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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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Adventure Camp

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Led by a small group of capable, specialized adventure staff, every week our summer adventure programs take a small, co-ed group of campers on a journey away from our main campus to participate in specific adventure activities. This creates an opportunity for remarkable knowledge and skill growth. Each week’s program is unique and features a different activity focus, with the exception of our adventure sampler program called “Hike, Bike, Paddle, and Climb” which introduces campers to a new adventure activity each day.

 

Campers should enroll in adventure camps if they are looking for:

– A small group experience, as opposed to the large-group format of our traditional camp units

– Even greater immersion in nature

– An opportunity to participate in awesomely fun adventure activities

– A way to challenge and stretch themselves a little more

– Beautiful and unique off-site adventure destinations

 

Our programs are divided into three categories:

  • ON-CAMP Adventures
  • ON AND OFF-CAMP Adventures, and
  • TRIP & TRAVEL Adventures. 

 

ALL OF CAMP ONDESSONK’S ADVENTURE PROGRAMS ARE COED; REGARDLESS OF THE GENDER OF THE CONCURRENT TRADITIONAL SESSION. Like Traditional Campers, Adventure Campers are eligible for induction into Lodge, Camp Ondessonk’s honor society. Some of our adventures spend concentrated time front-country tent camping, while others feature extended time camping and traveling in backcountry wilderness:

 

Front-Country Camping means living in a tent at Camp or at an established campground with bathroom facilities and water available.  Emergency transportation is readily available from the campsite, though it may not be from the activity areas.

 

Backcountry Camping means living in a tent or under a tarp away from a road or vehicle with limited access to emergency transportation.  Backcountry campers must carry all their supplies with them and must find and purify water each day.  No bathroom facilities exist.  Staff teach campers how to live comfortably without front-country amenities.

 

ON-CAMP ADVENTURES

Campers live on-camp and spend their days’ building skills, their evenings enjoying traditional Ondessonk activities like the Tuesday Night Game and Lodge Ceremony.  Campers gain new experiences in smaller, more intimate groups.  These programs participate in an overnight campout on Wednesday night.  No prior experience required for these adventures.

Horse Camp

Camp Ondessonk Horse Adventure teen summer camp

Ages: 12-15
2020 Dates:
Session 1 Horse Camp – May 31- June 6 
Session 2 Horse Camp – June 7- June 13
Session 4 Horse Camp – June 21- June 27
Session 6 Horse Camp – July 5- July 11 
Session 7 Horse Camp – July 12- July 18
Session 9 Horse Camp – July 26- August 1

Cost: $704/$654/$604($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! 

Front-Country Camping.

Register for Horse Camp.

Visit the Packing List Page to know what to pack.

Apply for a scholarship.

 

Hike, Bike, Paddle, and Climb

Camp Ondessonk Mountain Bike Adventure teen summer campAges: 12-16
2020 Dates:
Session 3 Hike, Bike Paddle, and Climb – June 14- June 20
Session 5 Hike, Bike Paddle, and Climb – June 28- July 4
Session 7 Hike, Bike Paddle, and Climb – July 12- July 18

Cost: $664/$614/$564  ($100 non-refundable deposit is required during registration; remainder due 4 weeks prior to camp date)

This adventure “sampler” program is designed to give teen campers a taste of multiple adventure activities within one program, offering a bit of each adventure, including Backpacking, Mountain Biking, Rock Climbing, and Padding. Campers will get to ride top of the line Specialized Carve Expert mountain bikes provided by the Bike Surgeon in O’Fallon, Illinois.  Front-Country Camping.

Register for Hike, Bike, Paddle and Climb.

Visit the Packing List Page to know what to pack.

Apply for a scholarship.

 

ON AND OFF-CAMP ADVENTURES

On and off camp Adventure sessions offer more time away from the main area of Ondessonk, a higher level of challenge, and more in-depth instruction. These campers spend their first night at camp followed by nights at local campgrounds or in the backcountry.  These adventures typically return to the main area in time to enjoy Friday all-camp activities like Marathon and Closing Campfire. Prior experience helpful but not required. Great attitude required.

Shawnee Backpack & Zip-Line Adventure

Shawnee Zip Line Adventure teen summer campAges: 13-16
2020 Date: Session 2 Shawnee Backpack & Zip-Line Adv. – June 7- June 13

Cost: $664/$614/$564  ($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 beautiful River-to-River trail and aerial views of the forest from zip-lines located throughout Southern Illinois.  

Register for Shawnee Zip Line Adventure

Visit the Packing List Page to know what to pack.

Apply for a scholarship.

 

Horse Adventure

Camp Ondessonk Horse AdventureAges: 13-16
2020 Dates:
Session 2 Horse Adventure – June 7- June 13
Session 4 Horse Adventure  – June 21- June 27
Session 6 Horse Adventure  – July 5- July 11

Cost: $724/$674/$624  ($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. Backcountry Camping.

Register for Horse Adventure.

Visit the Packing List Page to know what to pack.

Apply for a scholarship.

 

Advanced Horse Camp

Advanced Horse CampAges: 13-16
2020 Dates:
Session 3 Adv. Horse Camp –June 14- June 20 
Session 5 Adv. Horse Camp – June 28- July 4
Session 8 Adv. Horse Camp – July 19- July 25

Cost: $724/$674/$624  ($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.

Register for Advanced Horse Camp

Visit the Packing List Page to know what to pack.

Apply for a scholarship.

Climbing Adventure

Camp Ondessonk Rock Adventure teen summer campAges: 13-16
2020 Date: Session 9 Climbing Adventure – July 26- August 1

Cost: $664/$614/$564  ($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.  Front-Country Camping.

Register for Climbing Adventure

Visit the Packing List Page to know what to pack.

Apply for a scholarship.

 

Mountain Biking Adventure

Camp Ondessonk Mountain Biking AdventureAges: 12-16
2020 Date: Session 8 Mountain Biking Adventure  – July 19- July 25 

Cost: $664/$614/$564 ($100 non-refundable deposit is required during registration; remainder due 4 weeks prior to camp date)

Teenage Campers will spend the first day 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 Shawnee Forest has to offer. Bring your own bike or ride one of ours! Campers will get to ride a top of the line Specialized Carve Expert provided by the Bike Surgeon in O’Fallon, Illinois and train their experienced and knowledgeable staff.  Front-Country Camping.

Register for Mountain Biking Adventure.

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

Apply for a scholarship.

 

Camper vs. Wild

Ondessonk Outdoor EducationAges: 12-16
2020 Date:
Session 4 Camper vs. Wild  – June 21- June 27 
Session 6 Camper vs. Wild – July 5- July 11
Session 8 Camper vs. Wild – July 19- July 25

Cost: $664/$514/$564  ($100 non-refundable deposit is required during registration; remainder due 4 weeks prior to camp date)

Participants will develop real-life leadership and survival skills through participation in primitive camping activities. Skill development will include basic backpacking, outdoor cooking, map and compass navigation, bow-drill fire building, water purification, and much more!  Backcountry Camping.

Register for Camper vs. Wild.

Visit the Packing List Page to know what to pack.

Apply for a scholarship.

 

 

TRIP AND TRAVEL ADVENTURES

We have extended our Trip and Travel programs to 10 days to be able to spend more time in these awesome parts of the country.  These programs are based away from Camp Ondessonk and are great opportunities for older or veteran campers to use the skills they’ve gained in previous adventure sessions, on their own, or at other camps.  Trip and Travel Adventures typically spend very little time on camp before departing to allow for maximum time at their destination.  These programs involve longer travel times and the opportunities for learning about new areas of the country!

 

Mammoth Adventure

Mammoth Adventure Camp OndessonkAges: 14-17
2020 Date: Session 2-3: June 7-June 17 (boys and girls)
Cost:  $1049/$999/$949  ($100 non-refundable deposit is required during registration; remainder due 4 weeks prior to camp date)

This 10-day Trip and Travel 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 river 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.

Visit the Packing List Page to know what to pack.

Apply for a scholarship.

 

Smoky Mountain Adventure

Camp Ondessonk Summer Camp Whitewater AdventureAges: 14-17
2020 Date: Session 4-5: June 21-July 1 (boys and girls)
Cost: $1199/$1149/$1099  ($100 non-refundable deposit is required during registration; remainder due 4 weeks prior to camp date)

This 10-day Trip and Travel Program is for high school age only, participants will travel to Nantahala Outdoor Center in North Carolina and experience the nation’s best introductory whitewater rivers with professional guides. This trip will also include a full day of Mountain Biking and a Mountaintop Zip-Line Tour. Campers must be able to pass the intermediate swim test.  Front-Country Camping.

Register for Smoky Mountain Adventure

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

Apply for a scholarship.

 

Surfing Adventure

Surfing Adventure OndessonkAges:  14-17
2020 Date:  Session 6-7:  July 5-July 15 (boys and girls)
Cost: $1199/$1149/$1099 ($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.  Front-Country Camping.

Register for Surfing Adventure

Visit the Packing List Page to know what to pack.

Apply for a scholarship.

 
 
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