Camp Ondessonk recently hired Greg Santen to serve as the new program director. Still, he is anything but new to the Ondessonk community. Greg was a camper from 1991-1995 and excelled in horse adventure. (Fun fact: Dan King was Greg’s unit leader in horse adventure in 1994). He later returned as a summer staff member from 1996-1999; mainly working in the barn. Greg went on to study outdoor recreation at SIUC, and came back to Ondessonk where he worked as a Unit Leader in 2006, and then stayed on as a program staff member in 2007. While in graduate school, Greg worked as an instructor at SIUCs Touch of Nature Environmental Center. After about one year, his career took a slight turn, and Greg became a park ranger with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge outside of Marion, Illinois. He stayed there for two years while finishing school.
Now at Ondessonk, Greg wants to share his outdoor education background and introduce some new programs, “I would like to see more environmental education offered to groups during the school year; specifically pond/watershed studies, monarch butterfly migration (Yes, that’s right; look it up! They are the most amazing insect in the world).” He adds, “I would like to see education in owl pellet dissection, astronomy, and energy web studies.” When we ask Greg which aspect about his job is his favorite, he explains, “Getting kids outside where there are no electrical outlets.” Welcome home Greg!