Is my teenager too old for summer camp? We get asked that question allot by parents, but our answer is always simple “No”. Camp Ondessonk located in the heart of the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois is the premier Teen Summer Camp adventure destination.
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.
Horse Camp Ages: 12-15 years old
During Horse Camp, teenagers will focus on basic horsemanship and riding technique while spending their week at the Ondessonk Stables. Teens will be assigned their very own horse for the week.
Rock Camp Ages: 12-15 years old
Rock Camp includes detailed instruction in climbing technique, basic knots, safety systems, and an exhilarating 300-foot zip-line on the High Challenge Course!
Shawnee Hills Backpacking Camp Ages: 12-16 years old
This program is designed to teach campers how to pack and carry everything needed for a comfortable trip into the back country. Teenage campers will learn basic navigation, outdoor cooking, knot tying, trip planning, and much more in this fun, introductory backpacking adventure in the Shawnee National Forest.
Hike, Bike, Paddle, and Climb Ages: 12-16 years old
This program is designed to give teenage 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.
Horse Adventure Ages: 13-16 years old
Horse Adventure teenage campers will spend their week expanding their horsemanship and outdoor skills, while exploring the scenic trails of the Shawnee. Skill development will include horse care, setting up a campsite, and outdoor cooking.
Rock Adventure Ages: 13-16 years old
The Rock Adventure schedule is designed for teenage campers to develop skills and knowledge on progressively challenging climbs, beginning the session with climbs at Pakentuck, and culminating at Jackson Falls.
Mountain Biking Adventure Ages: 12-16 years old
Teenage campers will spend the first several days 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 Shawnee Forest has to offer. Bring your own bike or ride one of ours!
Camper vs. Wild Ages: 12-16 years old
Teenage campers 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!
Horse Expedition Ages: 14-18 years old
This two-week backcountry pack trip focuses on the continued development of horse-packing, outdoor living, and trail stewardship skills. Eligible campers will have completed at least one of the Beginner or Intermediate equestrian Adventure Camps.
River Adventure Ages: 13-16 years old
Teenage campers will experience a unique off-site canoeing opportunity as they travel to and canoe nearly 50 miles on Missouri’s Eleven-Point River, while stopping each night to camp out under the stars. Teen campers in this program should have some canoe and or kayak experience; be comfortable in deep water; swim 100 yards and tread water for five minutes.
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Click Here to register for Teenage Adventure Programs at Camp Ondessonk.