Outdoor Education Programs Near Marion, IL

Camp Ondessonk’s mission of providing exceptional outdoor adventures doesn’t end when our last summer campers head for home. Since 1988, we have been providing interdisciplinary Outdoor and Environmental Education programs for Catholic and non-Catholic schools from Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, and Kentucky. In keeping to our mission year-round, Camp Ondessonk serves over 1,500 students a year in our unique and rustic setting; ideal for experiential learning.

Camp Ondessonk works closely with educators and group leaders to create a dynamic experiential curriculum providing students with hands-on learning. An Ondessonk Outdoor Education experience promotes group building, communication skills, and leadership development, as well as creates a sense of stewardship towards the natural world.  Our programs focus on the principles of interdependence, in particular one’s relationship to the natural world, as well as a relationship with the people around them. A school program at Ondessonk also promotes a student’s personal growth in the areas of self-esteem, trust, and teamwork. Camp Ondessonk provides hands-on classes that support many school curriculum areas. A successful Outdoor Education experience will have components from each of our curriculum categories.

It is advised that schools contact Camp first to inquire about availability and make reservations several months in advance – especially larger groups and for dates during the busier months of April, May, September, and October. Call (618) 695-2489 x104 or email outdooreducation@ondessonk.com.

Children participating in an outdoor education program near Marion, IL

Outdoor Education Programs

• Guided interpretive hikes into our 983-acre backyard

• Canoeing and kayaking

• Orienteering/Map & Compass

• Archery programs

• And MUCH more!

Teambuilding Programs

• Ground-Based Initiatives (group games & challenges)

• Crate Stacking (stack milk crates while on belay)

• Low Challenge Course (Advanced Teams Course Challenges)

• Survivor Challenge (test group’s skills in survival scenario)

Outdoor Education Field Trips Camp Ondessonk Nature Exploration

Spiritual Programs

• Faces of Jesus

• Affirmations

• Rosary Reflections

• Choosing Priorities

• Vocations

Adventure Programs

• Climbing Tower

• Rock Climbing or Rappelling

• High Challenge Experience (Combo of High Jungle, Giant Swing, Flying Squirrel, Climbing Wall or Zipline)

Outdoor Education Field Trips Rock Climbing Camp Ondessonk

Equestrian Programs

• Horse Sense (Session on feeding, care & understanding horses)

• Intro to Riding (various offerings of arena lessons, obstacle courses or trail rides)

• Horsemanship 101 (Horse sense and short arena/trail ride)

Evening Programs

• Night hikes

• Campfire programs

• Wilderness Fort

• Wilderness Treasure

• Astronomy

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