New Camping Services Director, Alissa Hollmann
Alissa earned her Master’s Degree in Recreation Administration from Illinois State University and her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from University of New Hampshire, Durham. She grew up in the Chicago area and attended YMCA Camp Echo as a kid – later returning as a counselor and ultimately serving as Wilderness Program Staff and Trip Guide. Alissa’s professional background includes over ten years of comprehensive experience covering nearly every area of the recreation and outdoor education field. Of note, she was Program Director and Resident Camp Director for the Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois. She was Illinois State University’s Coordinator of Outdoor Adventure Programs and Coordinator of Outdoor and Non-Credit Instructional Programs. Most recently, Alissa served as an Adjunct Instructor in the Health Education and Recreation Department at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. We are thrilled that she is now a member of our team. Please join us in welcoming Alissa.
What is your favorite part of your job so far?
Visiting during Friends Weekend was a lot of fun. It was really inspiring to see the community that is Camp Ondessonk. I loved talking to staff from this past summer as well as some “old-timers” who all had wonderful stories to tell and each had a little sparkle in their eye when they spoke.
What was your first unexpected moment after arriving at Camp? The first time I went up to the stables in the morning, while the horses were being fed, was really neat. It’s so fun to hear them all chomping down at once. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Meagan helped to introduce me to all the horses. You can tell that she is very good at what she does.
Are there any new programs you want to introduce at Camp? I was very influenced by having strong camp mentors during my teen years. I am interested in exploring additional teen programming that includes service and leadership development components in addition to on-site camp activities.
What is your favorite camp memory? As a camper I always loved overnights. The adventure of sleeping out, night hikes, and making burgers over a fire was something that influenced me to pursue adventure trips and eventually a career in outdoor recreation. As a counselor, my favorite memories were always of the camp Olympics- similar to Marathon. I love getting the campers pumped up and creating new creative cheers every session. If you had any voice left after Olympics, it was apparent that you must not have been on the winning team.
What are your hobbies? In my free time I will be found traveling by foot or bicycle on the trails with my dog, Abbey. I also love to cook and began canning last year, so I would love to have a small garden that would allow me to continue. I’m always looking for someone to join in a game of bocce ball or play a game of catch.
What are your greatest accomplishments? Getting my IL EMT License; Riding my bicycle from Bryce Canyon, UT to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon- twice; Working with young people, introducing them to nature, and showing them that they can do anything.
New Camping Services Director, Alissa Hollmann- Alissa earned her Master’s Degree in Recreation Administration from Illinois State University and her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from University of New Hampshire, Durham.