Winter Camp – Grades 1-12

in Amery, WI

Camp Odayin will not be hosting a traditional Winter Camp in 2023. In it’s place, please keep President’s Day weekend open for a day of wintery-fun coming your way soon!

Please contact info@campodayin.org if you have any questions or to be added to our heart family email list to receive future applications and opportunities to gather.

Overview

Winter Camp is hosted annually over President’s Day weekend at Camp Wapogasset in Amery, WI, one hour and twenty minutes from the Twin Cities. Free round trip transportation is provided from Minneapolis/St. Paul and Madison.

In February, campers receive the themed packing list and additional details after registration. Please contact us at (651) 351-9185 or  info@campodayin.org if you would like support with our online registration.

Payment & Financial Support

The cost for a camper to attend camp is $25, or whatever a family chooses to pay. Payment options within registration start at $0 to ensure that cost is not a barrier to joining us. Families who choose to pay more than $25 receive a tax receipt for their additional contribution. If you have questions on the cost of camp, contact the Camp Odayin office at info@campodayin.org.

If it would be beneficial to your family, we offer transportation support by reimbursing up to $300 for your travel costs.  Contact the Camp Odayin office at brooke@campodayin.org for details on the travel cost reimbursement process.

Camp Staff

Camp Odayin is staffed with medical professionals and trained cabin counselors who supervise campers at all times. A pediatric cardiologist is at camp all weekend long, 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.

Transportation

Campers can either be dropped off and picked up from camp, or take a coach bus that we provide (or a combination of the two) at no cost. The busses depart from Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN and Madison, WI. If you have any questions regarding transportation, please contact info@campodayin.org.

Photos

Click here to see photos from our last session of Winter Camp!

young boy holding sled in front of pile of snow
Four campers in winter gear
youth on winter tubes getting ready to go down the sledding hill

Thinking About Coming to Camp?

Eligibility Guidelines to Attend Camp Odayin

What are the eligibility guidelines to attend Camp Odayin?
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 age appropriate knowledge of their heart disease and functions cognitively within 1-2 years of their age
  • 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, campers attending any in-person camp, other than Family Camp, must fulfill these essential functions:

  • The child must be independent in living skills and daily self – care (dress, shower and eat independently and is self- sufficient during their school day)
  • The child willingly participates and effectively interacts in group-based activities
  • The child adjusts successfully to a community living environment
  • The child demonstrates nonaggressive, cooperative behavior

Still not sure if you should apply? Here are some examples of abilities and behaviors that typically results in a successful Camp Odayin experience:  Does my child…

  • accept and follow directions?
  • respect others’ personal space?
  • adjust to sleeping in a new setting and communal living?
  • tolerate unexpected changes in schedule?
  • advocate for their own needs?
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:

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.

Registration FAQs

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. If your camper is currently in kindergarten, you will have to wait until next year to consider Winter Camp. Likewise, if your camper is a senior in high school, they have aged out of our residential program and we encourage them to join our alumni camper group, Mortimer’s Mates.

Camp Rules & Culture

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 info@campodayin.org.

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.

Find Directions

Dad and son walking on path in the fall

We partner with Camp Wapo to host our Winter Camp near Minneapolis & St. Paul. The drive from the Twin Cities is about 1.5 hours. This beautiful camp location is nestled in trees on a peninsula between two lakes. Cabins include bunk beds with mattresses and private bathrooms. Walking paths are paved.

Stay up-to-date with Camp Odayin!

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.

Great Nonprofits: Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Charities Review Council Meets Standards

Contact Us

Office Address

  • 3503 High Point Drive North
  • Suite 250
  • Oakdale, MN 55128