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Day Camp Handbook

Day Camp is a great place to learn, play, and discover. Our core values of Caring, Equity, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility are fundamental parts of YMCA camp culture, while access, inclusion, and diversity are integral parts of our community commitment.

Camper Readiness
The Basics

With the YMCA, you will develop life skills, build interpersonal relationships, and learn to appreciate nature. You will also be able to try new things and explore personal interests.

Campers participate in small, age-appropriate groups to build self-esteem and learn new skills.


Most Day Camps are week-long experiences. Some locations also offer longer two-week options for teen campers.

Either way, we can't wait to see you at camp!

Program Options

You can register your child for Traditional Day Camp, or a Specialty Camp.

  • Wee Backpackers (Pre-K–K)*
  • Traditional Camp (Grades 1–6)
  • Specialty Camps (Grades 7–9)

All Participants are assigned to age-appropriate groups. Participants can also interact with other groups through large group activities.

* Some locations offer Little Seeds Summer camp as a half-day option for 3-4 year-olds

Sample Schedule

Your camper will be sent home with a schedule for their group on Monday, the first day of camp.


9 a.m. – Opening ceremony

9:30 a.m. – Snack and small group time

10:30 a.m. – Traditional activities

11:30 a.m. – Lunch

12:30 a.m. – Specialty activities

3:00 p.m. – Closing ceremony

3:30 p.m. – Load buses

4:00 p.m. – Pick up

What to Bring

Our recommended packing lists can be downloaded below. These items are not required, and you are welcome to modify the list based on unique participant needs and session type.

Packing List (PDF)launch
Family Fun

Some camps offer a Family night while some offer a Family Fun Day as an opportunity for families to come to see camp.

It’s when your participant can show you the exciting things they’ve experienced at Day Camp. Meet camp counselors and tour the camp! You’ll see the crafts your participant has been busy making and sing the songs your camper has been singing all week long It’s great family fun!

In addition, some locations offer hotdog and brat dinners during Family Nights as a fundraiser, with the proceeds supporting adventure center facilities, programs, and scholarships.

Guardian Readiness

You are welcome to bring your child directly or register for the bus program.

Day Camp Transportation
Health and Safety

Safety comes first at YMCA of the North – from sunscreen and dispensation of medications to injuries and emergency care.

Health and Safety

YMCA adventure centers are designed to create positive experiences and lifelong memories; but it takes a village, people.

Behavior Guidelines
Character Development

Our well-trained counselors lead quality programs that are safe, fun, and enriching. At YMCA adventure centers, we approach Social Emotional Learning as the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply knowledge, skills, and attitudes to:

  • Develop healthy identities 
  • Manage emotions 
  • Achieve personal and collective goals 
  • Geel and show empathy for others 
  • Establish and maintain supportive relationships 
  • Make responsible and caring decisions
  • Each staff member goes through an extensive hiring process including a criminal history background check, reference checks, and an interview.
  • Staff members receive over 40 hours of training including training in adventure center program areas, relating to children, health, and safety skills, and are First Aid and CPR certified.
  • All staff members are committed to being positive role models for participants
Lost and Found

We encourage participants to take responsibility for their belongings. As part of the daily camp routine, we display lost-and-found items.

  • Any items left at camp after the session are kept at the adventure center.
  • Claimed items will be held for two weeks and must be retrieved from camp.
  • Anything not retrieved within two weeks will be donated to a local charity. 
  • For sanitary reasons, we do not keep undergarments, socks, or swimwear.
  • To claim lost items, please call the adventure center. Please have a description of the item(s), including your participant’s full name, phone number, and camp session dates.

The YMCA is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

Camp-Issued Handbooks

Each location is unique and has its own supplement.


Family Handbook


Day Camp Handbook

Day Camp Kici Yapi


Family Handbook


Family Handbook


Parent Handbook


Family Handbook


Family Handbook


Family Handbook

Two young ladies at a climbing course

Making Adventure Accessible

The YMCA offers need-based financial assistance to help people access the programs that are important to them.

Here to Help

Have a question or need assistance?

Our customer service team is always happy to help.