Camp Odayin’s summer camp for children with heart disease in grades 1-11 is an overnight experience where campers benefit from connecting with other young people who may share similar health, emotional, and social concerns. Camper eligibility is determined upon recommendation by a pediatric cardiologist and approval by the Camp Odayin Medical Director. The camp directors and your child’s cardiologist can help you assess if your child should apply to attend camp. Free bus transportation is available from Minneapolis-Saint Paul, up to camp and back.
This session of summer camp is overnight and is for children in grades 9-11.
Summer Camp registration is OPEN!
The deadline to register is April 1st.
There are three steps to the registration process. Step one is completed by you, the final two steps are completed by your child’s cardiology office. Set aside 30 minutes to fill in the registration form.
1. Go to https://portal.campodayin.org/ for online registration. The form must be completed in one sitting because information cannot be not saved. With the online registration form you will need:
- Your child’s cardiac diagnosis, current medication and allergy information
- Information about special education services or accommodations at school. If your child is on an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan at school, you can upload, mail or email a copy of the plan to Camp Odayin. If your child is new to overnight camp or has had changes to their plan, the IEP or 504 plan will be required for acceptance. These are also due on April 1st.
- Immunization records (we are not collecting COVID-19 vaccination details)
- Insurance information (if you have insurance)
- Have your child close by to answer personal questions and upload a favorite photo (optional)
- Confirmation on how your child will get to and from camp
- Payment made with a credit card. You will have the option to choose between $0-$1000. Families who choose to pay more than $50 receive a tax receipt for their additional contribution.
2. The Medical form is filled out by a nurse at your child’s cardiology clinic. Once you complete the online registration, our system will automatically request the forms required by your child’s cardiology office. We work with your child’s cardiology clinic to complete the form and obtain recent clinic notes and test results.
3. Approval from your cardiologist is provided.
What grade do I refer to when registering my camper?
Use your child’s current grade when selecting a session, even though your child’s school year will end by the time residential camp occurs. For campers currently in 6th grade, register your child for the Chippewa session if they are still considered elementary schoolers OR register them for the Flambeau session if they attend a middle school. If your camper is currently in kindergarten, you will have to wait until next year to consider summer camp. Likewise, if your camper is a senior in high school, they have aged out of our summer camp program. However, they are invited to register for Hero Hangouts and attend through their senior year! After graduating high school, former campers are invited to join the Mortimer’s Mates Alumni group.
When can I expect to find out if my camper has been accepted?
- All Residential Camp registration materials are due April 1st.
- The Camp Odayin staff will work with your child’s cardiology clinic to get medical files and approval. We may ask for your assistance communicating with your cardiologist clinic.
- All camper files will be reviewed in April and May by our medical directors & leadership team.
- If your child does not meet our criteria for acceptance or if we need additional information, we will contact you.
- Accepted campers will hear about acceptance in May and additional camp details are shared in June.
Payment & Financial Support
There is a $50 registration fee per camper. Our Pay-What-You-Can (PWYC) model for camp registrations supports our commitment to make our programs accessible to everyone in our community. It costs Odayin $1,000 per camper for one week of summer camp and we ask families to pay what they can toward that cost. There will always remain an option to pay $0. If you have questions on the cost of camp, contact the Camp Odayin office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If it would be beneficial to your family, we offer transportation support by reimbursing up to $200 for your travel costs. Contact the Camp Odayin office at email@example.com for pre-approval and details on the travel cost reimbursement process.
Camp Odayin is staffed with medical professionals and trained cabin counselors who supervise campers at all times. Two pediatric cardiologists are at camp for all five days, as well as a nurse per every 7-8 children. Camp counselors sleep in cabins with the campers and they have been trained with basic cardiac knowledge as well as how to deal with homesickness. Each cabin’s nurse oversees the health of their assigned campers and distributes their medications. Camp Odayin has a fully equipped cardiac health center, which is staffed around the clock. Accommodations can be easily made for campers who need medical attention during sleeping hours.
There are many ways to get your child to camp! Campers may be dropped off and picked up at camp, ride our coach bus that meets in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area to and from camp (at no cost), or a combination of both.
Additionally, Angel Flight Central is a wonderful service that can provide flight transportation for our campers that otherwise would not be able to attend camp. This service is only available to campers departing from Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Missouri, Minnesota, or Wisconsin. Campers flying with Angel Flight Central will not ride the bus to camp. Rather, they fly directly into the Brainerd, MN airport. We provide transportation from the Brainerd airport to/from camp.
To get the necessary forms, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Fax or mail your completed forms to Camp Odayin by June 1st. All completed paperwork will be collected by Camp Odayin and sent to Angel Flight Central. Incomplete paperwork will not be submitted. We are sticking firmly to this deadline to give Angel Flight Central plenty of time to secure your flight(s). Obtaining an Angel Flight is not guaranteed and determining your backup plan is encouraged.
Click here to see photos from our last session of Namekagon!
Please contact email@example.com if you have any questions or to be added to our heart family email list to receive future applications and opportunities to gather.
Thinking About Coming to Camp?
Eligibility Guidelines to Attend Camp Odayin
Is Camp Odayin able to accept campers with additional needs unrelated to their hearts?
When a child applies who has other diagnoses, illnesses, disabilities (physical or developmental), or diseases, Camp Odayin reviews those files, including their IEP and/or 504 plans, within a few weeks of submission to determine if Camp Odayin is an appropriate fit for the child. We regret that Camp Odayin does not have the facilities or the staff to care for children with developmental, cognitive, or physical disabilities that require one-on-one support.
Is My Child Ready for an Overnight Camp Experience?
Parents often want to know if their child is ready for an overnight camp experience. While there isn’t one “sure fire” way to determine this, the questions in these articles can be used to help determine child (and parent) readiness:
- Prepare Your Child…And Yourself for Camp (Kiddos Magazine)
- 7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Sending Kids to Sleepaway Camp (today.com)
What are some practical ways to prepare your child emotionally for overnight camp?
- Discuss what camp will be like before your child leaves. Watching the Odayin video on our website will give them a good “feel” for their time with us. Call the camp office if you have questions
- Make sure your child knows that you will not talk by phone while they are at camp. Let them know they can go to their counselor or nurse with ANYTHING they might need, or with any issues they’re having while at camp
- If your child has not spent much time away from home, there is still time to practice! Arrange a sleepover at a friend’s house or with some other family members
- If your child is hesitant about going to camp, don’t bribe them. Linking a successful stay at camp to a material object can send the wrong message. The reward should be your child’s newfound confidence and independence!
- Let your child know that you’ll be seeing all the fun they have through the website photos! We will post these each day whenever we can, so check throughout the week for new pictures
- Avoid “escape clauses.” Telling your child that you can pick them up early if they aren’t happy sets them up for failure. If they are feeling nervous, emphasize all the fun times, new activities, and nice people at camp.
Camp Rules & Culture
A Sample Day at Camp
7:20 AM Polar Bear Swim
8:00 AM Flag Ceremony / Morning Mindset
8:15 AM Breakfast
9:15 AM Three or four activity rotations (archery, horseback riding, arts & crafts, nature, boat rides, and more)
12:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM Rest hour
2:30 PM Waterfront Time (swimming, canoeing, waterskiing, tubing, paddle boats, fishing)
4:30 PM Cabin time / Free time / Shower hour
5:30 PM Dinner
6:30 PM All Camp Games / Evening Theme (such as campfire songs, ballfield games, bounce houses, talent show and fire trucks)
8:00 PM Snack and Cabin Closing
8:30 PM Lights Out
Can my camper bring their cell phone to camp?
We maintain a strict cell phone and electronics policy for our campers and staff. Campers may not bring cell phones, smart watches, drones, or iPods to camp (or anything that can connect to the internet). At check in, campers and parents verify that phones and electronics are not packed for camp. If so, we will ask the parents to take the phone home with them or we’ll take care of it for the week. Any cell phone or electronic brought to camp will be confiscated and a consequence will be enforced. Calling home or texting friends distracts from the camp experience and is not allowed. Please respect this policy. If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I communicate with my camper?
Campers are encouraged to communicate with their cabin counselors and nurse. Parents are only contacted in certain extreme cases. However, campers are able to receive letters mailed to them while at camp (packages/goodie boxes are not allowed). Additionally, you may send your camper daily letters through the Bunk Notes program. Information on how to register for Bunk Notes is shared with guardians after acceptance.
Can parents/guardians stay at camp?
Family members may not stay at camp with their camper. If a family member of a camper is interested in volunteering for camp, we ask that you apply for a session that your camper is not attending.