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Welcome to Camp Oki
Welcome to Camp Oki

Thank-you Note

At Camp Oki we provide a safe and enjoyable atmosphere where children can have fun, feel safe and enjoy the excitement of being a child. Below is a thank-you note from one of our camper's parents that shows how Camp Oki helps kids with special hearts.

"I wanted to say a very heartfelt thanks for allowing our daughter to attend Camp Oki. This past year wasn't the greatest as our daughter was challenged with the feeling of not fitting in with the rest of her classmates since her cardiac arrest in May 2011. It didn't help that the school tended to single her out from various PE activities, despite all the information we gave from her doctors regarding physical activity for her heart condition. The first year after our daughter’s cardiac arrest was a bit trying on the school, but we should have it worked out better now for this year. This past year, and especially this summer, also brought fears from our daughter of "what if I have another cardiac arrest". Enough that I noticed she didn’t do as much physical activity this past summer as she did last year, even less than the few months following her cardiac arrest. Our daughter was in good spirits this past summer, but you could see her confidence levels starting to sink overall. She wasn’t keen at first to go to camp, citing many excuses that amounted to low confidence, but we encouraged her. She gave us ‘the deal’ that she would go but we had to camp nearby in case she couldn’t deal with the stress of camp. She found out she finally had no more excuses not to go. That first day leaving her was difficult on all of  us, because it was the first time our daughter was gone from us for any real length of time beyond overnight for a night or two. Our daughter’s eyes were brimming with tears, but she bravely fought them back. The first photo on the Facebook Camp Oki site showed our daughter was already involved when the buses came, so we knew she was in good hands.

I cannot tell you enough how much you and your angels at Camp Oki have helped our daughter. In one short week, she found her confidence, along with finding many new friends "like her" (our daughter's words) that she still keeps in close contact with The first day of school is usually for wearing the newest 'coolest' clothes, however our daughter put away her outfit she had picked out and chose to wear her Camp Oki shirt and necklace proudly. From what I hear, she proudly told everyone about Camp Oki, the kids and staff that attended, the things she did. She still talks non-stop about it.  She’s back to chattering with her friends, with everyone, back to activities… this is the 'old' our daughter that existed before the cardiac arrest in May 2011. Her principal has noticed an increased spring in our daughter’s walk and talk from last year. Our daughter is even back to riding her bike to school again!   

Being accepted with her heart is what our daughter needed to feel like herself. It didn’t matter what we told her, or what her friends told her. Our daughter had to actually feel it for herself. Camp Oki provided an atmosphere that allowed our daughter to see that she’s not alone, that there are other kids with special hearts like hers. Our daughter connected with her new friends on Facebook and Text Plus the moment we got back to the campground, and has told me that she’s talked with a few since about how they handle their own limitations at school. Camp Oki has provided the opportunity for a friendship support for our daughter, a valued support system that she can use whenever she needs it. After a week of wonder and some worries, we knew the moment we arrived to pick her up that our daughter was having a great time. Our daughter verified this when upon finally seeing us standing there, she gave us hugs and said "I cannot wait to come back next year!". She didn’t want to leave camp at all!

I'm not sure if you knew but our daughter’s career dream the past few years has been to be a nurse. But since her cardiac arrest, our daughter has chosen to specialize in Paeds Cardiology and work at SickKids in Toronto. She’s always connected well to young kids and feels as a Cardiac Nurse this is one way she can not only help kids as she says "like her" but also give back to a community that has helped her. And now according to the school, she’s added to her career dream to one day be a part of the volunteer team of medical staff for Camp Oki. God willing, her heart condition will not worsen over time as we continue to help her strive for her goals.

Thank you all. The opportunity you give kids is astounding. Our daughter is only one child of so many who’s hearts you’ve touched. You helped give our daughter back her life, both physically and emotionally. Just to see the light back in our daughter's eyes has meant so much to us. Please let us know if there is anything at all we can do to help Camp Oki, be it help with fundraisers, administration or even volunteer next year. You run a camp full of angels and we are truly blessed that our daughter could be a part of that."