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Staff Portal

Welcome to the Summer Staff portal!  

Here you will find updates for Camp Ondessonk summer staff regarding paperwork, training dates, and other information.  Please check back frequently for updates!


 Hello 2021 Summer Staff,

I am so glad you are joining our Summer Staff team for the 2021 season! Summer 2021 will be like no other as we “honor tradition and embrace innovation” by making necessary modifications to our staffing structure, program schedule & curriculum, and other systems around camp in order to operate a resident camp in a time when the coronavirus is still a large part of our lives. I want to be open with you. We are still fine-tuning Summer 2021. The virus will require our year-round leadership staff to make modifications until the last moment to guarantee our camp systems align with the CDC and local public health department guidelines.

For summer 2021 to be successful, we will need a strong, dedicated, and FLEXIBLE staff willing to be a positive and productive part of the process. I know you will be that person. As you prepare to work at Camp Ondessonk this summer I want to share what I know at this point.

  • Traditional & Mini Camp units will have a capacity of 24 campers instead of 32 campers.
  • We are creating program schedules, content, and staffing within the constructs of a “cohort” summer camp model. A cohort is a group of campers and staff that spend the session together and do not mix with other cohorts.
  • In a cohort model of summer camp, Activity Heads & Service Areas will live unattached from the unit. Unit staff members will live in a unit with campers and be cross-trained in three or more areas of the operation. It will be vital that you read the job descriptions before applying.
  • Activities during the day will either be 45 minutes or 90 minutes, except for the All-Day Nature Exploration. There will be 10 minutes built into the schedule for travel and disinfection between each activity. This is a change from the recent norm of 75 minutes for activities.
  • LITs will be assigned to live in a unit during their contracted time and will receive specialized training in each of the four activity “areas of focus”.
  • CITs will focus their program on leadership growth, theoretical counselor skills, and activity skills. To protect the cohort model, CITs will not be assigned to a unit.
  • A new time-off system will be implemented to allow staff to take necessary breaks for health and self-care. To minimize the possibility of viral transmission during time off, staff will be required to wear masks and remain physically distanced from those not in their cohort.
  • Campers, staff, and volunteers will undergo daily health checks.
  • Meals will be delivered to a pre-determined location for staff and campers to enjoy while in their cohort.
  • Campers will have assigned shower houses and shower times throughout the week.
  • Staff will have assigned shower houses and will shower when their schedule allows.
  • Mask wearing will be a part of the Camp Ondessonk summer experience in 2021. Though our plans are not complete, we know that staff, volunteers, and campers will be required to wear masks for portions (or all, depending upon guidance and conditions) of each day during summer camp.
  • These changes and others to come will, in theory, allow camp to continue operating in the event that a unit of campers and staff is sent home due to a positive test or outbreak within that cohort. We cannot do this unless the staff enforces and follow these changes. Your diligence may make the difference between a partial shutdown and a full shutdown.
  • Hundreds of residential summer camps operated in 2020 without experiencing coronavirus transmission. The protocols and procedures summarized above are modeled after the experiences of those “pioneer” camps. We are working to learn from their success. Having said that, the highly contagious nature of this virus means that we can do everything right and still encounter community spread. Nonetheless, we will strive to do everything right.

As Abraham Lincoln said in a message to Congress, “The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.” This summer we will all rise to the occasion to make the best experience for our campers and community. 

Nolan Hurst 

Staff Announcements:

Send all completed forms AND copies of certifications to:

Camp Ondessonk ATTN: Lucia Hodges 3760 Ondessonk Rd. Ozark, IL 62972  or email to volunteer@ondessonk.com.  

Required Paperwork:

  • All required paperwork can be found via your CampWise profile: Http://cwngui.campwise.com/Customer/ondessonk/browser-check-staff.html.  Your Login is your full email address.  Your password is the word “summer” until you change it.  If you do not remember your login information, contact camp and we can reset your password for you. If you need some support finding forms and navigating through Campwise click the following link.  https://ondessonk.com/wp-content/uploads/Where-to-Find-Forms-on-Campwise.pdf
  • All Tax forms will be required to be completed through Paycor, your online paycheck provider.  You will receive an email asking you to login to the system with sensitive information like your social security number. This is how you will be able to view your paychecks. If you don’t create a login, you will still be paid, but you won’t be able to see your final pay amount every 2 weeks.  If you have questions about Paycor, please let me know.
  • Copies of ALL Current Certifications (CPR/AED, First Aid, Lifeguarding, Wilderness First Aid, etc.) must be sent in to us or uploaded via CampWise.  Here is a link to CPR and First Aid certifications which are accepted by camp: http://www.acacamps.org/resource-library/accreditation-standards/first-aid-cpr-recognized-certifications.   You must have an exam with an instructor for it to count.
  • If you need CPR/First Aid, you must find a course prior to arriving at camp. Please visit the American Red Cross website to learn about a 90-day provisional certification course (https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/coronavirus-information/provisional-certification).Those that are unable to take a course prior to arrival should contact Nolan.  Adult and Child CPR/AED/First Aid is REQUIRED for paid staff, strongly recommended for LITs.
  • If you are over 18 and have already completed the full Diocese Child Protection Training at Camp in a previous year do your refresher course here: http://safeandsacred-diobelle.org.  The refresher course is called “Bullying Approaches and Policies”.  Upload your certificate of completion to your CampWise profile.
  • Prior to Orientation, all staff should complete this online training: https://lnt.org/online_awareness_html5/  Upload the certificate of completion to your CampWise profile.
  • Staff will be required to present appropriate identification in order to verify your I-9 form.  Proper forms of ID include: 1. Passport 2. Driver’s license AND Social Security Card or 3. Driver’s license AND Birth Certificate.
  • If you are bringing a car, you will need to know your Make, Model, and License Plate # when you arrive.
  • If you will be taking any time off this summer or arriving late to a training date please complete this form: https://forms.gle/wF1pfkq9x7St7ccR9 . This form needs to be completed even if you put something on your application or discussed it during your interview. 

Send all completed forms AND copies of certifications to:

Camp Ondessonk ATTN: Lucia Hodges 3760 Ondessonk Rd. Ozark, IL 62972  or email to volunteer@ondessonk.com or upload to CampWise.

Training Information:

LEADERSHIP STAFF Training: Tuesday May 18 – Friday May 21.  Leadership staff are ULs, Activity and Service Area Coordinators, etc.  Check-in details TBA. 

RED CROSS CPR/AED/First Aid: DATES COMING SOON!! This is a limited enrollment class for those that CANNOT find a CPR/First Aid course PRIOR to arrival at camp.  There are very few spaces available.  I recommend getting your CPR before this if you can.  If you only need to “Challenge” this course, indicate that and you will be scheduled for a time.  $30 for full course.  $20 to challenge.  Checks made payable to Camp Ondessonk.

ALL STAFF ORIENTATION: Saturday May 22 – Friday May 28 Check-in details TBA.

LIT ORIENTATION: Wedndesday May 26 – Friday May 28. Check-in details TBA.

Professional Development:  Check out these opportunities prior to Camp!

Staff- Take advantage of a full year of American Camp Association Membership for free. Now is the time for them to join! Benefits include a free ACA webinar, a 40% discount on Chaco products, and more. The only requirement is that you must be new to the ACA.  If you took advantage of this offer last year, you will need to renew your membership at the student or individual rate.
https://ACAcamps.org/membership/summer-staff   Use code FREESUMMER19 


Wilderness First Aid Course:  A Wilderness Medicine Certification (WFA/WAFA/WFR)is REQUIRED for Adventure Staff and STRONGLY ENCOURAGED for Nature, Wranglers, Unit Leaders and Everyone Else. 

Places to find wilderness medicine courses: SOLO, WMI, WMA.

Aquatics Courses:

  • Click here for more information on upcoming Lifeguard certifications in Carbondale.
  • Check here for Lifeguard Certifications near Belleville and O’Fallon, IL.
  • Click here for American Canoe Association courses all over the country.

Here are other camps offering certifications (LG, CPR, First Aid) all over the country.

Staff Announcements:  Check back often to see what’s new!


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