Smoke rises from a roaring fire tucked deep in the quiet depths of the woods. You sit nearby with some of your closest friends telling stories, listening to the sounds of the night and enjoying the sweet taste of a s’more. At that moment you may be far from your house, but feel very much at home. Experiences like this take place every week during the summer at Y Camp. At Y Camp, we focus on bringing the magic to every camper who enters "The Valley" for a week at camp.
Our summer camp program provides a safe environment in which campers can grow, both socially and personally, while building strong friendships with peers that last a lifetime. Y Camp focuses on providing summer campers with character building programs that focus on developing a sense of self-confidence and teaching new skills. We work to couple traditional summer camp with new and exciting program areas and activities. Campers can try new things, like archery, rock climbing and canoeing, or relax with friends while making friendship bracelets or fishing along the beautiful Des Moines River.
Y Camp measures success in several ways, one of which is the number of friendships it helps create. Here at camp we have a saying: "At Y Camp you don’t have to make friends, they’re given to you." Summer after summer that remains true. Campers spend a portion of every day with their cabin group of eight to 10 peers of similar age. Under the leadership and guidance of our Leaders, or counselors, campers meet others from across town, across the state, and sometimes from around the world. You’re never too young or old to make strong, lifelong relationships at Y Camp.
Y Camp also measures success in each camper’s personal growth. Whether it’s developing a new sense of independence or becoming more respectful, responsible, caring, or honest, we work to make every camper proud of who they are and who they can become. Campers take on new challenges and learn new skills, such as how to shoot a bow and arrow, how to ride a horse and how to build a camp fire. With each skill they build a sense of confidence in their own ability to achieve and excel. Our Christian tradition further guides each camper in spiritual growth, following the words of Proverbs 22:6.
For 96 years Y Camp has served campers from all backgrounds and from across the country. We are dedicated to maintaining our ties with the founding fathers of Y Camp by leading evening programs started in 1919, such as the Trail of Five Fires, Inspiration Point and Honor Point. Y Camp works to couple the modern camping experience with the programs on which Camp was built, so that campers can relax after a full day of swimming, hiking and playing games around the same campfire used years ago.
At Y Camp we understand the huge amount of trust put in our hands with each individual camper’s safety. We take very seriously and appreciate each opportunity to affirm the faith put in our facilities and staff. All camp activities take place within the close supervision of a dedicated and well-trained Y Camp Leader. Our Leaders accompany cabins from sun up to sun down, staying in the cabins with their campers every night. Each Leader is trained in First Aid/CPR and is either a trained lifeguard or trained in rock wall belay. We follow a one to six camper to Leader ratio in each cabin, so that most groups are supervised by two counselors. The Wranglers who manage our horse program are also trained and recommended by a certified equestrian manager.
Register for Summer 2015
Click here for our 2015 Summer Camp Brochure.
Thanks to contributions from YMCA members and the United Way, no one is turned away from Y Camp programs due to an inability to pay.
Financial assistance is granted to anyone who can demonstrate a verifiable need. For more information please contact us.