Testimonials & FAQs
Kenny Toohill – That sending my kids to Camp O was one of the best things I’ve ever done for them. That Camp O was one of the most positive influences in their life. That my children have developed strong lifelong friendships at Camp O. That Camp O has enriched my children’s spiritual lives.
Jennifer Drainer-Schauster – Camp Ondessonk give your child a place to grow in responsibility and independence in a safe and structured environment. It provides them with positive role models and allows them to try out new skills and broaden their horizons. As a successful, collage educated, thirty something mother of two I know that Camp Ondessonk played an important part in getting me where I am today. I will certainly send my children there when they are old enough.
Valerie Oestry – That my child loves Camp O so much she wants to live there, and that she has learned things she will never learn at school or at home, but only at Camp O – all positive, life-changing things! (Plus it is a week of no-worries parenting for me!) Seriously though, I am letting go of her a little bit for that week, but in a positive way where I know she is growing soooooo much!! It is worth every dollar!!!
Norbert Garvey – All 4 of my well adjusted, college educated children attended Camp Ondessonk, I feel they were motivated to succeed, in part, by the outdoor education received while at Camp Ondessonk.
Frequently Asked Questions about Camp from Parents
Have a question not listed here? Call Tony Vrooman at 618-580-0441.
FOR ALL COVID-19 RELATED QUESTIONS, PLEASE REFER TO OUR ONDESSONK ROAD MAP.
|How much does it cost?||Camp Ondessonk has kept its three tier pricing structure. Full information is located on the registration form. Prices below are the lowest (Rate C) prices.
Mini: $339, Traditional: $569, Adventure: $599-$1134, OWL: $839, Lodge: $629.
|Is there financial assistance?||To make Camp Ondessonk more accessible to children of all economic means, scholarship funding is available. For more information click here or contact the registrar at 877-659-2267 ext. 109.|
|What safety measures are in place?||Camp Ondessonk takes caring for your child very seriously. To that end, there are several safety measures in place. All of our staff successfully complete a criminal background check, a child abuse and neglect background check, and attend a training that focuses on child development and teaching skills. Camp is accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA), a national organization that reviews camps on over 300 standards. Additionally, the Ondessonk Stables is accredited by the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA).|
|What is the staff-to-camper ratio?||Approximately 1:8. Traditional Camp. Approximately 1:3 Mini Camp.|
|What if my child gets sick or homesick?||Camp has a Health Center located in the main area. It is open 24 hours and is under the direction of an RN. We also have a local MD on call, as well as emergency care through a hospital approximately a 30 minute drive away. Homesickness is dealt with on an individual basis. In severe cases, parents will be called by the Health Center staff. It’s ok to be homesick- most children experience this feeling on some level. If this is something you’re concerned about, talk it over with your child and prepare for it before he/she comes to camp by staying overnight with friends, etc. Please do not tell your child that you will come pick them up from Camp if they are homesick- this rarely happens and sets your child up to fail.|
|What if my child has special health needs?||Please contact the Camp office to speak with the Executive Director. We are able to accommodate a wide range of allergies and other health issues.|
|What are the age requirements?||To attend Mini-Camp or Mini-Camp Explorers, a child must be 8,9 or 10 years of age by the beginning of the mini-camp session. For Traditional camp, they must be at least 10 by the start of their chosen camp session. See age requirements in the Camp Ondessonk brochure for adventure camps.|
|Are there volunteer opportunities?||It is possible to volunteer while your child is a camper, but Ondessonk discourages parents of first-year campers from volunteering due to the heightened risk of homesickness for your child and the others in his/her unit. Volunteers may not bring children who are not enrolled in a camp session. In order to minimize homesickness and provide a full camp experience to all campers, Ondessonk asks parents/relatives of campers to limit the time spent with their children/relations to the fifteen to thirty minutes of camper free time prior to dinner and after dinner. This window of appropriate visiting time amounts to less than one hour each day. By limiting visits to this time only, Camp Ondessonk aims to minimize disruption to units as they attend activities and eat their meals. Further, it is healthy to your child’s development for him/her to have as pure a camp experience as possible. Remember, part of the purpose of camp is for children to develop a healthy sense of independence.|
|Will my child go to church during the week?||Yes, an outdoor service on Sunday, one “Council” session (learning about the namesakes of Camp Ondessonk) during the week, and optional prayer services available each day.|
|How far away is it?||Directions to Camp Ondessonk. Don’t forget about Camp’s Bus Transportation!|
|Which is the best unit?||Each unit has its own unique properties. There is no one “best” unit. If you are having trouble picking a first choice, click here to see pictures of each unit.|
|How much money should I send with my child?||We don’t take cash! Pre-purchase barter bucks for the Trading Post online (in your account) before you come. $25-$30 is usually sufficient for the week.|
|How much free time will my child have?||About 2 hours a day. We try to give plenty of time to relax and hang out, but also enough time to try new activities to keep each day exciting.|
|Can my child come if we’re not Catholic?||Of course! While many at Camp Ondessonk come from a Catholic background, campers, staff, and volunteers do not have to be Catholic to attend.|