General FAQs

Q: What does “Odayin” in the name “Camp Odayin” mean?
A: The beautiful heartland of Minnesota is home to Ojibwa people. Our name derives its name from the Ojibwa word for heart, “odayin”.

Q: What are Camp Odayin’s camper acceptance guidelines?
A: Camp Odayin is a place specifically for children with heart disease. Although we do not accept or decline any campers over the phone or via e-mail, these guidelines are intended to help you as a parent determine if you should submit an application. Please contact us if you have questions prior to submitting an application.

In order to have an application reviewed by our medical team, the child must meet the following requirements:

  • The child’s primary health issue is heart disease
  • The child has knowledge of their heart disease
  • The child is seen by a cardiologist on a regular basis
  • The child is either on a cardiac medication or has had a surgical intervention

In addition, the child must fulfill these essential camper functions:

  • The child must meet their personal needs independently (dress self, shower independently, eat independently and maintain personal hygiene independently)
  • The child participates and effectively interacts in group based activities and a community living environment
  • The child demonstrates nonviolent behavior

If the child has any other illnesses, disabilities (physical or developmental), or diseases, Camp Odayin will review those files on an individual basis and determine if Camp Odayin is an appropriate fit for the child.

Q: What if my child cannot or chooses not to participate in some of the camp activities?
A: Our staff understands and respects the difference in each child. We try to make every activity available at many different levels, and hope your child will choose a level of participation in which they are comfortable.

Q: As a parent of camper, how can I volunteer?
A: Volunteers are the heart of our program. Although we do not allow parents of campers to volunteer as camp staff during the same week of camp their child is attending, we have many opportunities for parents to volunteer throughout the year in our office, at fundraisers, etc.

Please contact us to be included in these volunteer communications.

Q: What is the goal of a Camp Odayin camp experience?
A: At Camp Odayin, we strive for the following goals and outcomes for campers:

  • Increase acceptance of themselves and others
  • Develop and improve friendship skills
  • Become responsibly engaged through being a team player as a part of cabin group
  • Gain a greater sense of independence through being away from home and unplugged

Q: What is Camp Odayin’s non-discrimination policy?
A: Camp Odayin serves all people regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status.

Residential Camp FAQs

Q: What kind of medical attention and facilities are available to my child at residential camp?
A: Camp Odayin is fully staffed with medical professionals. Two pediatric cardiologists are at camp for all five days, as well as a cardiac nurse per every 7-8 children. In addition, our counselors have been trained with basic cardiac knowledge. Camp Odayin has a fully equipped cardiac health center, which is staffed around the clock.

Q: How will my child be placed in a cabin?
A: Campers are placed in cabins with other campers of the same gender and age range. We also consider your child’s health needs, in order to create a well-balanced cabin group. Counselors sleep in cabins with campers.

Q: What is the application process?
A: Parents in our database will get an email from us with a link to online registration (available March 1st). The registration link will also be posted on our website and Facebook page at that time. Parents fill out their portion of the application and pay a $25 fee online (or mail in a check). A confirmation email is sent to the parent letting them know their portion is completed. It will then instruct them to forward a paragraph to their child’s cardiologist office (we have listed email addresses for many clinics, if the clinic name is not there, parents will need to call and get an email address) requesting them to fill out the medical portion of the application.

Once the cardiology clinic finishes their portion (clinic notes from last visit, ekg and echo, clearance to attend), we are notified and consider the application “complete”. All completed applications are due May 1st and will be reviewed by the Camp Odayin Medical Director, Nursing Director and Executive Director. Parents are notified of camper acceptance mid-May.

Q: Is transportation provided to Residential Camp?
A: Your family has three options from which to choose:

  1. Ride the air conditioned coach bus (complete with movies, friends and camp songs) from the Minneapolis / St. Paul area
  2. Drive your child to camp (about 2.5-3.0 hours from the Twin Cities)
  3. Contact Angel Flight – a wonderful nonprofit organization providing flights to children for medical treatment or medically related camps. Families need to demonstrate a financial need to use Angel Flight services.

Day Camp FAQs

Q: What kind of medical attention and facilities are available to my child at day camp?
A: Camp Odayin is committed to your child’s safety. A cardiac nurse is always with the day camp group with the appropriate emergency first aid equipment including an AED and a pediatric cardiologist is on call. In addition, our counselors have been trained with basic cardiac knowledge.

Q: Who will take care of my child’s medication while at camp?
A: All medications that need to be distributed during Day Camp hours are kept and distributed by the nurse.

Q: What is the process for dropping off and picking up my child?
A: All campers must arrive at camp by 8:30 am each morning. Again, on Monday morning we invite parents to join us for the first half hour. We will use this time to fill you in on the week’s highlights and answer any of your questions. You may also discuss the possibility of carpooling with other families for the remainder of the week.

Family Camp FAQs

Q: My camper is not old enough to attend Camp Odayin in the summer; can we still attend Family Camp?
A: YES! Family Camp is open to any family that has a child with heart disease.

Q: What are the housing options at Family Camp?
A: There are a wide variety of options for your family. We offer private housing, shared housing with another family, hotel style living, or more rustic cabins. We do our best to fulfill family requests to make your weekend wonderful.

Winter Camp FAQs

Q: When is Winter Camp?
A: Winter Camp takes place each year over President’s Day weekend in February.

Q: How do I know if my child is eligible to attend Winter Camp?
A: Campers that attended Residential Camp the prior summer can register for Winter Camp

Q: What transportation is provided to and from Winter Camp?
A: Your family has two options from which to choose:

  1. Ride the coach bus (complete with movies, friends and camp songs) from the Minneapolis / St. Paul area
  2. Drive your child to camp (about 1 hour 15 minutes from Minneapolis / St. Paul to Amery, WI)

Please contact us with any other questions.