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Spring 2017 Outdoor Education Season

Spring Outdoor Education Camp Ondessonk

Spring 2017 Outdoor Education Season- Another early Spring has begun budding and blooming in the Shawnee.  The 2017 Spring Outdoor Education Staff is hard at work for another busy season.  We are delighted to still have Jess Peak and Bobby Thornton onboard.  Former summer staff members Nick Piazza and Mo Fitzgerald are back at Camp and are having a blast taking on their new role as outdoor educators.  Nick recently graduated from the University of New Mexico, and Mo is working on her internship to finish up her degree in Recreation from Western Illinois University.  The Camp Ondessonk Family welcomes Nolan Hurst to the Spring Staff.  Nolan is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and graduated last year from Ithaca College in New York with a degree in Outdoor Adventure Leadership and a minor in Religious Studies.   He has been very involved in scout camps for the past several years.   We completed another successful Summer Camp promotional campaign, which was organized by our Program Coordinator, Tom Gattuso.   We visited over 175 schools across Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Kentucky in January and February.  We all owe a huge Heepwah to Tom, Marketing Director Tony Vrooman, and the staff for enduring long weeks traveling and visiting schools to ensure a successful Summer 2017!  The weather was beautiful for the third annual Maple Sugarin’ Weekend in late-February.  The mild temperatures kept the sap from running most days this year, but we harvested and boiled enough sap for everyone to go home with a bottle of Ondessonk Maple Syrup.  Camp Ondessonk is blessed to be able to continue its year-round mission of inspiring growth through nature to thousands of kids of all ages from across the region.  This spring we will be hosting dozens of school groups, scout groups, spiritual and teambuilding retreats, and Road Scholar programs which provide adults with unique, intimate experiences exploring Southern Illinois on foot, on horseback, or in a canoe.  Keep an eye on our website and our Calendar of Events to find out about ways to keep Camp in your life all year.  This year we hosted our first (hopefully of many) annual Waterfalls, Wildflowers, and Wineries Weekend April 7th – 9th.  It was hugely successful and was sold out over a month prior to the event.  Our usual spring events like Father-Son Weekend, Spring Lodge Reunion, and Stable Round-Up will also be in April and our two Open Houses are scheduled for May.  There are still open weekends for folks to visit Camp, hike around, sleep in a treehouse, and enjoy our favorite place on Earth.  Give us a call to reserve a cabin for the weekend and bring the whole family!

-Greg Santen

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