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Be the puff in our marshmallow, the volume in our cheers,
the reason we make Incredible Camp O Campers.

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Summer Camp

Camp Ondessonk is a residential youth camp that provides summer camp programs for children ages 8-17 years old. We are proud to be accredited by the American Camp Association. This accreditation means that Camp Ondessonk thoroughly reviews operational practices, seeks the wisdom of other summer camp professionals, and continually makes improvements within our summer camp program to comply with more than 300 written standards. Only one-fourth of the summer camps in the United States have earned this mark of distinction. In addition, Camp Ondessonk’s Equestrian Program is accredited by the Certified Horsemanship Association.

If you are looking for information regarding the LIT program, click here.  Applications will be available on the Camp Ondessonk Employment Page.

2022 Summer Camp Sessions

Session 1

Traditional Coed S1 (Entering 5th grade or 10 yrs old – 10th grade up to 15 yrs old): June 5-11

Mini Camp S1 (Entering 3rd grade or 8 yrs old – 5th grade or 10 yrs old): June 5-8: This is a 3-day COED session.  

Mini Camp Explorers S1 (Entering 3rd grade or 8 yrs old – 5th grade or 10 yrs old): June 5-11: This is a 6-day COED session.  

Horse Camp S1 (Beginner, Ages 12-15): Coed Session: June 5-11

O.W.L. S1-2 (Formerly CIT, Age 15): Coed Session: June 5-18

o  Layover S1: June 11

Session 2

Traditional Coed S2 (Entering 5th grade or 10 yrs old – 10th grade up to 15 yrs old): June 12-18

Mini Camp S2 (Entering 3rd grade or 8 yrs old – 5th grade or 10 yrs old): June 12-15: This is a 3-day COED session.  

Mini Camp Explorers S2 (Entering 3rd grade or 8 yrs old – 5th grade or 10 yrs old): June 12-18: This is a 6-day COED session.  

o  Horse Adventure S2 (Intermediate, Ages 13-16): Coed Session: June 12-18

Hike, Bike, Paddle & Climb S2 (Beginner, Ages 12-16): Coed Session: June 12-18

O.W.L. S2-3 (Formerly CIT, Age 15): Coed Session: June 12-25

o  Layover S2: June 18

Session 3

Traditional Coed S3 (Entering 5th grade or 10 yrs old – 10th grade up to 15 yrs old): June 19-25

Mini Camp S3 (Entering 3rd grade or 8 yrs old – 5th grade or 10 yrs old): June 19-22: This is a 3-day COED session.   

Mini Camp Explorers S3 (Entering 3rd grade or 8 yrs old – 5th grade or 10 yrs old): June 19-25: This is a 6-day COED session.   

Advanced Horse Camp S3 (Intermediate, Ages 13-16): Coed Session: June 19-25

Camper vs. Wild S3 (Intermediate, Ages 12-16): Coed Session: June 19-25

O.W.L. S3-4 (Formerly CIT, Age 15): Coed Session: June 19-July 2

o  Layover S3: June 25

Session 4

o  Traditional Coed S4 (Entering 5th grade or 10 yrs old – 10th grade up to 15 yrs old): June 26-July 2

Mini Camp S4 (Entering 3rd grade or 8 yrs old – 5th grade or 10 yrs old): June 26-29: This is a 3-day COED session.

Mini Camp Explorers S4 (Entering 3rd grade or 8 yrs old – 5th grade or 10 yrs old: June 26-July 2: This is a 6-day COED session.

Horse Adventure S4 (Intermediate, Ages 13-16): Coed Session: June 26-July 2

Shawnee Backpack & Zipline Adv. S4 (Intermediate, Ages 13-16): Coed Session: June 26-July 2

O.W.L. S4-5 (Formerly CIT, Age 15): Coed Session: June 26-July 9

o  Layover S4: July 2

Session 5

Girls Camp S5 (Entering 5th grade or 10 yrs old – 10th grade up to 15 yrs old): July 3-9

Mini Camp S5 (Entering 3rd grade or 8 yrs old – 5th grade or 10 yrs old): July 3-6: This is a 3-day GIRLS ONLY session.

Mini Camp Explorers S5 (Entering 3rd grade or 8 yrs old – 5th grade or 10 yrs old): July 3-9: This is a 6-day GIRLS ONLY session.

o  Horse Camp S5  (Beginner, Ages 12-15): July 3-9: This is a 6-day GIRLS ONLY session.

O.W.L. S5-6 (Formerly CIT, Age 15): Coed Session: July 3-16

o  Layover S5: July 9

Session 6

o  Traditional Coed S6 (Entering 5th grade or 10 yrs old – 10th grade up to 15 yrs old): July 10-16

Mini Camp S6 (Entering 3rd grade or 8 yrs old – 5th grade or 10 yrs old): July 10-13: This is a 3-day COED session. 

Mini Camp Explorers S6 (Entering 3rd grade or 8 yrs old – 5th grade or 10 yrs old): July 10-16: This is a 6-day COED session. 

Horse Adventure S6 (Intermediate, Ages 13-16): Coed Session: July 10-16

Camper vs. Wild S6 (Intermediate, Ages 12-16): Coed Session: July 10-16

Hike, Bike, Paddle & Climb S6 (Beginner, Ages 12-16): Coed Session: July 10-16

O.W.L. S6-7 (Formerly CIT, Age 15): Coed Session: July 10-23

o  Layover S6: July 16

Session 7

o  Traditional Coed S7 (Entering 5th grade or 10 yrs old – 10th grade up to 15 yrs old): July 17-23

Mini Camp S7 (Entering 3rd grade or 8 yrs old – 5th grade or 10 yrs old: July 17-20: This is a 3-day COED session.

Mini Camp Explorers S7 (Entering 3rd grade or 8 yrs old – 5th grade or 10 yrs old): July 17-23: This is a 6-day COED session.

Horse Camp S7 (Beginner, Ages 12-15): Coed Session: July 17-23

o  Mammoth Adventure S7 (Advanced, Age 14-17 only): Coed Session: July 17-23

o  Mt. Bike Adventure S7 (Intermediate, Ages 12-16): Coed Session: July 17-23

O.W.L. S7-8 (Formerly CIT, Age 15): Coed Session: July 17-30

o  Layover S7: July 23

Session 8

Traditional Coed S8 (Entering 5th grade or 10 yrs old – 10th grade up to 15 yrs old): July 24-30

Mini Camp S8 (Entering 3rd grade or 8 yrs old – 5th grade or 10 yrs old): July 24-27: This is a 3-day COED session.

Mini Camp Explorers S8 (Entering 3rd grade or 8 yrs old – 5th grade or 10 yrs old): July 24-30: This is a 6-day COED session.

Advanced Horse Camp S8 (Intermediate, Ages 13-16): Coed Session: July 24-30

Climbing Adventure S8  (Intermediate, Ages 13-16): Coed Session: July 24-30

Surfing  Adventure S8-9 (Advanced, Ages 14-17 only): Coed Session: July 24-August 3

O.W.L. S8-9 (Formerly CIT, Age 15): Coed Session: July 24-August 6

o  Layover S8: July 30

Session 9

Traditional Coed S9 (Entering 5th grade or 10 yrs old – 10th grade up to 15 yrs old): July 31-August 6

Mini Camp S9 (Entering 3rd grade or 8 yrs old – 5th grade or 10 yrs old) : July 31-August 3: This is a 3-day COED session.

Mini Camp Explorers S9 (Entering 3rd grade or 8 yrs old – 5th grade or 10 yrs old): July 31-August 6: This is a 6-day COED session.

Horse Camp S9 (Beginner, Ages 12-15): Coed Session: July 31-August 6

Advanced Mountain Bike S9 (Advanced, Ages 13-17): Coed Session: July 31-August 6

Lodge Camp S9 (Ages 11-16, Must be an Active Lodge Member): Coed Session: July 31-August 6

Pricing Structure

Camp Ondessonk is a self-sufficient organization that relies entirely on camper fees, grants, and contributions to operate. Unlike many other camps, prices are all-inclusive; all kids have access to all activities included in their session-type with no additional fees, period. Realizing that we serve a wide variety of families with varying abilities to pay, we’ve adopted a 3-tier pricing program. Please review the descriptions and decide which of the three prices your family is able and willing to pay for your child’s camp experience. This is strictly a voluntary honor system and in no way influences, the experience children receive. 

Our camper fees are extremely competitive and unlike many other summer camps, Ondessonk does not charge additional fees for horseback riding or senior camper electives.

Mini Camp COED

Camp Ondessonk Counselor In Training CIT teen summer camp

Grades: Entering 3rd grade or 8 yrs old – 5th grade or 10 yrs old

2022 Dates:
Session 1 Mini-Camp – June 5-8
Session 2 Mini-Camp – June 12-15
Session 3 Mini-Camp – June 19-22
Session 4 Mini-Camp – June 26-29
Session 5 Mini-Camp – July 3-6 (Girls-Only)
Session 6 Mini-Camp – July 10-13
Session 7 Mini-Camp – July 17-20 
Session 8 Mini-Camp – July 24-27
Session 9 Mini-Camp –July 31-August 3

 

Cost: $379/$359/$339  ($100 non-refundable deposit is required during registration; remainder due 4 weeks prior to camp date)

Mini Camp is a special three-day, three-night session for younger children. It is the perfect way to give campers an introduction to the Camp Ondessonk tradition of rustic, nature-based camping in the Shawnee National Forest.

The Mini Camp schedule includes handicrafts, boating, swimming, archery, a pony ride experience, evening campfires, skits, and lots of singing. All activities are modified to best serve the mini-camp age group. With one Ondessonk counselor for every three or four campers, mini campers receive nearly constant guidance and companionship from our caring staff. Incidentally, many of our staff members were once mini campers.  Register for Mini Camp

Mini Camp Explorers COED

Mini Camp Explorers Summer Camp Ondessonk

Grades: Entering 3rd grade or 8 yrs old – 5th grade or 10 yrs old

2022 Dates:
Session 1 Mini-Camp Explorers – June 5-11
Session 2 Mini-Camp Explorers – June 12-18 
Session 3 Mini-Camp Explorers – June 19-25 
Session 4 Mini-Camp Explorers – June 26-July 2 
Session 5 Mini-Camp Explorers – July 3-9 (Girls-Only)
Session 6 Mini-Camp Explorers – July 10-16
Session 7 Mini-Camp Explorers – July 17-23 
Session 8 Mini-Camp Explorers – July 24-30
Session 9 Mini-Camp Explorers – July 31-August 6

Cost: $669/$619/$569  ($100 non-refundable deposit is required during registration; remainder due 4 weeks prior to camp date)

Mini-Camp Explorers offers adventurous 8 – 10-year-old children an extended experience building upon our popular Mini Camp program. By popular request, young campers will spend the entire week discovering all of the Camp Ondessonk activities and traditions so beloved by campers over the past 60 summers.

Explorers will enjoy nature walks, handicrafts, boating, swimming, archery, a pony ride experience, campfires, structured social time, and skits while living in a communal setting designed to develop social skills and build friendships. Mini Camp Explorers will be led by a specialized staffed equipped with the counseling skills to best serve the mini-camp age group and introduce campers to the wonderful world of outdoor, week-long sleep-away camp.  Register for Mini Camp Explorers

Coed Camp

Ondessonk Coed 2016
Grades: 
Entering 5th grade or 10 yrs old – 10th grade up to 15 yrs old

2022 Dates:
Session 1 Coed  – June 5-11
Session 2 Coed  – June 12-18
Session 3 Coed  – June 19-25
Session 4 Coed –  June 26-July 2
Session 6 Coed  – July 10-16
Session 7 Coed   –July 17-23
Session 8 Coed  – July 24-30
Session 9 Coed  – July 31-August 6

Cost: $669/$619/$569 ($100 non-refundable deposit is required during registration; remainder due 4 weeks prior to camp date)

One of the biggest advantages of coed camp is that it mirrors and prepares campers for everyday living — the world is co-ed! One side of Lake Echon is designated for male campers, the other for females. Overnight camp-outs and sleeping quarters are gender-specific, with boys and girls supervised by the appropriate staff. Hurry, these sessions fill quickly!

The coed camp schedule includes two horseback rides, archery, riflery, council, swimming, nature exploration, handicrafts, woodscraft, canoeing, kayaking, campfires, an overnight campout, marathon, tug of war, and much more.  Register for Coed Camp

Girl’s Camp

Camp Ondessonk Youth Summer Camp

Grades: Entering 5th grade or 10 yrs old – 10th grade up to 15 yrs old

2022 Date:
Session 5 Girl’s Camp- July 3-9

Cost: $669/$619/$569 ($100 non-refundable deposit is required during registration; remainder due 4 weeks prior to camp date)

One of our most popular programs, Girls Camp is a week you’ll remember for the rest of your life. The single-gender environment provides growing girls and teens with something genuinely important- a safe, open, accepting place where they can truly be themselves. Campers are able to leave behind social expectations, popularity contests, and worries about their outward appearance for a week filled with giggling, games, and meaningful friendships.

The girl’s camp schedule includes two horseback rides, archery, riflery, council, swimming, nature exploration, handicrafts, woodscraft, canoeing, kayaking, campfires, an overnight campout, marathon, tug of war, and much more.  Register for Girl’s Camp

Super Camper Layover Weekend

Camp Ondessonk Super Camper LayoverAges: 10-16

2022 Dates:
Available between Session 1 & 2: June 11, Session 2 & 3: June 18,  Session 3&4: June 25 Session 4&5: July 2,  Session 5&6: July 9, Session 6&7: July 16, Session 7&8: July 23, Session 8&9: July 30.

Cost: $75 – meals, supervision, and programming included

Because families asked for it! Campers that choose to attend multiple sessions back-to-back are welcome to take advantage of this program. This supervised, one-day / one-night session will include exploration in the Shawnee National Forest, a special overnight campout, swimming, meals, and other activities.

Please note: Campers registering for back-to-back sessions can choose to stay in a different unit each session. Laundry service is not available. Many Super Campers pack clothing for their second week in separate bags. If your camper does this, Camp Ondessonk will happily store the second set of clothing in a safe and dry location (please call ahead of time to make arrangements).

Lodge Camp

Camp Ondessonk Lodge MembersAges: 11-16 – Must be an active member of the Loyal Lodge of Ondessonk and Tekakwitha

2022 Date: Session 9 Lodge Camp – July 31- August 6

Cost: $629 or $504 as the second session during summer.  ($100 non-refundable deposit is required during registration; remainder due 4 weeks prior to camp date)

The Loyal Lodge of Ondessonk and Tekakwitha is an honor society for campers who have shown their loyalty and dedication to camp in an exemplary way. Campers are eligible for Lodge induction during their second summer at camp. Participants will enjoy the highlights of Camp while living in a unit led by Lodge officials. The session includes rock climbing at Pakentuck, the High Challenge Course, an extended Horseback Ride, and in the Spirit of Lodge, a service project significant to the Mission of Camp Ondessonk. Campers receive a substantial discount if choosing Lodge Camp as the second session of their summer.  Register for Lodge Camp

O.W.L./C.I.T. (Formerly CIT/LIT)

15-year-old campers are eligible to participate in the Ondessonk Wisdom in Leadership Program (O.W.L.). 

16-year-olds may apply to become a Counselor in Training (C.I.T.), which is the final step before becoming a paid staff member at Camp Ondessonk.  

More information about the Ondessonk Leadership Program can be found here.

Beginner Adventures

Campers in Beginner Adventure sessions spend their days’ building skills, their evenings enjoying traditional Ondessonk activities like the Tuesday night game and their nights in one of Ondessonk’s signature cabins. No prior rock climbing, backpacking, or horsemanship experience required.

Horse Camp

Camp Ondessonk Horse Adventure teen summer camp

Ages: 12-15, weight limit 225lbs.

2022 Dates:
Session 1 Horse Camp – June 5-11 (Coed Session)
Session 5 Horse Camp – July 3-9 (GIRLS ONLY Session)
Session 7 Horse Camp – July 17-23 (Coed Session)
Session 9 Horse Camp – July 31-August 6 (Coed Session)

Cost: $739/$689/$639 ($100 non-refundable deposit is required during registration; remainder due 4 weeks prior to camp date)

Love horses? Love Camp O? Want both? Horse Camp is for you. Spend your days at the Ondessonk Stables learning how to care for and groom your horse, develop basic horsemanship and riding skills, and enjoy long rides through our pristine pasture lands and oak-hickory forested trails. Spend your evenings doing those Camp O activities you love, the nights cozy in your cabin. And yes, you can bring your horse on the overnight!  Register for Horse Camp

Hike, Bike, Paddle, and Climb

Camp Ondessonk Mountain Bike Adventure teen summer campAges: 12-16

2022 Dates:
Session 2 Hike, Bike Paddle, and Climb – June 12- June 18 (Coed Session)
Session 6 Hike, Bike Paddle, and Climb – July 10- July 16 (Coed Session)

Cost: $699/$649/$599  ($100 non-refundable deposit is required during registration; remainder due 4 weeks prior to camp date)

This program is designed to give campers a taste of multiple adventures within one program. This “sampler” offers a bit of each adventure, including Backpacking, Mountain Biking, Rock Camp, and River Adventure. Campers will get to ride a top of the line Specialized Carve Expert provided by the Bike Surgeon and train with Bike Surgeon owner Jon Greenstreet.  Register for Hike, Bike, Paddle and Climb

Intermediate Adventures

Intermediate Adventure sessions offer more time away from the main area of Ondessonk, a higher level of challenge, and more advanced instruction. Intermediate Adventure campers spend most nights in the backcountry and return to the main area to enjoy end-of-session all-camp activities like Special Activity, Marathon, and Closing Campfire. 

Advanced Horse Camp

Advanced Horse CampAges: 13-16, weight limit 225lbs.

2022 Dates:
Session 3 Adv. Horse Camp –June 19- June 25 (Coed Session)
Session 8 Adv. Horse Camp – July 24- July 30 (Coed Session)

Cost: $759/$709/$659  ($100 non-refundable deposit is required during registration; remainder due 4 weeks prior to camp date)

Advanced Horse Camp is designed for the horse camper with some riding experience or a previous Horse Camp session under their belt.   Advanced horse campers live in the barn, work closely with one horse for the week, and participate in beginner and intermediate-level lessons.  In the evening campers participate in traditional evening programming and an overnight at Durbin’s Barn.  Campers may have the opportunity to travel off camp one night for a rodeo.

Horse Adventure

Camp Ondessonk Horse AdventureAges: 13-16, weight limit 225lbs.

2022 Dates:
Session 2 Horse Adventure – June 12- June 18 (Coed Session)
Session 4 Horse Adventure  – June 26- July 2 (Coed Session)
Session 6 Horse Adventure  – July 10- July 16 (Coed Session)

Cost: $759/$709/$659  ($100 non-refundable deposit is required during registration; remainder due 4 weeks prior to camp date)

Since 1991, our long-standing Adventure Camp favorite! Exploring the scenic back-country trails of the Shawnee National Forest offers the perfect opportunity to expand horsemanship skills and develop outdoor skills. Campers will receive instruction and supervision from CHA Certified Instructors throughout their trip. Evenings are spent taking care of the horses, setting up the campsite, cooking meals, and relaxing around the campfire.  Register for Horse Adventure

Shawnee Backpack & Zip-Line Adventure

Shawnee Zip Line Adventure teen summer campAges: 13-16

2022 Date: Session 4 Shawnee Backpack & Zip-Line Adv. – June 26- July 2 (Coed Session)

Cost: $699/$649/$599  ($100 non-refundable deposit is required during registration; remainder due 4 weeks prior to camp date)

Explore the beautiful Shawnee National Forest, on the ground and in the air. This program will combine hiking on the infamous River-to-River trail with a vertical view of the forest from zip-lines located throughout Southern Illinois.  Register for Shawnee Zip Line Adventure

Climbing Adventure

Camp Ondessonk Rock Adventure teen summer campAges: 13-16

2022 Date
: Session 8 Climbing Adventure – July 24- July 30 (Coed Session)

Cost: $699/$649/$599  ($100 non-refundable deposit is required during registration; remainder due 4 weeks prior to camp date)

Climbing Adventure campers spend their days practicing the knots, equipment, and techniques needed to rock climb outdoors. This program is designed to develop skills and knowledge that allow campers to feel comfortable on progressively more challenging climbs. The beginning of the session is spent climbing at Pakentuck on Camp’s property and also travels to premiere rock climbing destinations in Southern Illinois. One day is dedicated to learning to ascend a rope high into the forest canopy with a professional tree climber. Nights are spent camping at nearby back-country sites where participants cook and relax together.  Register for Climbing Adventure

Mountain Biking Adventure

Camp Ondessonk Mountain Biking AdventureAges: 12-16

2022 Date: Session 7 Mountain Biking Adventure  – July 17- July 23 (Coed Session)

Cost: $699/$649/$599 ($100 non-refundable deposit is required during registration; remainder due 4 weeks prior to camp date)

Campers will initially be on-site at camp learning riding techniques, bike repair, and practicing on our extensive trail system. This program will conclude with an off-site ride on some of the best Mountain Biking trails the region has to offer. Bring your own bike or ride one of ours! Bikes and instruction provided by the Bike Surgeon from O’Fallon, IL. Register for Mountain Biking Adventure

Camper vs. Wild

Ondessonk Outdoor EducationAges: 12-16

2022 Dates:
Session 3 Camper vs. Wild  – June 19- June 25 (Coed Session)
Session 6 Camper vs. Wild – July 10- July 16 (Coed Session)

Cost: $699/$649/$599  ($100 non-refundable deposit is required during registration; remainder due 4 weeks prior to camp date)

Participants will develop real-life leadership skills through participation in primitive camping activities. Skill development will include basic backpacking, outdoor cooking, map and compass navigation, fire building, water purification, and much more!  Register for Camper vs Wild

Advanced Adventures

Experienced Ondessonk Adventure Campers only. An epic opportunity for veteran campers to use the skills they’ve gained in Beginner and Intermediate Adventure sessions.

Mammoth Adventure

Mammoth Adventure Camp OndessonkAges: 14-17

2022 Date: Session 7: July 17- July 23 (Coed Session)

Cost:
 $759/$709/$659  ($100 non-refundable deposit is required during registration; remainder due 4 weeks prior to camp date)

This program is our newest adventure camp concept! Campers will voyage to Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave National Park and explore America’s largest cave on foot, in canoes, and underground while crawling through the cave’s deepest passages with trained guides. Camp under the stars the Park’s youth group or backcountry sites or on the banks of the Green River on an overnight paddle exploration. Nearby adventure outfitters will tour campers through the treetops on their aerial challenge course and ziplines. Must be able to pass Camp’s Intermediate Swim Assessment. Front and backcountry camping. Register for Mammoth Adventure

Advanced Mountain Bike

Camp Ondessonk Advanced Mountain Biking Adventure (1)Ages: 13-17

2022 Date: Session 9 Advanced Mountain Bike – July 31-August 6 (Coed Session)

Cost: $819/$769/$719 ($100 non-refundable deposit is required during registration; remainder due 4 weeks prior to camp date)

Campers will travel to the Mountain Bike Capital of the World, Bentonville, Arkansas, for a week of advanced mountain biking. The week will focus on improving riding while actively biking the extensive trail progression system of Bentonville, AK.  The trails will challenge campers to help experienced riders grow their skills. Campers will also have the chance to learn riding techniques and bike repair. All instruction is provided by the Bike Surgeon located in O’Fallon, IL. Campers of this program are expected to provide their own bike and have previous mountain bike experience. If you need assistance acquiring a bike, please contact Camp Ondessonk.  Register for Advanced Mountain Bike

Frontcountry Camping.

Visit Camp’s Packing List Page to know what to pack.

Surfing Adventure

Surfing Adventure OndessonkAges:  14-17

2022 Date:  Session 8-9: July 24-August 3 (Coed Session)

Cost: $1234/$1184/$1134 ($100 non-refundable deposit is required during registration; remainder due 4 weeks prior to camp date)

This 10-day Trip and Travel Program Surfing Adventure Campers will travel to historic Charleston, South Carolina where they will participate in a multi-day surf camp with professional surfing instructors.  In the afternoons there are opportunities for Stand Up Paddle-boarding, visiting Ft. Sumter and exploring the Francis Marion National Forest.  This program also includes a half-day kayak tour through saltwater marshes with abundant wildlife.  Campers must be strong swimmers,  comfortable in breaking waves, and must be able to pass Camp’s advanced swim test. Register for Surfing Adventure

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