Chelley Macon – Connected to Her Second Home Through the Campfire Circle
Chelley (Landgrebe) Macon has had many homes since her summers as a camper and summer staff member, but she has remained connected to her cherished second home, Camp Ondessonk.
Originally from Springfield, Ill., Chelley enjoyed Summer Camp from 1990 until 1995, before becoming a CIT and serving on staff 1997-1999 and 2001 enjoying most, if not all that Camp had to offer. In addition to being a traditional camper, she experienced both Horse and Canoe Adventure Camps. While on staff, her favorite memories are of living with the “Groovy Green Dream Team” in Garnier for three summers, serving as the Unit Leader of Tekakwitha for Girls Traditional Camp, and serving on the Rock Adventure staff.
After college, Chelley began serving in the Army on Active Duty. Her military career took her around the globe causing her to be farther from her Camp Family. “As I moved around with the military the last 20+ years, I have not been able to return to Camp or see Camp Friends much at all. When we do have an opportunity to meet up, it’s like time stood still and we are just as close as we ever were before.” Chelley shared, “Camp Ondessonk has always felt like home to me. The friendships I made as a camper, and even more so while I was on staff, have lasted a lifetime. It’s a connection that just can’t be explained.”
As her children grew, Chelley was always eager to share the place she loved with them. Chelley explained, “Despite the distance, we have always made the trip so that my kids can go to Camp O.” That means they traveled from North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and now Utah to share the Spirit of Ondessonk with her children.
Thankfully, they both love Camp Ondessonk as much as their mother. “My son, Landon, has been a camper since 2016 when he was eight and old enough for Mini-Camp.” She continued, “my daughter, Addison, started as a camper in 2021 when she turned eight and has had one session of Mini-Camp and one session of Traditional Camp.” Chelley’s college roommate from Appalachian State University has children the same age, and her family has made the trip from Washington, D.C. every summer since 2017 so that their kids can go to Camp together with Landon and Addison. They had no previous experience with Camp Ondessonk, but they saw how passionate Chelley was about it, and they are hooked now also.
Both Landon and Addison have developed their own Camp experiences and friendships, just as their mom did when she was an Ondessonk camper. “I have always found myself thinking – it’s just magical, the awesomeness of Camp Ondessonk.” Chelley highlighted when thinking of the place they hold so dear, “the feeling you get driving down Camp Road, the experiences that enable each camper to develop self-confidence and to grow in their faith, the strong friendships that last forever…I know you can’t find any other camp in the world that leaves such a lasting impression. The traditions of Camp are deeply rooted in faith and history, and the campers and staff over many, many years have worked hard to keep those traditions and Camp Spirit alive.”
Chelley also contributes to keeping Camp Ondessonk’s spirit and traditions alive, as a Summer Camp Volunteer and as a member of the Campfire Circle. “I want to continue giving to Camp O to help ensure that the place I consider my second home and my extended family will always be able to continue to positively impact our kids and future generations. The Campfire Circle is such an easy way to give back through automatic monthly deductions, and I would love to encourage my Camp Family and Friends to consider joining the Campfire Circle – any amount makes a huge difference.”
We are thankful for Chelley’s continued support of Camp’s mission and for her dedicated service to our country. She is a wonderful example of someone who keeps the Camp Magic alive through giving of her time and treasure and by sharing Camp with future generations.
Join Chelly Macon as a member of the Campfire Circle today by visiting www.Ondessonk.com/campfire-circle .