Facility Rental and Recreational Programming
Camp Ondessonk the perfect place to for the family or groups of any type to spend the weekend and take in the beauty and solitude of our site and adjacent Shawnee National Forest. Sleep in a treehouse, pitch a tent, or for those who don’t wish to rough it, a two-room suite with a private bathroom in our St. Noel Center. Visitors can arrange horseback rides, guided hikes, meals, rock climbing, zip-lines, and much more. Whether you are interested in booking a quiet weekend getaway for your family, a youth group retreat, a weekend conference, a lunch meeting, or a 400-person family reunion, we can handle it. Please call the Camp office to inquire about lodging and meeting space availability, or to schedule a program. There are also great things to do at Camp on your own. Click here for more information about how you can visit Camp at during the non-summer months. It is advised that weekend groups contact Camp first to inquire about availability and make reservations several months in advance – especially larger groups wanting meals and programs and for dates during the busier months of April, May, September, and October. Call (618) 695-2489 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Download the Group Reservation Form 2018
All visitors and participants in programs, regardless of age, are required to sign a waiver. Parents must sign a waiver for their children.
While Camp Ondessonk functions as a public campground on some weekends, we also host many weekend special events during the fall and spring in which we are not open to group rentals. These specialty weekends are another great way for folks to come to Camp to enjoy all we have to offer and most include lodging, meals, and programming for one all-weekend fee.
Please see Camp Ondessonk’s Calendar of Events to see the great weekend events we have lined up.
Visit Camp Ondessonk’s Open Camping Weekends to view available weekends for open group rental and programming during the 2015-2016 school year. This is for folks wanting to schedule lodging, meals, or programs a la carte for a family weekend or group event, or those wishing to just kick back and do their own thing.
To see photos of our unique and rustic cabin units, tent areas, and other great spots to sleep at Camp during the year, click here.
***Upon arrival, please check in at the Main Camp Office in the St. Noel Center Monday-Friday 8am-4:30pm, or the Trading Post Fridays 5-9pm or Saturdays and Sundays 9am-12pm***
***Due to guests during the week, Unit and St. Noel Lodging may not be available for check-in until 4:30pm on Fridays***
***Check-out time for St. Noel Lodging is 10am on Sundays***
*Please notify Camp of your arrival and departure times. Office: (618) 695-2489, Weekend On-Duty Cell: (618) 759-1780*
EVENT MEETING SPACES:
Old Dining Hall
One of Camp’s original structures from 1959, our Old Dining Hall is a charming and rustic space for groups wanting to their event to be an intimate experience with the outdoors. The Old Dining Hall is completely screened in, has tables and benches for up to 300 people to accommodate large groups, and is a great covered space while still being outside.
New Dining Hall
Built in 2005, our new Dining Hall has seating for up to 500 people and modern commercial kitchen that cooks up nutritious and delicious meals for groups large and small. Situated on a high point, the new Dining Hall has beautiful views of the surrounding Shawnee Hills and is completely climate-controlled with restroom facilities.
Chapel of North American Martyrs
Also one of Camp’s original 1959 structures and perfectly preserved, the Chapel is climate-controlled, seats about 200 people, and is a quaint and rustic place for quiet reflection, group meetings, spiritual services, or to have mass. Call Camp to request mass from our Chaplain or bring your own priest; either way, the Chapel is always available for groups to celebrate the Eucharist.
Built in 1959 as the original administration building, the Staff Lounge is always open for any guests of Camp to sit back and gather around the stone fireplace. This climate-controlled building can be exclusively reserved as a meeting space for groups to enjoy its rustic, all wood ambiance and warm, inviting atmosphere.
St. Noel Meeting Room
The St. Noel Retreat and Conference Center is a modern, climate-controlled facility with nine hostel-style rooms and meeting/dining space in the basement as well as a kitchenette and a common sitting area/library. The building has audio/visual equipment and free WiFi. For more information and photos of St. Noel, click here.
The Grotto is a huge sandstone shelter overlooking Lake St. Isaac. It has seating for 500 people and is perfect for large group events like concerts, spiritual services, or campfires. There is also a large fire pit, the stage/altar is lit by 3 high-powered spotlights, and electric hook-up is available.
Camp Ondessonk’s Signature Treehouses
One of the highlights of an Ondessonk visit, our 3-sided treehouse cabin units take full advantage of their natural surroundings. They are intentionally designed and located to maximize visitors’ experience of tranquility and inspiration of Nature. Some are on the ground for ease of access, one is built under shelter bluff with its own waterfall, and others are walled in for a bit more security. Whichever unit you choose, you will be immersed by the natural world in a unique setting. Most cabin units have 5-6 cabins and sleep around 40 guests. Click here to see more photos. All cabin units have fire pits, benches, picnic table, water spigot, outhouse, and are close to a showerhouse.
Bachelor Officer’s Quarters (B.O.Q.) :
Bunk-house style lodge, four walls, screened-in windows, large covered deck, fire pit, benches, picnic tables, electricity but no heat, no spigot but short walk to toilets and shower house. 27 guests.
Camp Ondessonk Dorms:
Two bunk-house style dormitories, screened-in windows, covered decks, electricity, and heat; no spigot but next door to showerhouse. Upper Dorms: 22 guests; Lower dorms: 26 guests.
Choose from a variety of programs to create an unforgettable Ondessonk experience for your group. We offer guided hikes into our 983-acre backyard or beyond into the Shawnee National Forest, canoeing and kayaking, swimming in our incredible Lake St. Isaac, and archery programs. See below to download our Program and Curriculum Descriptions.
One of the most unique things about Camp Ondessonk is our 75-horse herd who live here year round for groups to enjoy. Groups can book a an arena or trail rides of varying lengths and skill levels through our beautiful pastures or out into the Shawnee National Forest. Visit our Ondessonk Stables Web Page for more information on trail rides.
Adventure and Leadership Programs
Adventure and leadership programs develop group communication, problem-solving, and cooperation. Our High Challenge Course is designed to engage the entire group, not just the climber. The Low Challenge Course incorporates a series of challenging obstacles that groups must overcome using creative problem-solving and communication and is perfect for retreat groups and scout troops. See below to download our Program and Curriculum Descriptions.
Click here for more information on our facilities.
The reservation process begins by filling out the Group Reservation Form which can be downloaded HERE. Please return the reservation form to Camp Ondessonk.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact:
Greg Santen- Program Director
(618) 695-2489 ext. 129
Camp Ondessonk is proud to host annual “theme weekends” with all-inclusive lodging, food, and programming. The choices include Fall Family Camp, Mother & Daughter Weekend, and Father & Son Weekend. Please visit our Specialty Weekend page to learn more.