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!
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!
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!
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.
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. :)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is one of the best camps in the midwest. It is a camp dedicated to kids with heart disease. The staff and facilities are oustanding and better than any other summmer camp that I have ever worked at. Sincerely Michael G. Earing, MD
I have been a volunteer counselor at Camp Odayin for two summers now. Everything about this experience is FIRST CLASS! The staff is organized and caring. Every detail is thought of and taken care of. The campers (and volunteers) are given a week of outstanding and memorable experiences. Many choose to return year after year. That speaks for itself!
I absolutely loved it!! Camp Odayin gave me a chance to spend a week away from the grind of work and a chance to meet different people from different places. It gave me a chance to have fun and see the world from kids' eyes. I thought the staff of Camp Odayin planned an awesome time for the kids and were very creative with their ideas. I definitely plan on volunteering again in 2009 to spend time with these great people!!
Camp Odayin is a wonderful organization that allows children with heart disease to expierene summer camp. As a councelor I had a wonderful time with my campers! Wonderful, respectful, mature young ladies. Sarah Meslow and the rest of the Camp Odayin staff do an awesome job of letting the volunteers know how much they are appreciated! The application and orientation process befor camp were very easy and organized. During my volunteer experience, I felt like I became part of the Camp Odayin family, and hope to volunteer again next summer! Overall, I highly recommend this experience!!
If you are looking to have some fun and have a totally rewarding experience... Camp Odayin is the camp for you!!! I have spent three summers with Camp Odayin, as a nurse, and I would give it a top notch review! The kids are great and the camp is well organized.