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Days at Camp. Nights at Home.

YMCA camps fill your child’s day with new friends, new skills, and a connection to nature through meaningful outdoor experiences.

All summer day camp options feature 'traditional' camp activities like archery, swimming, paddling, outdoor education, arts and crafts, fishing, and more.

Participants may also choose a 'specialty activity' to spend more time on each day.

Camp participants and counselor making silly faces

Day Camp Handbook

Learn more about Day Camp, including what to expect and how to prepare.

Specialty Activities

In addition to experiences the wide range of 'traditional' camp experiences, participants also spend part of each day pursuing a 'specialty' activity of interest. And while all YMCA of the North Day camps offer a similar base experience, specialty options do vary – so be sure to explore what is available where.

Arts and Imagination

Kids are encouraged to express themselves, increase self-awareness, and embrace their creative spirit.

Arts and Crafts

Participants discover their artistic side and let their imaginations soar. Projects may include sketching, painting, collage, beadwork, and much more. Participants create masterpieces to take home and enjoy!

Dragons, Fairies, and Princesses

Participants let their imaginations soar in this magical fairytale-themed activity. Adventures will include themed arts and crafts, a mystical quest, and a special tea party!

Drama / Theater

Kids free their imaginations and develop improvisational skills! Participants explore the world of theater through games, acting exercises, learning about stage make-up, and even performing for an audience.

Mystery Quest

Looking for a mystery to solve? Participants will set out on a daily adventure to hunt for clues, set traps, and have fun with the mysteries.

Photography

Participants will learn the basics of photography and will experiment with both portrait and landscape photography. Each day will be a different theme – from the viewpoint of an ant or include a tree as a subject.

Pioneering

Participants take an exciting trip back in time as they learn how the early pioneers lived and developed the land and communities that we know today. Kids will explore heritage foods, crafts, and activities from the 19th century. 

Pirates

Arrrrrgh! Young buccaneers learn the swashbuckling lingo of pirates, play games like Capture the Pirate Flag, try their balancing skills as they walk the plank, go on treasure hunts, and a whole lot more.

Superheros

BAM! POW! KAZAM! Kids think, dress, and act like superheroes! Kids bring their own superhero costume or make one at camp. Suiting up as their favorite superhero each day, they’ll explore their own superpowers.

Nature and Science

Kids are inspired to explore our natural environment and delight in the wonders of discovery.

Critters and Crawlers

Participants become “Eco-Explorers” as they investigate the natural surroundings at camp. We will take forest treks, prairie walks, and tours of local wildlife. Activities include bug safaris, nature hunts, and more!

Farm and Garden

Participants discover how plants, animals, soil, and people work together to produce the food that we eat every day.

Fish, Frogs, and Forts

Filled with exploration and environmental education, we’ll focus on fort-building and the discovery of insects, fish, and frogs. Participants learn basic fishing skills while practicing the catch-and-release method.

Junior Rangers / Naturalists

Participants will earn their Junior Ranger badge and experience firsthand the Junior Ranger motto of Explore, Learn, and Protect. Includes a field trip to a National Park to work with a real-life Park Ranger!

Lake Exploration

Participants learn about our local lake ecology through fishing, sailing, STEM, and water study. This experience features a daily field trip to area lakes sites to enjoy on-the-water programming.

Outdoor Survival Skills

Participants discover the finer points of preparing for a big outdoor adventure while learning a variety of useful camping skills that may include building a fire, making camp shelters, knot tying, campfire cooking, and more!

STEAM

Participants will spend the week engaged in hands-on, interactive projects. There will be lots of learning, using their imaginations, and exploring the indoors and outdoors at camp!

Traditional

Traditional camp is about exploration and discovery. It exposes participants to many different activities – including archery, swimming, paddling, outdoor education, arts and crafts, fishing, and so much more – so that each camper leaves camp with a wide range of memories and experiences!

Wild About Nature

Enjoy the great outdoors as we explore the wonders of nature! Participants will hike along our many paths to discover woods, prairies, and wetlands. Kids learn to identify a variety of trees, plants, and animals at camp.

Outdoor Action

Kids have fun in the fresh air learning about rules, equipment, technique, and sportsmanship.

Archery / Slingshot

Participants the fundamentals of archery, examine equipment close up, and learn the science behind target shooting. Instructors teach proper grip, stance, and aim alignment.

Climbing / Challenge

Climbers learn about basic climbing, belay techniques, knot tying, and climbing safety. Challenge participants strike test their strength, strategy, and skill on our ropes courses.

Forkhorn I

Forkhorn I is designed for beginning hunters and provides extensive hands-on instruction of basic firearms safety, shooting techniques in rifle, shotgun, black powder, and archery.

GRADES 7–9 ONLY

Horses

Participants in our horse program develop from novice riders to young adults experienced in many aspects of equine care, grooming, riding, and training.

Log Rolling

Participants discover how the sport of log rolling (or “birling”) developed out of maneuvering logs down rivers to the old sawmills. Skills learned are great for improving balance and coordination!

Outdoor Adventure / Extreme

This activity provides challenging activities that work on advancing skills in the areas of climbing, archery, paddle sports, outdoor survival, and more.

Includes: Teen Adventure and Teen Extreme

Outdoor Games

It’s all fun and games as participants learn to play a variety of outdoor games with a “camp style.” Participants learn to play Gaga, 9-square in the air, and other field games.

Water Action

Young people develop life-long skills with opportunities for water safety and recreation.

Canoe / Kayak

Participants learn paddling skills and canoe/kayak safety as they experience the challenge of navigating water! Kids learn to identify the parts of the canoe/kayak, paddling techniques, and the importance of teamwork.

Fishing

Kids get hooked on fishing as they learn basic fishing skills. Lakes and rivers provide the scene for fishing fun using the catch-and-release method. 

Sailing

Each day young sailors learn the basics of sailing and safety with YMCA instructors. Participants will be taught techniques and terminology for operating our fleet of sailboats as they practice their skills.

Water Adventure

Participants spend the full week enjoying an awesome array of water activities that may include boating, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and other fun water adventures.

Additional Options

Add-ons, extras, and other ways to experience YMCA summer camps.

Bag Lunch

For an additional fee, YMCA day participants are provided a nutritious bag lunch that may include: a sandwich, chips or crackers, fruit or vegetable, granola bar, and milk.

Before and After Care

Before and After Care provides participants with supervised activities before and after Day Care.

Day Camp Sampler

A shorter version of our Traditional Camp experience where participants get to try a wide range of outdoor activities under the supervision of well-trained staff.

Summer Extravaganza

This is the last chance to enjoy the great outdoors at camp before summer ends! All available activities are jam-packed into a single session – including horseback riding, canoeing, swimming, and much more.

Teen Quest

As a group, participants decide and plan out many of the camp activities and events throughout the week. This program develops valuable life skills such as open communication, team building, cooperation, and conflict resolution.

Available At

Experiences vary by location.

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Hudson, WI

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Lino Lakes, MN

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Loretto, MN

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Lakeville, MN

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Monticello, MN

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Rosemount, MN

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Lakeville, MN

Two young ladies at a climbing course

Making adventure more 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?