staff are outstanding; the facilities are outstanding; the cost is negligible. Five stars. Highly recommend.
My daughter started attending Camp Odayin at age 8 and "graduated" this past summer at age 17. Camp Odayin has always been the high light of the year for her. It gave her something to look forward to when things were tough. She has made some great friends through camp that truly understand what it's like to face the reality of having a chronic heart condition and the limitations that come with it. The staff is absolutely amazing at making these kiddo's feel good about their heart conditions and boosting their self-esteem. We are so thankful to be part of the Camp Odayin family!
Our daughter was born with 3 heart defects; Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Connection, ASD, VSD. She also suffered from frequent respiratory issues and could not handle heat and humidity well. As she began to get older, she wanted to do things other kids did and she longed for a little bit of independence. We heard about a new camp for heart kids. Because there was a cardiologist present 24/7, and nurses, and air conditioning in the cabins, we decided to let her try going to camp. She was 9 years old and part of the very first group at Camp Odayin in 2002.
To say it was a wonderful experience for her is really quite inadequate. She made life-long friends at Odayin. She gained independence and confidence. She didn't feel like she was the only one with a scar who had to be careful about what she did. The highlight of EVERY summer from then on was Camp Odayin. The beautiful thing for us as parents was that we honestly never worried about her safety and health. We knew she was in good hands and that she was having a great time. For kids like our daughter, Camp Odayin is the only option for experiencing camp because no other camp can take care of the health problems and emotional insecurities that accompany heart kids.
Our daughter is now all grown-up. She graduated from college, has an excellent job, and is living on her own. We thought that her days of Camp Odayin were sadly over- but no! She went back as a camp counselor in 2015 and plans to do so again in 2017! Thank you, Camp Odayin for being there for our daughter. She wouldn't be the confident, independent young woman she is today without you!
I began attending Camp Odayin at age 10 and went every summer for 7 years. This camp does more than just give kids with heart disease an opportunity to attend summer camp. It is a place where those kids can meet others, share their story, and realize they are not alone in their experiences. It is a place where those kids are able to act silly while growing confident in themselves. A place where scars are the norm and a family is made from the memories. The staff is amazing and the life lessons just as valued. A place where I learned that "all of our hearts are deeper than you can see, you can be happy if you let yourself be!"
I am a former camper of Odayin and I've never felt more at home. Being with other kids with the same scar and/or the same heart condition makes you feel normal. Camp Odayin is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
My name is Evan Jasnoch and I am 19 years old. I've been going to Camp Odayin every summer for as long as I can remember. For a place that deals specifically with kids with heart conditions, they do a wonderful job of helping kids accept who they are and allow them to have a true summer camp experience, undeterred by their conditions. I've never felt more safe or unafraid of who I am or what has happened to me, because at Camp Odayin I know that I am not alone, and that my condition makes me special but does not hold me back from living my life.
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.