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Summer 2016 Wrap-Up

Summer 2016 Wrap-Up

By Alissa Hollmann Camping Services Director

Camp Ondessonk Summer Wrap UpFrom June 4 to August 6 of this year, campers crossed the covered bridge 2922 times to begin a new session at Camp Ondessonk.  There were 2922 cheerful greetings from Unit Leaders and 2922 new unit shirts given out on Sundays; 2922 Marshmallows on Monday nights; 2922 Explorers who set out from Camp into the Shawnee National Forest; and 2922 fresh stories of campfires, games, and new friends. Our 2922 campers came from 28 states and from Mexico.  They traveled from as far away as Oregon, Alaska and Florida.  But when they arrived, they were coming home.

Of the 2922, 569 were Mini Campers or Mini Camp Explorers who stayed in the units of Aonetta and Chiwatenhwa within the Monsignor Fournie Mini Camp Village.  The second summer in Mini Camp Village was even better than last year.  First, the addition of the new catwalks and fire pits gave each unit a sense of cohesiveness and a place to gather for Monday night campfires.  Also, the new amphitheater and rope bridge element gave campers additional outlets for creative play at their units.  The Mini Camp program will continue to grow in the coming years and we are very excited for the new additions yet to come.

72 of the 2922 were Teen campers attending Adventure Camps.  This year there were new options for Teen campers at Camp Ondessonk, including new Adventure Camps.  Surf Adventure was a new program that had a successful inaugural summer.  Surf Adventure campers traveled to South Carolina where they took part in surfing lessons each morning and other exciting activities each afternoon like stand up paddle boarding and a sea kayak tour.  Surf Adventure will certainly be back next summer!

The 2922 camper sessions that we held this summer were a full 250 more than the number of campers served in 2015, and far above our goal of 2700.  The success of 2016 was due in large part to our wonderful summer staff and volunteers, who work so hard each summer to give our campers the best experience possible.  In 2016, there were 167 volunteers.  Collectively, they who donated approximately 7000 hours of their time and talent to help Camp look great and run smoothly.  Not to mention that volunteers improved the overall program of Camp by allowing us to offer activities (and desserts!) that couldn’t be done without them!

Now that 2016 is in the books, we are excited to look towards 2017 and see what awaits us as we move forward.  We cannot wait to meet our 2017 staff, show off the facility upgrades that are planned for this school year, and see the next 2922 campers’ faces as they experience coming Home again.

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