Impact and Programs
This past year was once again atypical due to the pandemic. As was done in 2020, camp was adapted and offered virtually for winter, summer, and fall family programs. During the summer, we also successfully provided in-person camps with stringent COVID-19 protocols, including testing requirements and masks. To maximize accessibility, five summer Day Camps were hosted near Milwaukee, Chicago, Cedar Rapids, and east and west metro Twin Cities. We hosted campers who were juniors and seniors at a special ‘graduate camp’ in Crosslake, MN. In addition, we launched Ticker Talk, a free, online meet-up every other month for heart kids in grades 1-12. Our virtual camps, day camps, graduate camp, family camp, and parent retreats served 667 people from 11 states in 2021. After surveying our graduate campers this summer, 100% of them answered YES to the following questions: Do you feel happy when you are at camp? Do you make new friends when you are at camp? Do you try new things at camp? After coming to camp, do you think more positively about your heart condition? Our goal is to provide a fun, safe and supportive camp experience. Did we do this? Did you feel supported and encouraged by the Camp Odayin staff?
As we look ahead to 2022, we are establishing our next strategic plan, which includes a focus on fostering an increase in diversity, equity, and inclusion among our heart family by identifying and minimizing barriers to participation. We are striving to create communications and marketing materials that are more inclusive, strategize in areas such as donor and volunteer diversity, and grow brand awareness and education to prove that camp is good medicine for ALL children with heart disease! We plan to bring back our traditional Residential Summer camp programs as well as our traditional Family Camp programs. Our Winter Camp is moving to a day long outside arctic adventure. We anticipate our Moms Retreat and Dads Day will be well attended, while we know our attendance at our traditional camp programs might be decreased due to the pandemic, our vaccine requirement, and a result of serving health compromised children. We will continue to offer our hearts@home virtual camp for those campers who prefer online programming. We're hopeful and optimistic going into 2022.
Community or Constituency Served
Young people with heart disease and their families.
Geographic Area Served
We mainly serve campers from the five state region of the Midwest but also serve campers from all over the country.