Camp Ondessonk’s facilities are nestled in the heart of the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois and provides the following amenities and services:
- Outdoor Education & School Groups– Schools can bring their students to Camp year-round.
- Facility Rental – Organize your family vacation, confirmation retreat, scout weekend, etc.
- Open Camping Weekends – See a list of available weekends for your group’s visit to Camp.
- Things to Do – Camp is open in non-summer months for hiking, camping, and more!
- Specialty Weekends – Get a taste of Camp’s family weekends throughout the year.
- Year-Round Spots to Stay – See photos of our cabin units and tent areas.
- Reservation Forms, maps, and information – Begin planning your visit to Camp.
- Road Scholar – Adventures in Lifelong Learning. Engaging programming for active adults.
St. Noel Retreat & Conference Center
Open all year, St. Noel Retreat and Conference Center is the perfect place to get away for the weekend, host a retreat or youth group, or just enjoy the beauty of Camp Ondessonk and surrounding Shawnee National Forest without having to “rough it”. The St. Noel Retreat and Conference Center is a modern, climate-controlled facility with nine hostel-style rooms and meeting/dining space in the basement as well as a kitchenette and a common sitting area/library. The building has audio/visual equipment and free WiFi.
The newly renovated facility offers the following amenities:
- Hostel-style, climate-controlled guest rooms with private bathroom and free WiFi.
- Banquet/meeting/dining space/kitchenette.
- Year-round programs & activities.
- On-site hiking and biking trails and nearby access to the Shawnee National Forest, River-to-River Trail, and Tunnel Hill State Bike Trail.
- Several lakes & ponds for fishing.
- Nearby state parks, wilderness areas, and wineries.
Download the Group Reservation Form 2018
All visitors and participants in programs, regardless of age, are required to sign a waiver. Parents must sign a waiver for their children.
Click here to view photos of other, more rustic overnight accommodations including our signature treehouse cabins!
***Upon arrival, please check in at the Main Camp Office in the St. Noel Center Monday-Friday 8am-4:30pm, or the Trading Post Fridays 5-9pm or Saturdays and Sundays 9am-12pm***
***Due to guests during the week, Unit and St. Noel Lodging may not be available for check-in until 4:30pm on Fridays***
***Check-out time for St. Noel Lodging is 10am on Sundays***
*Please notify Camp of your arrival and departure times. Office: (618) 695-2489, Weekend On-Duty Cell: (618) 759-1780*
Arrange the following instructor-led programs with advanced notice:
Choose from a variety of programs to create an unforgettable Ondessonk experience for your group. We offer guided hikes into our 983-acre backyard or beyond into the Shawnee National Forest, canoeing and kayaking, swimming in our incredible Lake St. Isaac, and archery programs. Learn more
One of the most unique things about Camp Ondessonk is our 65-horse herd who live here year round for groups to enjoy. Groups can book a an arena or trail rides of varying lengths and skill levels through our beautiful pastures or out into the Shawnee National Forest. Learn more
Adventure and Leadership Programs
Adventure and leadership programs develop group communication, problem-solving, and cooperation. Our High Challenge Course is designed to engage the entire group, not just the climber. The Low Challenge Course incorporates a series of challenging obstacles that groups must overcome using creative problem-solving and communication and is perfect for retreat groups and scout troops. Learn more
We welcome individuals and groups of all types to enjoy the beauty, solitude, and adventure of our site and the adjacent Shawnee National Forest during the school year. Overnight accommodations vary from rustic, open air cabins to two room suites with private bathrooms in our St. Noel building. Visitors can arrange horseback rides, guided hikes, meals, campfires, climbing, zip-lines, and much more. Whether you are interested in booking a quiet weekend getaway for your family, a youth group retreat, a weekend conference, a lunch meeting, or a 400 person family reunion, we can handle it.
The following links will begin the reservation process. All lodging and programs are subject to availability. Please call Camp Ondessonk to inquire about options. Below is a reservation to complete the process. Please return the reservation form to Camp Ondessonk and signed user-agreement form.
Click here to download the Group Reservation Form, waiver, maps, and other information.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact:
Greg Santen – Program Director
(618) 695-2489 ext. 129