Staying Connected through the Campfire Circle – Caroline Heckemeyer
When Caroline Heckemeyer moved almost 400 miles away from home to attend college, she made a commitment to Camp Ondessonk’s future. “I joined the Campfire Circle in October of 2020 because I knew that my days at Camp Ondessonk had sadly come to a pause.” Caroline explained, “I am currently an undergraduate student at Loyola University Chicago seeking different professional experiences, so I knew that I could no longer dedicate the same amount of time I did in my teens as a Lodge and staff member. I figured that if I could not give my time and energy, I could give some of the few dollars that I have.”
Being a Campfire Circle member gave Caroline an opportunity to support Camp in a way that was easy for her to fit into her budget, and it helps her stay connected with Camp through email updates sent each month.
Ten years ago, Caroline made her first trip down the Camp Road as a camper. She was a camper for three summers, 2012-2015; a CIT in 2016; and a staff member in the kitchen and on the beach from 2017-2019; as well as volunteering at events in the off-season. She shared, “Camp Ondessonk was my place of refuge during my high school years, and the place where I did the most growing up during my teens. I owe everything I know about leadership, hard work, and friendship to this organization and the incredible people I have met through it.”
Though she is on a “pause” from being at Camp, Caroline has no intention to let it be a long one. She plans to return as summer camp staff once she finishes school and as a volunteer in the future. “I plan on staying involved at Camp Ondessonk throughout my life because of the good this organization does for young people, communities throughout Illinois, and for the Church. Camp O is a unique organization and community that truly lives up to its mission.”
“It is my hope that through making donations each month that the magic of Camp O will continue to touch the lives of other young people who may need it most,” Caroline said of her monthly support.
If you would like to join Caroline and make monthly gifts to Camp Ondessonk, enroll in the Campfire Circle today!