Summer Family Camp - Camp Northern Lights

Enjoy the wonders of the wilderness in northern Minnesota this summer at YMCA Family Camp. Create family memories that will last a lifetime while you connect, renew and relax. Whether you're looking for fishing, hiking or total relaxation, we have something for you.

Our family programs offer age-specific programming in the mornings and all family programs in the evenings and afternoons. Whether you're looking for water activities, hiking or total relaxation, we have something for you.

We use a lottery system to make registering as equitable as possible. Check availability to see if one of our open spots will work for you, and take note of the discounts offered during the first and last weeks.

Register for Lottery

Summer Reservations

2022 Session Dates

Full-week sessions run Sunday to Saturday

  • Session 1: June 12 – 18
  • Session 4: June 26 – July 2
  • Session 5: July 3 – 9
  • Session 6: July 10 – 16 (S.T.E.P.S. – Adams Spanish Immersion Elementary School) Learn more
  • Session 9: July 24 – 30
  • Session 10: July 31 – August 6 (S.T.E.P.S. Session) Learn more
  • Session 11: August 7 – 13
  • Session 14: August 21 – 27 (S.T.E.P.S. Session) Learn more

3-day sessions

  • Session 2: June 19 – 22 (Sunday – Wednesday) Military Veteran Family Camp
  • Session 3: June 23 – 26 (Thursday – Sunday) S.T.E.P.S. LGBTQ+ Session – Learn more
  • Session 7: July 17 – 20 (Sunday – Wednesday)
  • Session 8: July 21 – 24 (Thursday – Sunday) S.T.E.P.S. Session – Learn more
  • Session 12: August 14 - 17 (Sunday – Wednesday)
  • Session 13: August 18 – 21 (Thursday – Sunday)
  • Session 15: August 28 – 31 (Sunday – Wednesday)
  • Labor Day Weekend: September 2 – 5 (visit our Themed Weekends page for more information)

Schedules and activities

Preview the fun your family will have by checking out sample schedules and activities that await at Camp Northern Lights.


Good news campers! We may not have a dining hall (yet), but we have other options! Enjoy lunch or dinner from our food providers. No meal planning, cooking, or clean up required!

View your options

Otherwise, you are responsible for your meals during your visit to Camp Northern Lights. There are restaurant and grocery store options in nearby Babbitt and Ely. Plan on bringing food and beverages for your stay:

  • Full-facility cabins include full kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Bungalows include a refrigerator, microwave, toaster, picnic table, charcoal grill and access to a shared fire ring.
  • Tent and RV sites include picnic table, food-storage container, fire ring and access to shared refrigeration. We will be offering limited lunch and dinner meal plans for tent site campers. Click here for more information 
  • Camp Map

Packing List

Everything you need for a successful trip to camp.

Leadership Development Program

Teens entering grades 9-12 will learn about leadership through training and helping camp counselors facilitate programs. Applications are due Friday, January 7, 2022. Cost is $600 for a two-week session (transportation provided for an additional $40). Applicants will be informed by Friday, February 4, 2022. Learn more and apply.

Deposits and Payments

All Lottery and Open Registration reservations require a 10% deposit payment at the time of registration. The remaining balance will be billed in four monthly installments on February 15, March 15, April 15 and May 15.

Cancellation Policy

In the event that your plans change prior to camp we are available to assist you. Requests must be in writing and can be submitted online.


  • For cancelations made more than 1 month before the reservation start date, $50 of the fee is non-refundable.
  • Cancelations made within one month of your reservation date are non-refundable.