An Easy Decision to Help
By Whitney Strang
One of Chase Halgerson’s favorite Camp Ondessonk memories was also one of his most challenging. “Being a Unit Leader for Brebeuf during the last week of 2012 was definitely a unique experience, due to being a leader of that size of a group for the first time, the terrible weather we dealt with that week in August, the challenge that particular group of campers brought about, and just the general feeling of ‘how are we getting through this?’ with that staff. It was just such a great learning experience and really ended that summer on a high note.”
That memory helped grow Chase’s love for Camp and led to him joining the Campfire Circle in May of 2020 when everyone at Camp Ondessonk was wondering, “How are we going to get through this?” after learning Summer Camp couldn’t operate that year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He explained, “It (Campfire Circle) was an easy and straightforward way that I could give back to Camp, since I am unable to easily attend the various events or volunteer during the summer.”
Chase’s love of Camp Ondessonk began in 2005 when his mother, Jacquie Jablonski, dropped him off for a week of Summer Camp. He stayed in Lalemant that summer and Raganeau in 2006 before taking part in the CIT program in 2007. He worked in various positions during the summers of 2008-2009 and 2011-2014, and credits Camp for helping him grow personally and professionally.
“Camp Ondessonk was extremely important in the development of the person that I now am at 32,” Chase shared. “This involves the people-skills I formed, the leadership skills, learning patience, forming friendships, group organization, and being able to react appropriately to a unique set of factors. Being involved in the Campfire Circle is a small part I can do so that hopefully people have as good of an experience that I had.”
Chase looks forward to sharing Camp Ondessonk with his family, just as his mother shared it with him. “I have a one-year-old daughter who I cannot wait to take to Camp when she is a little older.” He also noted, “Hopefully we can make this a family camp experience as my wife also never got to experience Camp Ondessonk, but she has already met many of my friends that I made during my time there.”
Until he’s able to travel down the Camp Road with his family, Chase will continue to give monthly in support of the campers of Ondessonk. “Camp Ondessonk truly does follow their mission and does everything in its power to inspire leadership, self-confidence, and lifelong learning. I believe this is the most important work Camp currently does.”
If you’d like to join Chase by joining the Campfire Circle, visit www.Ondessonk.com/campfire-circle today.