Our experienced Mini Camp staff have paved the way for the expansion and success of Chiwatenhwa and Aonnetta
OZARK, IL; The Monsignor John T. Fournie Mini Camp Village has been one of the most rapidly expanding attractions at Camp Ondessonk. During our first few sessions of 2017, we have had the pleasure of housing over 80 campers per session in each of our Mini Camp units, Chiwatenhwa [boys] and Aonnetta [girls]. Over the past week, we compiled a collection of interviews with Mini Camp staff and campers to get a better understanding of their daily life at Camp [Ondessonk].
Mini Camp was originally offered in back to back three day sessions once per summer, but since Chiwatenhwa and Aonnetta were formally opened in 2015, 8-10-year old’s have had the opportunity to experience Camp every session of summer camp – just as we do for Traditional campers. By spending either a half or full week, these youngsters get the growth opportunities of Camp with an excited and determined group of counselors.
We interviewed Mini Camp staff members Matt Lyko, Trent Oelrich, and Lexi Zanger, pondering the differences between Mini Camp and Traditional Camp. Lyko described the Mini Camp experience as, “an opportunity to separate the younger kids and give them the same benefits of Traditional Camp, but on much easier pace. They get a shorter version of Ondessonk, but the kids still feel part of the experience.”
Oelrich and Zanger described to us their need for patience but that extra work has allowed them to grow as adults and widen their leadership skills every day. Oelrich explained, “Mini Camp normally has 10-15 more campers in the unit compared to Traditional, but having the extra kids allows me to put into practice my leadership and organizational skills.” Oelrich and Zanger are Unit Leaders of Chiwatenhwa and Aonnetta this summer and they wake up every morning excited to show the Mini campers what they will expect if they return for future summer adventures.