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Challenge By Choice

Camp Ondessonk Climbing  Wall“We don’t grow when things are easy; we grow when we face challenges,” says Joyce Meyer, a Christian author and speaker. Camp Ondessonk encourages campers to step outside of their comfort zones through the Challenge course. The course became an activity area for traditional campers in 2013. Campers encounter life-changing opportunities to grow through four adrenaline-pumping activities such as the flying squirrel, zip line, and rock climbing wall. Through these activities, Ondessonk looks to instill growth within our campers.

However,  the program recognizes that not all campers will want to participate out of due to their own fears. Camp Ondessonk’s Challenge Coordinator Megan Thompson says, “We have three zones we teach the campers—comfort, learning, and panic zone. Everybody participates in some way, whether you are on the ground or in the air. There is also a system designed around each part of the challenge activity to control the risk. Each staff member who works in Challenge is trained to handle the risks in every form. We want the campers to have fun in the safest environment possible.” Campers are encouraged to find out which activities best fit their growth zones and how they learn from these experiences afterwards.

Ondessonk’s Camping Services Director Alissa Hollmann states, “We are trying to achieve a level of accomplishment within our Camp Ondessonk Challenge Coursecampers. I’ve seen so many kids who make it to their learning zone and find things they didn’t know they had. It’s really an awesome experience to witness.”

Starting at the age of thirteen campers have opportunities to experience Challenge during the summer through our adventure programs. Climbing Adventure campers spend their days practicing the knots, equipment, and techniques needed to rock climb outdoors. This program is designed to develop skills and knowledge that allows campers to feel comfortable on progressively more challenging climbs. Hollmann states, “It is incredible what climbing and stepping into that growth zone feels like. Camp Ondessonk truly looks to give kids that experience and feeling of accomplishment they won’t get anywhere else.”

Challenge by Choice- An overview of Camp Ondessonk’s Challenge course including the flying squirrel, zip line, and rock climbing wall by Amanda Bailey.

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