A Minnesota Camp with Heart

(Originally published in the Star Tribune August 19, 2003 – By Robert Franklin)

“Ten-year-old Donovan Bays says a big attraction at camp this summer was “being able to swim without my shirt.”

That’s because he wasn’t self-conscious about his heart surgery scars. Nearly all the kids at Camp Odayin — and several of the counselors — have them.

Odayin is billed as the only camp in the Midwest for children with heart disease, children who may be the only heart patients in their schools, those who often didn’t go to other camps because of embarrassment or because the camps couldn’t ensure their care.

At Odayin, “it’s good to know you’re not the only one who has this disease,” said Matthew Mangen, 10.”

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Camp Odayin: For Children with Heart Disease

We provide fun, safe and supportive camp experiences and community building opportunities for young people with heart disease and their families. 

We welcome people of any race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.

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