From Oct. 3-5, Priory 7th and 8th graders went on retreat to Camp Ondessonk located in Ozark, Ill.
Camp Ondessonk was a totally new experience for us. We all had so much fun with the activities. I grew a lot closer to a lot of kids in my grade that I didn’t know yet. We did a lot of team building activities, and I think that those really helped us trust each other more.
My first activity after I arrived at camp was the challenge course/rock wall. All of the kids in my group did a great job and almost everyone made it to the top at least once. We all cheered each other on when we were climbing and some of us even raced each other.
The religious aspect of Camp Ondessonk changed how I felt about camp. I already thought that camp was cool, but the amount of prayer and Mass made me like it more. I believe that I can say that everyone at camp grew a lot closer to God. I liked the prayers throughout the day and the Adoration that we did towards the end of our time at camp.
One of our activities was a challenge course in the woods. We did a trust walk where a leader was at the front of the line and everyone had to put their hands on the person in front of their shoulders because we were all blindfolded. We then went to a blindfolded maze. The maze was secretly a loop, and the only way to ‘win’ was to ask for help. It was funny to see all the people walking around and refusing to ask for help. We also did an up and over course. There was a 10 foot wall, and we all had to get to the top to win. Red team finished with a time of 10:24. We also did a three islands activity, where we had two planks to get to three different islands. On the first island, you couldn’t talk, on the second island, you could only say, “meow,” and on the third island, you could only talk like a pirate.
My personal favorite activity was when we went on a long hike. We saw a lot of wildlife on the hike and got to go to the top of a large bluff. On the hike, we got to explore a small cave! We also got to play some fun games along the way and learned a lot about a lot of nature.
The bonfire on the last night was also quite fun. We all got to hang out in an area that was under a large bluff. We also got to make some smores! I think that it was a great experience to end our final night.
Our final talk was a great way to end our experience. Mrs. Lane gave a very nice talk on life lessons. I really enjoyed it. I liked the topic and the talk was very easy to understand. Overall, I would say it was an amazing experience, and I definitely want to go back again.