Volunteering is at the very core of Camp Ondessonk‘s functionality; the passion and commitment exerted by volunteers who are dedicated to its preservation helps Camp thrive. For more than 60 years, Camp has been blessed with strong support from thousands of volunteers who come from all walks of life with a variety of skills and qualifications that benefit various areas of Camp.

Others are motivated by a simple desire to serve or to give back to the place that has given so much to them.  Creating strong bonds of friendship through shared experiences is a hallmark of the Camp Ondessonk volunteer experience. By donating your time to be a summer camp volunteer or project volunteer, you can make a lasting impact on Camp’s mission and everyday needs. 

2024 Summer Camp Volunteers


The summer volunteer program is open to anyone between the ages of 25 and 125 who would like to share their talents and time for a session of camp. Ondessonk’s Volunteer Coordinator works directly with each volunteer applicant to determine an assignment that will be fulfilling to the volunteer while providing for Ondessonk’s immediate needs. Typical projects or areas in which volunteers serve the campers of Ondessonk include the Trading Post, Health & Sanitation, Handicrafts, maintenance projects (minor repairs, mowing, painting), gardening, Health Center (for MD, DO, RN, NP, PsyD, PA-C), sewing lodge sashes and in other Activity Areas (determined by skill set and camp’s needs).

Summer volunteers stay in the St. Noel Center and share their living space with other volunteers of the same gender. Married couples are assigned to a private room when space allows. We offer comfortable lodging in hostel-style, climate-controlled guest rooms with private bathrooms, and free WiFi.

All volunteers are subject to a background check and Diocese of Belleville Child Protection Training. The background check is administered by the Diocese of Belleville Office of Child Protection through a partnership with the Illinois State Police and other law enforcement entities. Child protection training is provided on the first day you arrive. Our annual fee for the Diocesan background check is $7.  A voluntary contribution to defray the cost of these required annual checks is appreciated.

SPECIAL OFFER FOR MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS: If you are an MD, DO, RN, NP, PsyD, PA-C, Camp Ondessonk will provide 100% summer camp tuition (not to exceed Traditional Camp Rate A tuition) coverage to your child or the child of your choice in exchange for a week of summer camp service in the Health Center. Due to American Camp Association medical care standards, this offer is limited to those with the credentials cited above. Medical professionals with other credentials are encouraged to volunteer in the Health Center as well, but are not eligible to sponsor a child for free tuition.

Volunteering while your child is in attendance? We encourage you to provide your child with as “pure” a camp experience as possible. Therefore, daily interaction between parent and child is very limited. In our experience, this is the best approach for the child and parent, not to mention the other campers.

You have the option to submit a digital application OR a paper application. Choose the one that works best for you!

Other Volunteer Opportunities

November 24, 2023 @ 10:00 am

Join Camp Ondessonk in Belleville, IL for the 2023 Optimist Santa Parade! The parade route will begin at the intersection of North 3rd and West A Street and proceed south on 3rd Street to West Main. PLEASE NOTE: The parade will disband at Union United Methodist Church in the area of Forest Avenue. Sign up on our Facebook event today!

April 19, 2024 @ 4:00 pm – April 21, 2024 @ 11:00 am

Every spring, volunteers attend the annual Stable Round-Up Weekend to contribute their skills and labor to Camp Ondessonk’s stable program and grounds. Past projects have included everything from maintaining tack and equipment, building a new hay barn to sprucing up garden areas, rebuilding rock walls and new trails. These weekends are invite only, but more information can be requested by emailing stables@ondessonk.com. Many thanks to all of the volunteers who keep returning season after season to contribute expertise and hard work! Invitations will go out in the beginning of March and all volunteers must RSVP.

Date TBD

Stay tuned for more information about upcoming volunteer opportunities.

Questions about volunteering? Contact volunteer@ondessonk.com or call (618) 695-2489 x145

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