Camp Ondessonk Letter From The Director
Dear Ondessonk Friends,
This is the time of year we receive hundreds of calls and emails from parents seeking information about summer camp registration. Two recent inquiries prompted a mix of pride and thought.
The first conversation was with a longtime friend from Chicago who happens to be a former camper and counselor. She excitedly explained that she and her husband are sending their daughter to Ondessonk in July. Mom had questions like “Which session and unit do you recommend for first-time campers? Should she ride the bus to camp like I did when I was kid?” Each of my responses led to more questions until mom eventually described the overwhelming joy she feels in realizing that her daughter will have an Ondessonk experience. Camp, she told me, was one of the few stable parts of her difficult childhood. She went on to explain that her parents struggled so much to keep things together that she lived in foster care for a great deal of her youth. By the time she was 16, she resided in no less than ten different homes. Camp, it turns out, became her home. She felt more comfortable, accepted, and loved at Ondessonk than anywhere else.
I recently received an email of gratitude from a pair of military parents that move their family to a new base every two years or so. Their daughter will settle into her eighth home this summer. “She loves Ondessonk and so do we. Ondessonk has been one of the most positive constants in her life. On any given day, she can usually tell us the exact day count until we drop her off at camp.”
My parents still reside in the same home they lived in when I was born. Even so, I have personal experience with the reality that campers from widely diverse backgrounds feel at home at Ondessonk. I felt the same way when I was a kid. Thank you, camp friends, for allowing this to happen. Please keep us in your prayers as we prepare your old Ondessonk home for its 55th summer.
The Camp Ondessonk Letter from the Director was recently published in our annual newsletter distributed to over 20,000 families across the United States.