Summer camps give young people opportunities for personal growth difficult to achieve in more specialized programs, such as Speech Camp or “Week in the Sewer.” Vest your child with versatility with today’s Groupon: for $269, you get a one-week coed camp session for kids ages 10–15 at Camp Ondessonk in Ozark, IL (a $539 value).
Encompassing 983 acres in the Shawnee National Forest, Camp Ondessonk has championed kids’ fun, teamwork, and confidence-building since 1959. An emphasis on the outdoors, including open-air cabins and lake- and creek-swimming, encourages campers to trade concrete mindsets for more sylvan psyches. The one-week coed session, which runs from July 31 to August 6, packs a range of arcadian activities into youthful schedules, including two horseback rides, archery and riflery practice, canoeing, and an overnight campout under smogless, star-flecked skies (with gender-specific sleeping arrangements). Tenderfeet seeking to bolster their survival skills learn knots and lashings, how to build one-match fires, and the proper method for skinning and roasting wild marshmallows.
American Camp Association accreditation means that Camp Ondessonk meets nearly 300 standards in site safety, staffing practices, and operating procedures, and the noncompetitive atmosphere esteems a penchant for fun over the ability to pen a novel while running a steeplechase across a field of magma. Ondessonk is owned and operated by the Catholic diocese of Belleville, IL, but children of all faiths are welcomed. Prospective forest-dwellers are invited to bond over barbecue and sample camp activities at the June 4 open house.
3760 Ondessonk Rd.
Ozark, Illinois 62972Get Directions