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Summer Wrap Up

By Evan Coulson

As Camp Ondessonk gears up for fall programming we look back upon Summer, 2010 with warm memories and a smile.  In the great tradition of Camp Ondessonk, old friendships were reaffirmed and new friendships were forged.  This summer was marked by several highlights as we served a total of 2,597 campers during our 51st consecutive summer of camping in Ozark, IL.  We are proud to report that summer camp enrollment was up again this year as we added a total of 258 campers over the 2009 summer season.  Thanks to the many staff and friends of Ondessonk whose support played a vital role in spreading the word about our many summer opportunities.  Our campers enjoyed the friendship and camaraderie of over 100 summer staff, including Ondessonk’s first international staff member in almost a decade.  Alex Strzeszewski, a Camp America hire, joined the Summer 2010 Staff from Leeds, England and was an immediate fit within the Ondessonk community. Campers and staff alike enjoyed the opportunity to experience a different cultural perspective as they got to know him, and Alex enjoyed the warm Camp O welcome. Furthering the sharing of cultures, Camp Ondessonk campers welcomed a group of students from Notre Dame Catholic School of Kyoto, Japan.  For over half of a week Notre Dame Kyoto students enjoyed participating in many of Ondessonk’s traditional camp activities alongside campers, where they gained a true American summer camp experience.

Over 100 volunteers also enjoyed the summer, carrying on the tradition of service that Ondessonk was built upon.  Volunteers were crucial in many maintenance and construction projects, as well as assisting in service and program areas around Camp.  We are proud of, and grateful for, the strong tradition of volunteers serving Camp Ondessonk.  As campers enjoyed their uniquely “Ondessonk” experience, one new addition to Camp stood out above the others.  The newest addition to Summer 2010 could be found at Lake St. Isaac: a fantastic 100’ long water slide affectionately known as the “Shawnee Screamer”.  The new water slide was an instant hit with campers and staff alike, and was the perfect capstone to one of the best summers at Camp Ondessonk yet.  While the echos of 2010 campers can still be faintly heard in the distance we are already setting our sights on Summer 2011.  We are expecting to serve even more campers, host more Camp America staff, and facilitate even more friendships.  Make sure you are a part of it, either as a summer camper, staff, or volunteer!

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