A renewed focus on camper progression during summer camp 2019
By Alissa Hollmann- Camping Services Director
This summer, returning campers should feel like things are a little different around camp. With one of the highest enrollments we’ve seen in decades so far, camp will be full. The campers we have this year are likely returning for a second, third, or more summers, and it just feels right to make camper progression a higher priority.
To allow us to focus on camper progression during summer camp, we have created the new position of Specialty Program Coordinator which will be filled by Shannon Sonderman, veteran camp staff and currently a full-time math teacher. Shannon’s role with progression will be threefold; mentoring activity heads to develop age-level progressions in their program areas, improving and expanding minicamp programming, and developing senior camper programming. The senior camper program has been around for a long time but has not been as reliable and consistent as it could be. Senior Campers are our oldest traditional campers who are 14 and 15. They are given opportunities to do some special activities in exchange for acting as mentors and role models for the other kids in each unit. At one time, Senior Camper activities occurred in multiple activity areas and also at night after other campers were getting ready for taps. In the past few years, this tradition has lost some momentum, but 14 and 15-year-old traditional campers should expect to have multiple exciting program options this summer.
The goal of this renewed focus is to keep campers engaged from age 8-15 and to encourage campers to return year after year for both the traditions that are the same every summer and for new and engaging programming that allows them to build upon skills learned in past summers. One of the core values of Camp Ondessonk is “respecting tradition and embracing innovation,” and we are focused on doing that during the summer of 2019.