CAMP ODAYIN

Rating: 4.93 stars   59 reviews

Issues: Health, 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 2014 a total of 700 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 grades 1-11 with heart disease and Day Camp is for children grades K-1. 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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EIN 41-2014358
651.351.9185
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Our son Brett (10) really enjoys summer and winter camp!! WE also as a family got a chance to do family camp and it was a Blast! Only wish My back wouldn't hold me back in joining in on all activities!!

Thank you to all staff!!

Doug

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

them letting our Family to hang with Their Family!!

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

the staff doing Fine with their own Decisions!

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Rating: 5 stars  

My daughter Kaylin has gone to Camp Odayin for the last 2 years. This will be her third year of going we live in Lisbon, Iowa and I would drive her all the way every year if that is what it takes! Kaylin feels like a normal little girl at Camp Odayin she is not singled out because of her heart problems, all the children have heart problems. They have different activities every year and meet new friends but also see the ones from the years before! $25.00 for her to go is amazing! It is beautiful and very warming and welcoming! The camp is beautiful and the lake is awesome! Archery and horseback riding are activties!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My child has!

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

None

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Rating: 5 stars  

16 people found this review helpful

Camp Odayin is the best camp for my girls. Both my 11 year old and 10 year old have pacemakers and have had heart surgies. Two years ago I wanted them to go and they absolutely did not want to go 6 hours from home. Last year The staff of Childrens heart clinic helped me convince them to go. They decided maybe so I sent in all the paperwork and we were accepted. They went and came home and had an awesome time. This year they asked mom when do we get to go back. I said this summer. Thanks Camp Odayin for having a place my two girls can be themselves!!!!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My kids have alot more self esteem and are not as shy!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

They are truly very helpful and amazing

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Thank you to everyone. You are truly great people for helping out kids enjoy themselves.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Let all kids come to heart camp every year!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-7-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

20 people found this review helpful

Camp Odayin is the best! It is a place where kids who have been "special" their whole lives because of congenital or acquired heart disease can just be regular kids at camp. They can ride horses, shoot bows and arrows, eat s'mores at a bonfire and just have a fun time. Everyone has a scar on his/her chest so no one has to feel "special" about that. The number of returning kids every year tells you how terrific Camp Odayin is. As one of the volunteer doctors who goes there, I can tell you that I will keep going back every year. It is always the best 3 weeks of my summer!!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the eyes of kids who can't wait to get on the bus that takes them to Camp every year

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

do it just like Sara is doing it!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the leadership is fantastic. Sara Meslow who started Camp Odayin is simply wonderful! She has assembled an exemplary group of individuals who run every aspect of the Camp with ease and efficiency.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

absolutely outstanding!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

invite even more kids with congenital heart disease to come to camp and just be a regular kid.

Ways to make it better...

I could always make sure to have at least 2 weeks at Camp Odayin every year

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

garnering enough donated dollars to keep the costs low for campers.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I love Camp Odayin!

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

Saint Cloud Hospital/CentraCare Clinic

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

21 people found this review helpful

I love going to camp. I look forward to it all year, starting right when i get on the plane to go home. Everyone tries to talk all year but nothing is the same as that first second you see all your friends again after 365 days. It's amazing to be around kids that know exactly what you went through and exactly how you felt; it's a lot easier than constantly having to explain every detail. I've been going to camp for 6 years now, and this year will sadly be my last, but I'll never forget my camp days and all the amazing people I met. I'm so glad I got the chance to go there! =D

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

camp every year, and it's completely amazing and fun. You forget completely that you're a heart patient.

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

make camp longer =D and definitly extend the age limit...i want to keep going there.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

that I've gotten to meet people that I don't have to explain anything to about my heart. They just understand, and it's wonderful.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

awesome, funny, and just generally happy people that make the experience that must better.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

definitly get it's own facilities and camp could be so much longer. It could also accomidate way more kids.

Ways to make it better...

camp was longer!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

not having enough time for all the popularity it's gaining...there's always a bunch of new people every year.

One thing I'd also say is that...

If I didn't have my camp memories I wouldn't be the same person I am today. My friends there have changed my life.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

19 people found this review helpful

Awesome organization. Our daughter loved it and wants to go back again. The camp was well staffed by enthusiastic people. The setting was also beautiful. Thanks.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

that our child was a camper and loved it.

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

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Very affordable for children with special needs to attend.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

enthusiastic and well qualified.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

serve more special needs children, perhaps offer several disabled children a wide array of opportunities.

Ways to make it better...

I believe the beautiful lake was not swimmer friendly for at least part of her stay... this however was not in the control of the organization.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

19 people found this review helpful

Camp Odayin is wonderful. It provides many excellent opportunities for my son with congenital heart disease to feel normal. After attending heart camp, he is much more outgoing and he doesn't feel as different from other kids. It has also been great for my whole family to meet other families living with CHD while doing normal family and recreational activities sponsored by Camp Odayin. My children with normal hearts have had the opportunity to meet other siblings who understand what it is like to be part of a family living with CHD. Sara, Alison, and Matt are organized, outgoing, and fabulous at what they do. Before moving to Minnesota, my son went to another heart camp that was very good. Camp Odayin, however, is the best! The camps are very well organized and fun, they provide families with a wide variety of recreational and service activities, and they connect families with new information related to CHD. Keep us the great work!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my children

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

everything

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

wonderful

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

serve all children

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-12-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

Our son Nicholas, 15 yrs, has attended Camp Odayin the past three years. We were very lucky that his 6th grade teacher, Laura Prekker, was a summer camp counselor and gave us the application so Nick could attend camp. We were so excited and relieved that Nick could attend and we wouldn't have to worry if we could afford to send him. It was free! If you ask Nick what the highlight of his summer was, he will say with a smile on his face "Heart Camp"! He made friends, tried new experiences, and now realizes that he isn't the only one with chest scars and a pacemaker. This was an enormous help this year because Nick knew that he would be having another open heart surgery in Dec. to replace his homograph pulmonary valve. Nick has chosen not to share is heart disease with classmates and you really can't tell he has a disability if he doesn't take his shirt off. Spending a week each summer with kids with similiar disablilities and kids that are healing from recent surgeries has given Nick courage and confidence. While he is away at camp, we do not worry. He is under excellent cardiac care. The Doctors, Nurses, Counselors and Volunteers are professional, knowlegeable, and caring. We feel truly blessed that Nick can attend Camp Odayin each year without bringing finacial hardship on our family because of non-profit donations. Please consider donating to this wonderful organization. Sincerely, Shawn and Patty VanLiew

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the joy in my son's eyes and the stories he shares of the wonderful times and the friendships he made in the week of camp.

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

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Their willingness to share in pictures online so that I can see the fun my son is having and the

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

professional,knowlegable,caring, and so much fun!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

give every child with a heart disease a special week at camp that they may never have heard of or been able to afford.

Ways to make it better...

it was a wonderful experience for our son. We feel truly blessed!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Not having the funds or space to send all children with heart disease.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Camp Odayin has brought our son joy and our family happiness.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

16 people found this review helpful

Camp Odayin Where do I start. My daughter Gina has been lucky enough to go to Camp Odayin the last four years. She was born with a heart condition called Heart Bock. Through the early years we were pretty alone on how this would affect her life and what changes she might have to go through. We were told By her great cardilogist that there was a 5 day summer camp that kids with varying heart issues were able to go and be able to see that there are kids out there with heart issues and they are thriving . She was able to go and at first was hesitant, not sure what to expect. When I dropped her off right away I knew thatthe camp would be great for her. The camp personnel were great! They were understanding and treated my daughter as an old family friend. When I picked here up the following week I practically had to drag her to the car and all she talked about the two and half hour trip back home was all the experiences she had and she could wait to go the following year. In closing Gina has become more accepting of her condition and more at ease that she can live a normal life. The camp personnel are to be commended and they have my thanks. steve trenhaile moose lake , mn

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the way they change a young girl who is scared and not sure what life hold for her due to her heart condition to a girl who is more comfortable and accepting and has a network of friends for support

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

not be able to do any better ..Keep up the good work! It is appreciated!!!!!!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

how they accept us into their family and jsut kids a chance to have fun and be worry free if even for a short time

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

kind, very friendly and excited to have a large group of kids for 5 days( not sure I could). They had medical staff and professionals always on site to deal with any situation that may arise.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

have a bigger camp with more kids!!!!

Ways to make it better...

I could have a day or two longer ( that is from my daughter)

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

be able to keep getting financial support to keep this great camp going.They need out support!!

One thing I'd also say is that...

thanks for all you do and keep it up

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2004-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

15 people found this review helpful

Camp Odayin was an awesome experience for my son. He enjoyed every bit of the camp experience, from making new friends young and old and participating in all camp events and activities. He wants to return to camp in 09.

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

Nothing it's perfect

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

kayaking, beach time and meeting new friends, and theme of the day!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Were great, my counselor had a good time between getting soaked in water.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Send a limo for me

Ways to make it better...

You have it all covered

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Topping fun ever year.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I had the best time ever

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-7-01

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