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January 12, 2009

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January 12, 2009

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!!

The Great!

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

Ways to make it better...

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

do it just like Sara is doing it!

More feedback...

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

January 9, 2009

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January 9, 2009

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

The Great!

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.

Ways to make it better...

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.

More feedback...

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

January 6, 2009

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January 6, 2009

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.

The Great!

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

that our child was a camper and loved it.

Ways to make it better...

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

More feedback...

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.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

January 5, 2009

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January 5, 2009

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!

The Great!

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

my children

More feedback...

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

January 3, 2009

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January 3, 2009

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

The Great!

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.

Ways to make it better...

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

More feedback...

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

January 2, 2009

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January 2, 2009

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

The Great!

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

Ways to make it better...

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!!!!!!

More feedback...

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

January 2, 2009

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January 2, 2009

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.

Photos

Ways to make it better...

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

Nothing it's perfect

More feedback...

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

January 2, 2009

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January 2, 2009

Campodayin is a great camp. My son, who is 13 years old now, has gone for the past 5 summers & truly looks forward to it each summer. We live in Michigan but there is no other camp around that he could go to that I would feel comfortable sending him to. He is not able to go to other camps because of his heart condition but he truly enjoys all the activities & I am comfortable knowing he is getting the medical care he needs. He loves all the staff & activities. They do an exceptional job at Campodayin making it a great experience for each camper!!

More feedback...

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

they have great communication with the families of campers.

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

very friendly & helpful.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

January 1, 2009

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January 1, 2009

My son was born with a complex congenital heart defect that through a series of surgeries was able to live a very normal life. But where ever you look there never seemed to be anyone else that had to deal with the Doctor visits or the need to take medications everyday. When he was about 13 years old we were discussing the fact that so many other kids had camps that would offer a time to get a way. They had camps for asthma,cancer etc. I think when we sent him to boy scout camp we made the counselors nervous. The first year my husband was able to go along, but in his second year he went solo with the other boys. I can't tell you after dropping him off at this remote camp site how nervous I was and continued to be for the entire week that he was gone. So the next time we went to the cardiologist we asked if they had heard of any camp that was out there for kids with congenital heart defects. The were able to offer us a brochure on Camp Odayin. It showed a brochure with kids just having fun. Of course for us the comforting fact was that they also told of the volunteer medical staff and facility that they have on hand and how close the Brainerd hospital would be if needed. We talked it over and signed him up. The first year we made sure that we drove him up to the Camp Odayin site. What a beautiful location. You could see the trees and lake and the huge lodge they use for a meeting site. We dropped our son off and checked in with the counseling staff to drop off all of our sons medications. Then we were dropped like a hot potato as he was welcomed in that year for a large lunch spread. Before we left they did let us peek in at the medical facility, it really assured us that he would be fine if anything came up. That was the first of five years that our son went to camp. The kids are able to do everything that any other camp kid can do .. and probably more. They have horseback riding, banana boats, swimming, archery, crafts, games, campfires, and every year they have a themed party. The ones I can remember are prom, toga party, back to the 70's, and the all-american day. Over the years he has met a lot of good friends, in fact he is dating a young lady he met at camp three years ago. The staff is awesome. They are so giving and caring. We are really thrilled with their medical director they have currently, he is one of our doctors that we have had. And we know how wonderful and caring he is. Last year sadly is the last that he can go as a camper due to his age. They have now opened a mentoring counselor program that these young adults can come back and offer there wisdom to the group. If you can't tell Camp Odayin is one of my Hot Spots and I can't tell you how much the camp and all their people really are special to our hearts. We continue to do whatever we can to help support the camp with walk/runs - give back to the community meetings and they benefit dinners in the cold month of Feb. If you have a chance to go or work at this camp I would say you are a very lucky person

The Great!

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

fun , medical facility, personelle

Ways to make it better...

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

More feedback...

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

they treat the kids like they are part of the family

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

kind and knowledgable

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

get more kids involved to help them realize just how normal they are

Ways to make it better...

he could continue longer

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

December 31, 2008

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December 31, 2008

I'm the father of twin boys who both had the opportunity to attend Camp Odayin this past summer! They had the time of their lives! Their mom and I also were amazed that we never even worried about them while they were away because we just knew they were being treated with such special care and attention. We've also had the pleasure to attend their family camp as well as several other Camp Odayin activities. The Camp Odayin staff are extremely professional and are just over all great people. They always make us feel so welcome and provide us with some really great entertainment opportunities. I highly recommend anyone with a child who has a special heart to look into the opportunities with Camp Odayin. I promise you that you'll be glad that you did! Todd Swank

Photos

The Great!

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

the smiles of my twin boys who came home from camp with fascinating stories of fun activities and the joy of making new friends!

More feedback...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

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