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Ondessonk Rules and Regulations

Please read the following information pertaining to Camp Ondessonk’s policies, emergency procedures, Illinois state laws, and safety information.  These policies and guidelines ensure a safe and enjoyable visit for your group and other guests.   

Download a printable PDF version:     Ondessonk Rules and Regulations

Check-in / Check-out:  Please check in at the Camp Office located in the St. Noel Center upon arrival if within the hours of 8:00am – 4:30pm; or after normal business hours at the Trading Post Friday 5-9pm and Saturday/Sunday 9am-Noon. Due to other guests during the week, Unit and St. Noel Lodging may not be available for check-in until 5pm Friday. Check-out time for St. Noel Lodging is 10am on Sundays.

Stewardship:  The destruction, injury, defacement, or removal in any manner of any natural feature is strictly prohibited.  Please refrain from harassing or attempting to capture any wild animals, cutting of any trees, flowers, or plants, defacing any structures with carvings, writing, or painting, or leaving behind any litter.  Firewood harvested outside of Camp Ondessonk is strictly prohibited.  Help us maintain the natural beauty of this special place!

Vehicles:  You may drive to your reserved lodging to drop off or pick up gear.  You may keep a total of one (1) vehicle per unit for emergency purposes.  All other vehicles must be returned to parking lot immediately after unloading.  All-terrain vehicles (ATV’s) are prohibited.  Riding in the back of trucks is prohibited.  The 20mph speed limit on the Camp entrance road and the 10mph around the Lake is strictly enforced.  

Lodging Areas:  No open flames are allowed in units or outhouses.  Campfires only in designated, pre-established fire pits and must be supervised at all times and fully extinguished before departing.  All lodging must be left in the condition found upon arrival (ie. pick up trash, put all benches or bunks/beds back in place, etc.)  No unnecessary discharge of fire extinguishers.  Lodging must be left in a clean, undamaged state.  Report any damage to lodging upon arrival so your group will not be held accountable!

Fishing / Hunting / Biking / Boating:  Anyone 16 years of age or older must possess an Illinois fishing license.  Fishing is allowed in Lake Echon, Kane Lake, Pine Lake, and Lake Antironta.  No fishing is allowed in Lake St. Isaac, Camp’s swimming lake.  No hunting is allowed at Camp Ondessonk except by invitation only.  All bicyclists must wear a helmet at all times.   Use of personal watercraft is not allowed on any body of water at Camp.  Please call to schedule a boating program.

Quiet Time:  Loud, disturbing noise is not permitted between the hours of 11:00pm and 7:00am.  Please be considerate of other guests!

Smoking, Alcohol, and Drug Use:  Smoking is prohibited inside buildings or around children.  Smoking is allowed only on the St. Noel patio.  Alcohol may only be consumed in your reserved lodging and is prohibited in activity areas and in common areas.  We advise those responsible for the supervision of children to refrain from the consumption of alcohol while at Camp.  Consumption of Alcohol by persons under the age of 21, as well as possession or use of illegal drugs, at Camp Ondessonk is strictly prohibited and can result in eviction from Camp.  Tobacco and alcohol are strictly prohibited in the new Fournie Village.

Legal Concerns:  All local, state and federal laws apply while at Camp Ondessonk; particularly underage drinking, illegal drug use, use of fireworks, removal of Native American artifacts, as well as hunting, fishing, and other conservation laws.  Infractions may be referred to the Johnson County Sheriff at Camp’s discretion.

Supervision of Minors: All groups must be accompanied by an adult age 25 or older.  Minors under age 16 must be supervised at all times.  At no time should one adult be alone with an unrelated minor when out of sight of others.  Stay in auditory/visual range and use the “Rule of 3’s”.

Safety Regulations:

  • Firearms and explosives of any kind are strictly prohibited.
  • Swimming is only permitted when a lifeguard is on-duty. Call Camp to schedule a swimming program. Lifeguard fees apply.
  • Use of any Camp Ondessonk program areas or equipment is permitted only under the supervision of Camp Ondessonk staff.
  • PFD’s (personal flotation devices) must be worn by all guests when boating at Camp Ondessonk.
  • No entry into Camp Kitchen, Central Maintenance Building, private residences, or other reserved lodging without invitation.
  • Poison Ivy is common. Learn to identify it.  If you have been exposed, wash the area with soap and water immediately.
  • Do not pick up any snakes! Do not kill snakes at Camp Ondessonk.  If bitten, seek medical care immediately.
  • Ticks are common at Camp Ondessonk. Always conduct thorough tick-checks after spending time in the out-of-doors. 
  • Absolutely no harassment of other groups will be tolerated at Camp Ondessonk.
  • No pets allowed.  Guests are not permitted to bring any animals, pets, or their personal horses to Camp.

Emergency Procedures: A staff member is on duty every day and can be reached during normal business hours by calling camp’s main line (618) 695-2489 from a cellular phone.  The on-duty cell phone number is (618) 759-1780.  Staff are trained in CPR and First Aid, but guests are ultimately responsible for emergency care and transportation. In the event of an emergency, all 911 immediately. The nearest ambulance is in Vienna, IL.  The nearest ER is in Harrisburg, IL or Marion, IL .

Camp Ondessonk waiver of claim forms:  All guests regardless of age visiting Camp Ondessonk must fill out and return a Camp Ondessonk waiver.  A parent or guardian must complete the form for minors. 

Camp Ondessonk and the Catholic Diocese of Belleville, IL: Guests are expected to observe and respect the basic values and morals of the Catholic Church.  Co-habitation is only acceptable with married couples.

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