CAMP ODAYIN

Kids Play. Worries Rest. Fun Happens.

Oakdale, MN   |  www.campodayin.org

Mission

Camp Odayin provides fun, safe and supportive camp experiences and community building opportunities for young people with heart disease and their families.

Ruling year info

2001

Executive Director

Sara Meslow

Main address

3503 High Point Drive North Suite 250

Oakdale, MN 55128 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

41-2014358

NTEE code info

Heart and Circulatory System (G43)

Other Youth Development N.E.C. (O99)

Recreational and Sporting Camps (Day, Overnight, etc.) (N20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Camp Odayin serves children and families affected by congenital heart disease from across the country, with the primary group of campers coming from the Upper Midwest. There are other organizations which provide similar experiences around the U.S., but they are geographically distant. The need for Camp Odayin is evidenced by two factors: the number of children with heart disease and the number of campers and families participating and the growth of the programs. Each year, approximately 1 in every 100 children is born with heart disease. This adds up to thousands of children and families across the Upper Midwest born into a life filled with the challenges of managing significant heart disease. Camp Odayin fills the gap for a regionally-based program specifically designed to support physical and emotional health and wellness for youth with heart disease and their families. At camp, children have the life changing opportunity to experience the power of belonging.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Winter Camp

Winter Camp is hosted in February during a three day weekend at Camp Wapo in Amery, Wisconsin. Campers with heart disease in grades 1-11 reunite with their heart family and enjoy a themed weekend and fun in the snow, tubing and playing broomball.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
People with diseases and illnesses

In the summer, three sessions of Residential Camp are held at Camp Knutson in Crosslake, Minnesota. Campers with heart disease in grades 1-11 experience five days of horseback riding, archery, nature, arts and crafts, water sports and much more.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
People with diseases and illnesses

In October, Family Camp is hosted at Camp Wapo in Amery, Wisconsin, near Minneapolis / St. Paul. During this weekend program, parents, heart patients and siblings laugh and learn while building relationships with other families who share similar life experiences.

Population(s) Served
Families
People with diseases and illnesses

In the summer, one session of Residential Camp is held at Camp Lutherdale in Elkhorn, WI. Campers with heart disease in grades 1-11 experience five days of zipline, archery, nature, arts and crafts, water sports and much more.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
People with diseases and illnesses

In November, Family Camp is hosted at Wonderland Camp in Camp Lake, WI, near Milwaukee and Chicago. During this weekend program, parents, heart patients and siblings laugh and learn while building relationships with other families who share similar life experiences.

Population(s) Served
Families
People with diseases and illnesses

The Moms Retreat is a time for moms of young people with heart disease to connect for support, education and empowerment. The Saturday to Sunday retreat includes meals, lodging, optional spa and yoga activities, and fabulous guest speakers at the Water Street Inn in Stillwater, MN, near Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Camp Odayin welcomes transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming parents to attend Dads Day or the Moms Retreat.

Population(s) Served
Parents
Adults

The Moms Retreat is a time for moms of young people with heart disease to connect for support, education and empowerment. The Saturday to Sunday retreat includes meals, lodging, optional spa and yoga activities, and fabulous guest speakers at the Harbor Shores on Lake Geneva, near Milwaukee/Chicago.

Camp Odayin welcomes transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming parents to attend Dads Day or the Moms Retreat.

Population(s) Served
Parents
Adults

Ticker Talk is a free, online Camp Odayin meet up for heart kids in grades 1-12. Our hour together is a mini camp experience, full of campy-fun and interactive trivia, games, speakers and more. All participants receive a package of treats mailed to their house after attending. Ticker Talk gatherings are hosted on Zoom every other month during the school year.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Children
Preteens

Dads Day is a day of outdoor recreation on the shores of Lake Minnetonka to build camaraderie and connection between parents of children with heart disease.

Camp Odayin welcomes transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming parents to attend Dads Day or the Moms Retreat.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Parents

Where we work

Accreditations

American Camping Association (ACA) - Accreditation 2004

American Camping Association (ACA) - Accreditation 2007

American Camping Association (ACA) - Accreditation 2010

American Camping Association (ACA) - Accreditation 2013

American Camping Association (ACA) - Accreditation 2016

American Camping Association (ACA) - Accreditation 2018

American Camping Association (ACA) - Accreditation 2019

American Camping Association (ACA) - Accreditation 2020

American Camping Association (ACA) - Accreditation 2021

American Camping Association (ACA) - Accreditation 2022

Awards

Safety 1st Designation 2007

Markel Insurance Company

Met all Charity Review Council's Accountability Standards 2007

Charities Review Council

Safety 1st Designation 2008

Markel Insurance Company

Safety 1st Designation 2009

Markel Insurance Company

Safety 1st Designation 2010

Markel Insurance Company

Met all Charity Review Council's Accountability Standards 2010

Charities Review Council

Safety 1st Designation 2011

Markel Insurance Company

Safety 1st Designation 2012

Markel Insurance Company

Safety 1st Designation 2013

Markel Insurance Company

Met all Charity Review Council's Accountability Standards 2013

Charities Review Council

Safety 1st Designation 2014

Markel Insurance Company

Safety 1st Designation 2015

Markel Insurance Company

Safety 1st Designation 2016

Markel Insurance Company

Met all Charity Review Council's Accountability Standards 2016

Charities Review Council

Safety 1st Designation 2017

Markel Insurance Company

Met all Charity Review Council's Accountability Standards 2019

Charities Review Council

Met all Charity Review Council's Accountability Standards 2022

Charities Review Council

Affiliations & memberships

American Camp Association - Member 2004

American Camp Association - Member 2006

American Camp Association - Member 2006

American Camp Association - Member 2007

American Camp Association - Member 2008

American Camp Association - Member 2009

American Camp Association - Member 2010

American Camp Association - Member 2011

American Camp Association - Member 2012

American Camp Association - Member 2013

American Camp Association - Member 2014

American Camp Association - Member 2015

American Camp Association - Member 2005

American Camp Association - Member 2016

American Camp Association - Member 2017

American Camp Association - Member 2018

American Camp Association - Member 2019

American Camp Association - Member 2020

American Camp Association - Member 2021

American Camp Association - Member 2022

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with diseases and illnesses

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Volunteers support Camp Odayin as counselors, nurses and cardiologists at camp programs, fundraiser planning committee members, event volunteers and administrative/office volunteers.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with diseases and illnesses

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Within this metric, the term 'client' refers to unique camp program participants - young people with heart disease and their family members. The decrease in 2020 & 2021 is a result of the pandemic.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Camp Odayin's board has identified the following key organizational goals:

• Ensure that campers participate in all programs for a minimal fee of only $25. Though this fee may be waived depending on the camper's situation;

• Provide a safe space for children with heart disease to build community and develop confidence;

• Aide families impacted by childhood heart disease and help them to create networks of support;

• Establish and maintain a full, highly qualified and well trained volunteer camp staff with a high return rate from season to season for all programs;

• Foster a safe environment, where children and families can learn about themselves, each other and their community; and

• Increase the visibility of Camp Odayin in the cardiac community, particularly in Wisconsin and Illinois where expansion is taking place.

Camp Odayin enables children with heart disease to put aside their worries and enjoy a week away at camp, participating and enjoying activities just as their healthy peers would. Additionally, parents and caregivers enjoy a much-needed week of respite with the knowledge that their 'heart' child is well cared for and in a safe environment. The American Heart Association has long linked pediatric heart disease with mental and emotional health issues such as anxiety, depression and stress.

Children refresh at camp, surrounded by others who understand their challenges, instilling a deep sense of belonging and fostering self-esteem. The 'power of belonging' deeply impacts our participants as camp experiences and activities support healthy emotional and mental growth.

Camp Odayin is supported by a dedicated staff of volunteer nurses, cardiologists, and cabin counselors who provide for the emotional and medical needs of children with heart disease.

The cost to attend any Camp Odayin program is $25 per person, or whatever a family chooses to pay. Payment options within the registration start at $0 per person to ensure that cost is not a barrier to joining us. As a nonprofit organization, Camp Odayin raises funds from individual donors, corporations, foundations and fundraisers each year.

Since 2001, the Camp Odayin mission and programs have stimulated corporate and individual relationships to ensure organizational security. Camp Odayin is now a mature nonprofit with a proven track record of successful programming. We consistently provide a safe environment for our children and families to learn about themselves, each other, and their communities. We have met all of the Charities Review Council's Accountability Standards, demonstrating our commitment to responsibility and transparency. Public trust is important to us and when it comes to charitable giving, we want people to know Camp Odayin is a financially responsible and trustworthy organization. In everything we do, we strive to pursue our mission, maintain the camp's quality and accessibility, and prepare for the future.

Camp Odayin has a small, focused year-round staff of one part-time and four full-time employees, along with a contingent of contract staff who provide support during peak program times. The Executive Director, Sara Meslow, is also the founder of the organization. The Assistant Director, Alison Boerner and the Finance Director, Matt Olson, have both been on staff since 2007. Kris Lukkarila joined as Office Manager in 2017 and Brooke Hohag, previous Residential Camp Co-Director, started as the year round Program Director in 2019. In the summer, the staff also includes a Summer Camp Leadership Team, a Nursing Director and a Medical Director in both Minnesota and Wisconsin.

All of our camp programs are staffed by volunteers, many of whom have cardiovascular disease themselves. Generous individuals volunteer to support camp programs as counselors, nurses, cardiologists or program leaders. In addition, there are volunteers who assist Camp Odayin throughout the year with our fundraisers, support events, and camp preparation. As a small year-round staff, we rely heavily on the efforts of volunteers.

Our Board of Directors represents the diverse network of medical, business, and private partnerships required to support the full set of programs Camp Odayin offers. We are proud to have such a strong set of community leaders providing direction and support.

Camp Odayin has experienced consistent programmatic growth since the inception of the organization. In response to this growth, our Board of Directors approved key strategic expansions. In 2014, Camp Odayin expanded the existing Family Camp program from one location in Amery, Wisconsin which is close in proximity to the Twin Cities, to a second location in Camp Lake, Wisconsin. This additional location primarily serves families from the metro Chicago, Madison and Milwaukee areas. In 2019, these two Family Camp locations served 114 families combined, affirming the decision to expand the program.

The Residential Camp program, has also experienced consistent growth. This growth, coupled with Family Camp's successful expansion to the Chicago/Milwaukee area, led our Board to approve another expansion. In 2017, Camp Odayin began offering Residential Camp in Wisconsin for children from Wisconsin and Illinois and neighboring states. The first year of Residential Camp in Wisconsin served 61 campers, followed by an increase to 81 campers in 2018, and 102 campers in 2019.

Started in 2018, the Moms Retreat is the newest program offered by Camp Odayin. The Moms Retreat is a time for moms of young people with heart disease to connect for support, education and empowerment. The Saturday to Sunday retreat includes meals, lodging, optional spa and yoga activities, and fabulous guest speakers. In 2019, the second annual retreat was attended by 62 grateful mothers.

In 2020, due to the pandemic, summer campers experienced [email protected] Virtual Camp rather than our Residential Camp program. Through [email protected], we served 177 children from 15 different states. During the fall, 53 families experienced Camp Odayin's virtual Family Camp. Although camp looked different in 2020, we successfully achieved our goals of safety, connection, community, and accessibility.

Financials

CAMP ODAYIN
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

CAMP ODAYIN

Board of directors
as of 10/27/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Tom Williams

Boston Scientific

Term: 2021 -

Sara Meslow

Camp Odayin Executive Director

Dr. Brian Joy

The University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital

Fred Hoiberg

University of Nebraska

Dr. Jonathan Johnson

Mayo Clinic

John Mack

Medtronic

Leah Saarela

Medtronic / Parent of a Camper

Dr. Andy Schneider

The Children’s Heart Clinic

Erik Schuck

Dem-Con Companies / Parent of a Camper

Tom Williams

Boston Scientific

Maura Flynn-Galganski, RN

Herma Heart Institute, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Vicky Hidalgo

US Bank

Michael Stuart

First Midwest Bank / Parent of a Camper

Dr. Shweta Stuart

NorthShore University Health System / Parent of a Camper

Micaela Griffin

State of Minnesota Department of Commerce / Former Camper

Tom Hipkins

Fredrikson & Byron

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/27/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability