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Summer Camp

Camp Ondessonk a residential youth camp provides summer camp programs for children ages 8-18 years old. We are proud to be accredited by the American Camp Association. This accreditation means that Camp Ondessonk thoroughly reviews operational practices, seeks the wisdom of other summer camp professionals, and continually makes improvements within our summer camp program to comply with more than 300 written standards. Only one-fourth of the summer camps in the United States have earned this mark of distinction. In addition, Camp Ondessonk’s Equestrian Program is accredited by the Certified Horsemanship Association.

Mini Camp

Camp Ondessonk Counselor In Training CIT teen summer campAges: 8 & 9 years olds
2014 Dates: Mini-Camp 1- June 4-7, 2014; Mini-Camp 2 – June 11-14, 2014; Mini-Camp 3 – June 18-21, 2014; Mini-Camp 4 – June 25-28, 2014 (Girls Only); Mini-Camp 5 – June 29-July 2, 2014; Mini-Camp 6 – July 9-122014 (Girls Only); Mini-Camp 7-July 16-19, 2014 (Boys Only); Mini-Camp 8-July 23-26, 2014Mini-Camp 9-July 30-August 2, 2014

Cost: $295/$275/$255 (entire balance due at registration)

Mini Camp is a special three day, three night session for younger children. It is the perfect way to give campers an introduction to the Camp Ondessonk tradition of rustic, nature based camping in the Shawnee National Forest.

The Mini Camp schedule includes horseback instruction and riding, handicrafts, boating, swimming, archery, evening campfires, skits, and lots of singing. All activities are modified to best serve the mini-camp age group. With one Ondessonk counselor for every three or four campers, mini campers receive nearly constant guidance and companionship from our caring staff. Incidentally, many of our staff members were once mini campers.  Register for Mini Camp

Mini Camp Explorers

Mini Camp Explorers Summer Camp OndessonkAges: 8 & 9 years olds
2014 Dates: Mini-Camp Explorers 1 – June 1-7, 2014; Mini-Camp Explorers 2 – June 8-14, 2014; Mini-Camp Explorers 3– June 15-21, 2014;  Mini-Camp Explorers 4– June 22-28, 2014; Mini-Camp Explorers 5– July 6-12, 2014 (Girls Only); Mini-Camp Explorers 6– July 13-19, 2014 (Boys Only); Mini-Camp Explorers 7– July 20-26, 2014; Mini-Camp Explorers 8– July 27-August 2, 2014.

Cost: $559/$509/$459

Mini Camp Explorers offers adventurous 8 & 9 year old children an extended experience building upon our popular Mini Camp program. By popular request, young campers will spend the entire week discovering all of the Camp Ondessonk activities and traditions so beloved by campers over the past 52 summers.

Explorers will enjoy nature walks, horseback instruction and riding, handicrafts, boating, swimming, archery, campfires, structured social time, and skits while living in a communal setting designed to develop social skills and build friendships. Mini Camp Explorers will be led by a specialized staffed equipped with the counseling skills to best serve the mini-camp age group and introduce campers to the wonderful world of outdoor, weeklong sleep-away camp.  Register for Mini Camp Explorers

Coed Camp

Camp Ondessonk Coed Campers Summer Youth CampAges: 10-15 years old
2014 Dates: Coed 1 June 1-7, Coed 2 June 8-14, Coed 3 June 15-21, Coed 4 July 20-26, Coed 5 July 27-August 2.

Cost: $559/$509/$459 ($100 non-refundable deposit if registering by mail; remainder due 4 weeks prior to camp date; variable payment options if registering on line – $100 of which is a non-refundable deposit)

Coed camp features all the activities of Boys’ and Girls’ sessions, only conducted coed. One of the biggest advantages of coed camp is that it mirrors and prepares campers for everyday living — the world is co-ed! One side of Lake Echon is designated for male campers, the other for females. Overnight camp-outs and sleeping quarters are gender-specific, with boys and girls supervised by the appropriate staff. Hurry, these sessions fill quickly!

The coed camp schedule includes two horseback rides, archery, riflery, council, swimming, nature exploration, handicrafts, woodsmanship, canoeing, kayaking, campfires, an overnight campout, marathon, tug of war, and much more.  Register for Coed Camp

Boy’s Camp

Camp Ondessonk Boys Summer Camp MidwestAges: 10-15 years old
2014 Dates: July 13-19, 2014

Cost: $559/$509/$459 ($100 non-refundable deposit if registering by mail; remainder due 4 weeks prior to camp date; full session cost due if registering on line – $100 of which is a non-refundable deposit)

Boy’s session campers experience new adventures and master new skills in a setting where fun and personal growth is carefully, yet spontaneously facilitated by Ondessonk’s male Unit Leaders and staff. Single gender sessions encourage personal growth that is free from the pressures of performing in front of the opposite gender, giving campers ample opportunities for success and development. As a result, Camp Ondessonk’s boy campers often discover previously unknown talents and make life-long friends.

The boy’s camp schedule includes two horseback rides, archery, riflery, swimming, council, nature exploration, handicrafts, woodsmanship, canoeing, kayaking, campfires, an overnight campout, marathon, tug of war, and much more.  Register for Boy’s Camp

Girl’s Camp

Camp Ondessonk Youth Summer Camp

Camp Ondessonk Youth Summer Camp

Ages: 10-15 years old
2014 Dates: Girls 1 June 22-28, Girls 2 July 6-12

Cost: $559/$509/$459 ($100 non-refundable deposit if registering by mail; remainder due 4 weeks prior to camp date; variable payment options if registering on line – $100 of which is a non-refundable deposit)

One of our most popular programs, Girls Camp is a week you’ll remember for the rest of your life. The single-gender environment provides growing girls and teens with something genuinely important- a safe, open, accepting place where they can truly be themselves. Campers are able to leave behind social expectations, popularity contests, and worries about their outward appearance for a week filled with giggling, games, and meaningful friendships.

The girl’s camp schedule includes two horseback rides, archery, riflery, council, swimming, nature exploration, handicrafts, woodsmanship, canoeing, kayaking, campfires, an overnight campout, marathon, tug of war, and much more.  Register for Girl’s Camp

Fourth of July Camp for Families

Ondessonk 4th of July Family CampAges: Newborn to Senior (All ages welcome)
2014 Dates: July 2-5, 2014
*Family Rate: $375 (*$475 for St. Noel Lodging) for first three family members, $100 each additional. Individual rate: Ages 9+: $125 ($175 for St. Noel Lodging) Children < 5 are free, Ages 5-8: $90

2014 Fourth of July Family Camp

Designed to give families an Ondessonk an experience similar to regular summer camp complete with unit shirts, unit staff (to help with your kids), and family style meals. Join the Ondessonk staff for a 3 day, 3 night experience with enough adventure, family fun, and memories to last a lifetime. Stay with your entire family in one of Ondessonk’s rustic cabins, enjoy great meals in the dining hall, and participate in many of Ondessonk’s traditional activities. Need a short break? Talented Ondessonk staff members happily provide childcare at no additional charge for a portion of each afternoon.

The Fourth of July Family Camp experience begins with an opening campfire complete with unit/family skits and fireworks to celebrate Independence Day. This is truly a memory making, multi-generational program complete with toddlers, sons, daughters, moms, dads, and grandparents.

Super Camper Layover Weekend

Camp Ondessonk Super Camper LayoverAges: 10-16
2014 Dates: Available between Coed 1 & 2: June 7, Coed 2 & 3: June 14, Coed 3 & Girls 1: June 21, Girls 1 & 2: July 13, Boys & Coed 4: July 19, and Coed 4 & 5: July 26

Cost: $75 – meals, supervision, and programming included

Because families asked for it! Campers that choose to attend multiple sessions back-to-back are welcome to take advantage of this program. This supervised, one day / one night session will include exploration in the Shawnee National Forest, a special overnight campout, swimming, meals, and other activities.

Please note: Campers registering for back to back sessions can choose to stay in a different unit each session. Laundry service is not available. Many Super Campers pack clothing for their second week in seperate bags. If your camper does this, Camp Ondessonk will happily store the second set of clothing in a a safe and dry location (please call ahead of time to make arrangements).

Lodge Camp

Camp Ondessonk Lodge MembersAges: 11-16 – Must be a member of the Loyal Lodge of Ondessonk and Tekakwitha
2014 Dates: July 27 – August 2, 2014 (Runs concurrently with Coed 5)

Cost: $525 or $375 as second session during a summer. ($100 with registration)

The Loyal Lodge of Ondessonk and Tekakwitha is an honor society for campers who have shown their loyalty and dedication to camp in an exemplary way. Campers are eligible for Lodge induction during their second summer at camp. Participants will enjoy the highlights of Camp while living in a unit led by Lodge officials. The session includes rock climbing at Pakentuck, the High Challenge Course, an extended Horseback Ride, and in the Spirit of Lodge, a service project significant to the Mission of Camp Ondessonk. Campers receive a substantial discount if choosing Lodge Camp as the second session of their summer.  Register for Lodge Camp

Shawnee Zip Line Adventure

Shawnee Zip Line Adventure teen summer campAges: 12-16
Dates: June 22-28, 2014
Cost: $585/$535/$485
Shawnee Zip Line Adventure Packing List

Explore the beautiful Shawnee National Forest, on the ground and in the air. This program will combine hiking on the infamous River to-River trail with a vertical view of the forest from zip-lines located throughout Southern Illinois.  Register for Shawnee Zip Line Adventure

Beginner Adventures

Campers in Beginner Adventure sessions spend their days building skills, their evenings enjoying traditional Ondessonk activities like the Tuesday night game, and their nights in one of Ondessonk’s signature cabins. No prior rock climbing, backpacking, or horsemanship experience required.

Horse Camp

Camp Ondessonk Horse Adventure teen summer campAges: 12-15
2014 Dates: Horse Camp 1 June 8-14, Horse Camp 2 June 22-28, Horse Camp 3 July 6-12, Horse Camp 4 July 20-26.
Cost: $625/$575/$525 ($100 upon registration; variable on-line payment options available.)
Horse Camp Packing List

Love horses? Love Camp O? Want both? Horse Camp is for you. Spend your days at the Ondessonk Stables learning how to care for and groom your horse, develop basic horsemanship and riding skills, and enjoy long rides through our pristine pasture lands and oak-hickory forested trails. Spend your evenings doing those Camp O activities you love, the nights cozy in your cabin. And yes, you can bring your horse on the overnight!  Register for Horse Camp

Hike, Bike, Paddle, and Climb

Camp Ondessonk Mountain Bike Adventure teen summer campAges: 12-16 years
2014 Dates: Hike, Bike, Paddle, and Climb 1:  June 1-7, 2014; Hike, Bike, Paddle, and Climb 2: June 8-14, 2014; Hike, Bike, Paddle, and Climb 3:  July 13-19, 2014.
Cost: $585/$535/$485

This program is designed to give teen campers a taste of multiple adventures within one program. This “sampler” offers a bit of each adventure, including Backpacking, Mountain Biking, Rock Camp, and River Adventure. Campers will get to ride a top of the line Specialized Carve Expert provided by the Bike Surgeon and train with Bike Surgeon owners Jon Greenstreet and Chris Norrington.  Register for Hike, Bike, Paddle and Climb

Intermediate Adventures

Intermediate Adventure sessions offer more time away from the main area of Ondessonk, a higher level of challenge, and more advanced instruction. Intermediate Adventure campers spend most nights in the back-country and return to the main area to enjoy end-of-session all-camp activities like Special Activity, Marathon, and Closing Campfire. Prior experience recommended but not required. Great attitude required.

Horse Adventure

Camp Ondessonk Horse AdventureAges: 13-16
2014 Dates: Horse Adventure 1 June 1-7; Horse Adventure 2 June 15-21; Horse Adventure 3 June 29-July 5; Horse Adventure 4 July 13-19; Horse Adventure 5  July 27-August 2.
Cost: $645/$595/$545 ($100 upon registration)
Horse Adventure Packing List

Since 1991, our long-standing Adventure Camp favorite! Exploring the scenic back country trails of the Shawnee National Forest offers the perfect opportunity to expand horsemanship skills and develop outdoor skills. Campers will receive instruction and supervision from CHA Certified Instructors throughout their trip. Evenings are spent taking care of the horses, setting up the campsite, cooking meals, and relaxing around the campfire.  Register for Horse Adventure

Rock Adventure

Camp Ondessonk Rock Adventure teen summer campAges: 13-16
2014 Dates: June 15-21, 2014
Cost: $585/$535/$485 ($100 non-refundable deposit upon registration; variable payment options available if registering on line.)
Rock Adventure Packing List

Rock Adventure takes the skills from Rock Camp and puts them on the trail, moving quickly to hands-on practical work on the rock while experiencing some of the Southern Illinois Rock Climbing scene’s highlights. Enjoy active days honing and developing your skills on progressively challenging routes. Spend nights along the shore of one of Camp Ondessonk’s scenic lakes and at Jackson Falls Climbing area each evening to maximize your day’s climbing.  Register for Rock Adventure

Mountain Biking Adventure

Camp Ondessonk Mountain Biking AdventureAges: 12-16 years olds
2014 Dates: July 20-26, 2014 (boys and girls)
Cost: $585/$535/$485

Teenage Campers will spend the first several days at camp learning riding techniques, bike repair, and practicing on our extensive trail system. This program will conclude with an off-site ride on some of the best Mountain Biking trails the Shawnee Forest has to offer. Bring your own bike or ride one of ours! Campers will get to ride a top of the line Specialized Carve Expert provided by the Bike Surgeon and train with Bike Surgeon owners Jon Greenstreet and Chris Norrington.  Register for Mountain Biking Adventure

Camper vs. Wild

Ondessonk Outdoor EducationAges: 12-16 years olds
2014 Dates: July 27-August 2, 2014 (boys and girls)
Cost: $585/$535/$485

Participants will develop real-life leadership skills through participation in primitive camping activities. Skill development will include: basic backpacking, outdoor cooking, map and compass navigation, fire building, water purification, and much more!  Register for Camper vs Wild

Advanced Adventures

Experienced Ondessonk Adventure Campers only. An epic opportunity for veteran campers to use the skills they’ve gained in Beginner and Intermediate Adventure sessions.

River Adventure

Camp Ondessonk River Adventure teen summer campAges: 13-16 years
2014 Dates: July 6-12, 2014 (boys and girls)
Cost: $645/$595/$545
River Adventure Packing List

Teenage Campers will experience a unique off-site canoeing opportunity as they travel to and canoe nearly 50 miles on Missouri’s Eleven-Point River, while stopping each night to camp out under the stars. Teen Campers in this program should have some canoe and or kayak experience; be comfortable in deep water; swim 100 yards and tread water for five minutes.  Register for River Adventure

Whitewater Adventure

Camp Ondessonk Summer Camp Whitewater AdventureAges: 15-18, years olds
Date: June 29-July 5, 2014 (boys and girls)
Cost: $850/$800/$750
Download the packing list for the Whitewater Adventure

For high school age only, participants will travel to Nantahala Outdoor Center in North Carolina and experience the nation’s best introductory whitewater rivers with professional guides. This trip will also include a full day of Mountain Biking and a Mountaintop Zip-Line Tour. Campers must be able to pass the intermediate swim test.  Register for Whitewater Adventure