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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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Teenage Summer Camp Adventures

Teenage Summer Adventure CampsIs my teenager too old for summer camp?  We get asked that question a lot by parents, but our answer is always a simple “No.”  Camp Ondessonk located in the heart of the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois is the premier destination for Teenage Summer Camp adventures.

We have summer programming specifically designed for teenagers with leadership development as its core principle.  Teenagers have the opportunity to directly participate in outdoor education and adventure under a knowledgeable staff with extensive experience in fields related to youth development and outdoor leadership.

Teenage Adventure campers work in small groups with two or three highly trained staff members; adventure campers focus on one set of skills for an entire week. This creates an opportunity for remarkable knowledge and skill growth. Teenage Adventure programs are divided into three levels.  ALL OF CAMP ONDESSONK’S ADVENTURE PROGRAMS ARE COED; REGARDLESS OF THE GENDER OF THE CONCURRENT TRADITIONAL SESSION.

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
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

Frontcountry Camping.

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 camp

Ages: 12-16

2022 Dates:
Session 2 Hike, Bike Paddle, and Climb – June 6- June 12 (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

Frontcountry Camping.

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 camp

Ages: 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

Backcountry Camping.

Visit the Packing List Page to know what to pack.

Apply for a scholarship.

 

Horse Adventure

Camp Ondessonk Horse Adventure

Ages: 13-16

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

Backcountry Camping.

Visit the Packing List Page to know what to pack.

Read the Horse Adventure Itinerary to see what you’ll be doing.

Apply for a scholarship.

 

Advanced Horse Camp

Advanced Horse Camp

Ages: 13-16

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.

Frontcountry Camping.

Visit the Packing List Page to know what to pack.

Apply for a scholarship.

 

Climbing Adventure

Camp Ondessonk Rock Adventure teen summer camp

Ages: 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

Frontcountry Camping.

Visit the Packing List Page to know what to pack.

Read the Climbing Adventure Itinerary to see what you’ll be doing.

Apply for a scholarship.

 

Mountain Biking Adventure

Camp Ondessonk Mountain Biking Adventure

Ages: 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

Frontcountry Camping.

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

Apply for a scholarship.

 

Camper vs. Wild

Ondessonk Outdoor Education

Ages: 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

Backcountry Camping.

Visit the Packing List Page to know what to pack.

Apply for a scholarship.

 

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.

 

Mammoth Adventure

Mammoth Adventure Camp Ondessonk

Ages: 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

Front and Backcountry Camping.

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!

Surfing Adventure

Surfing Adventure Ondessonk

Ages:  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

Frontcountry Camping.

Visit the Packing List Page to know what to pack.

Apply for a scholarship.

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