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  

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

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

This summer will be my sixth summer as a camp nurse at Odayin. When I signed up six years ago, I was expecting to enjoy a week away at camp, on a lake, with some fun kids. What I ended up with was a life-changing week and a second "family." The kids weren't just fun, they were amazing. I was with the oldest kids (ages 14-17) and was blown away by the respect and concern they showed for others. Everyone was included, no matter their looks or level of ability. As someone who has worked with kids for years, this was nothing short of amazing (especially for teens!). At camp there are no bullies or hurt feelings; only friends, encouragement, and smiles. The kids make life-long friends and it is pretty cool to see.

Camp itself is also like nothing I ever experienced in my days at camp as a kid. The cabins are clean and comfortable, the food tastes great, and the activities for the kids are ridiculously awesome. The summer staff up at Camp K are super qualified and always have fun things planned.

Lastly, the Odayin staff and volunteers are great. The staff are organized and enthusiastic. They treat the volunteers and kids with the utmost appreciation and respect. The volunteers are awesome people with huge hearts. I have made some of my closest friends with fellow staff and volunteers at camp.

Camp really is just one of the most fun, amazing, life-changing places in the world. It is not an understatement to call Odayin a "family." I hope to still be volunteering there as a nurse in thirty years when I am old and gray!

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?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

This will be my fourth summer volunteering at Camp Odayin as a camp doctor. This is a tremendous organization that offers a unique and amazing experience to children with heart disease. Part of this is ensuring that activities are safe and that staff is well-trained so that parents rest assured that their children are cared for while away. Fantastic leadership. I only hope they are able to expand further geographically in the near future so that more people can benefit from the services they provide.

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?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Last year was my first year as a "Camp Doc" at Camp Odayin - after hearing so many great things from my patients, it was great to get to finally go experience camp myself! Wonderful place filled with the best, most positive and uplifting folks you can imagine. I'm excited that I have several patients that will be going to camp this year for the first time. :)

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?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

15 people found this review helpful

I attended Campy Odayin as a counselor for the first time in 2008. My mom is a nurse at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and had gone the previous year. She came home after that week and couldn't stop talking about how much fun she had. I know the camp is for the kids, but all of us volunteers have just as much fun. While the camp may be for children with heart disease, you would never know it. The camp is no different than any other summer camp except for the trained nurses and doctors on hand. The kids do everything from crafts to boating to horseback riding and none of them act like they are sick. They make every moment of that week count because this is something they look forward to all year. I plan to attend next year. And maybe I'll volunteer for more than one week. That's how much fun I had and that's how much I want to help these kids enjoy the week away from home and with other kids just like them.

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

the eyes of the children who attended camp. Both my co-counselor and I and our campers were new to Camp Odayin this year. All of our girls were so excited to be there and want to come next year.

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

how much it has opened my eyes. I have been lucky in my life to never have been seriously ill. It makes a great difference in a child's life when he or she learns that she can go to a summer camp that has a staff able to accomodate them. They are not only safe and taken care of with a trained medical staff, but they meet other kids just like them. It not only a rewarding experience when it comes to friendship, but it gives them a sense of independence which they might not have ever experienced before.

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

so eager to help the kids have a great time at camp. You have to be a very special and strong person to attend this kind of summer camp.

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

pay to bring more children to camp who do not otherwise have the means to get there whether it be about money or transporation. There are already kids from other states and countries that come here. They are lucky enough to have the means to come. Some are not so lucky, but if we could help get them here, I know that this experience will be one of the best they have in their lives.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-7-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

16 people found this review helpful

What an amazing camp. It was professional, inspiring, heartwarming and most of all brilliant fun! Camp Odayin is a hugely important experience for the campers and a very worthwhile volunteering opportunity for the councilors. I traveled from New Zealand to volunteer at Camp Odayin and cherish every minute of it.

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

being involved in an organization that truly does make a significant difference to the lives of the children it supports.

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

dedicated, driven, passionate, caring, enthusiastic and considerate of all peoples needs.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-7-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

15 people found this review helpful

Camp Odayin is a wonderful not for profit organization. The organization sponsors events in addition to camp throughout the year for children with heart disease and their families. Many of the kids at camp attend year after year and are certainly considered a part of the "Camp Odayin family". I had an amazing experience at camp as a volunteer because of the wonderful kids and Camp Odayin staff. The camp experience is made possible through donations from individuals and organizations throughout the year. One of the activities at camp that the kids participate in is creating cards for all of the donors. This activity provides the kids with the opportunity to reflect and put into words exactly how much the experience means to them. The kids take this activity very seriously and a lot of the cards created by the girls in my cabin were very touching. All in all the Camp Odayin team includes some of the nicest and most generous people that I know and because of this I will always have a place in my heart for this organization.

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

The faces of the children that have a great camp experience because of this organization.

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

not change a thing!

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

The camp experience and also seeing campers throughout the year at different activities.

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

all great people with big hearts.

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

do a lot of amazing things for kids and their families. The camp would be able to expand and accept more children from across the country and around the world to attend.

Ways to make it better...

I don't think I could have had a better experience.

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

funding - similar to many non-profits, I would guess that the economy is having an effect on the amount of donations that are received this year.

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

this is an organization that has the best interests of the kids at heart and they do everything possible to make sure that these kids have the chance to have fun and forget for one week out of the year that they have a special condition.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-11-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

14 people found this review helpful

This is a great camp to work with! The staff is extremely outgoing and energetic. They work hard at keeping the energy level very high to keep the campers motivated and having fun. The campers are also great kids. I spent three weeks of my summer having a blast with kids and getting to know some great Camp Odayin staff and I loved every minute of it. I'm planning on volunteering with them again next summer and would recommend it to anyone.

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

from all different backgrounds but extremely nice and outgoing people. They work hard at finding great volunteers.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-12-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

15 people found this review helpful

Camp Odayin was one of the best experiences of my life. The children are fantastic and the organization/leadership is unbelievable. Nearly every moment you spend there is memorable and rewarding.

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

Making kids who sometimes have little to smile about relax, enjoy life, and have fun.

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

not change anything

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

Working with and getting to know the kids. Just thinking about them right now is making me smile.

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

Fun, energetic, and unique all adding to the atmosphere that makes it so great

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

allow more kids to come.

Ways to make it better...

a little more (30 min) alone time was available

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

trying to improve (it is already pretty good)

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-8-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

15 people found this review helpful

Camp Odayin is an outstanding program that provides a camping experience for children with heart disease who might not otherwise be able to particpate in this type of activity. The fact that the camp is so well staffed, both medically and otherwise, is also a huge relief to the parents of these children. The world needs more organizations as loving, caring and giving as Camp Odayin and its staff.

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

the increased self-confidence of the kids and the smiles of joy and gratitude on the faces of the campers and their parents.

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

not change a thing.

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

the ability to serve as a role model for children with heart disease and help them to just be kids instead of patients.

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

helpful, loving, caring and giving, the best people one could imagine.

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

help every child with heart disease have the chance to just be a kid, if only for a week at a time.

Ways to make it better...

I lived closer to Minnesota and could help out on more activities.

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

the ability to continue recruiting excellent volunteer help, medical and lay, and the continuing need to raise funds.

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

Camp Odayin is a blessing, to the kids, their parents and me.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-7-01

 
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