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. Although there is a perception that du Nord is always full, that’s usually not the case. 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.

Summer Reservations

2021 Session Dates

Full-week sessions run Sunday to Saturday

  • Session 1: June 13 – 19
  • Session 4: June 27 – July 3
  • Session 5: July 4 – 10
  • Session 6: July 11 – 17
  • Session 9: July 25 – 31
  • Session 10: August 1 – 7 *S.T.E.P.S. Week Learn more
  • Session 11: August 8 – 14
  • Session 14: August 22 – 28

3-day sessions

  • Session 2: June 20 – 23 (Sunday – Wednesday)
  • Session 3: June 24 – 27 (Thursday – Sunday)
  • Session 7: July 18 – 21 (Sunday – Wednesday)
  • Session 8: July 22 – 25 (Thursday – Sunday)
  • Session 12: August 15 – 18 (Sunday – Wednesday)
  • Session 13: August 19 – 22 (Thursday – Sunday)
  • Session 15: August 29 – September 1 (Sunday – Wednesday)
  • Session 16: September 3 – 6 (Friday – Monday) *Labor Day Weekend, S.T.E.P.S. Week

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 sites include picnic table, food-storage container, fire ring and access to shared refrigeration. New for summer 2021! 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 8, 2021. Cost is $600 for a two-week session (transportation provided for an additional $40). Applicants will be informed by Friday, January 22, 2021. Learn more and apply.

Cancellation Policy

If for any unanticipated and uncontrollable reason camp should need to cancel sessions, such as by directive from the CDC or other officials, OR If you would prefer to cancel your registration at this time for any reason, you would have the following options:

  1. Carry your registration and fees paid to date forward to future reservations.
  2. Donate your fees to Camp.
  3. Refund of fees to your original payment method.