6th - 8th


More information coming soon! For more program details, please email sierra.kuisle@dmymca.org

Low Ropes

The journey of self-discovery begins on this low-to-the-ground challenge course, which teaches rope skills, teamwork and problem solving skills. Our skilled Y Camp staff will guide the group through the courses and provide a comprehensive debrief to emphasize the valuable lessons learned.


Our Archery course offers students the opportunity to develop their precision and focus as they practice their skills with our compound bows. Under the guidance of our experienced instructors, participants will learn archery techniques, target shooting, and safety protocols.


Students will embark on a journey through history and science as they explore the origins and mechanics of this ancient throwing tool. Our instructors will provide insights into the art of atlatl use, teaching students the techniques needed to accurately throw darts. Students can then put their newly acquired knowledge into practice. It's a hands-on opportunity to connect with the past while honing precision and coordination skills.


Discovery Hike

This adventure through the woods offers students a versatile experience, we can cater an experience of either an intensive hike and a more leisurely stroll along the trails. Regardless of the pace, students will immerse themselves in the breathtaking beauty of the river valley that surrounds them. As they traverse the terrain, they could have the opportunity to identify animal prints, learn about native plants or observe the diverse bird species that call this ecosystem home. Each Discovery Hike is different and allows for students to get outside and find something new!

Stream Ecology


Force and Motion

Explore Newton’s Laws of Motion and discover the power of gravity, friction & air resistance. Notice the transfer of energy as you propel marshmallows with a catapult you’ve created. 


The predator and prey relationship encompasses concepts such as survival of the fittest, adaptations, the fundamental differences between animals and relationships within an ecosystem. We’ll meet different predator and prey animals then learn firsthand about the different reactions of prey as they are being hunted, and the variables that can change the outcome of a hunt as we become predators and prey and play a game.

Fire Building

Ignite your passion for outdoor skills with our Fire Building course! In this hands-on program, students will learn the fundamental principles of fire building, starting from the basics. Our experienced instructors will guide participants through the art of constructing various fire lays and dive into the crucial components that make up a successful fire design. From selecting the right materials to understanding the importance of fire safety, this course provides valuable knowledge that can be applied in the great outdoors and beyond.




Students will begin by mastering essential skills for preventing themselves from getting lost and finding themselves in a survival scenario. Once prepared, we embark on a journey where we intentionally "get lost." Our knowledgeable Y Camp staff will guide students through the vital survival steps, teaching them how to craft their own shelters from natural resources. Students will have the opportunity to put their newfound knowledge to the test by creating shelters either individually or in small groups, fostering teamwork and personal empowerment. Prepare to embrace the great outdoors and develop life-saving skills in our Survival course!

Night Hikes (Overnight Only)

In this thrilling experience, students will embark on an after-dark journey, leaving flashlights behind to fully immerse themselves in the natural nocturnal environment. As they navigate through the darkness, they'll discover the fascinating ability of night vision and how the night effects our senses! Students will end with a deeper understanding of how both humans and wildlife navigate the night, offering an enlightening and unforgettable outdoor education experience.


Come visit Y Camp in the Des Moines River Valley to discover the main types of soil (loam, clay, sandy, humus, etc.) and find out how soil is made! Student groups will get their hands dirty as they discover how to make their own soil using a variety of components

Identifying Trees


Orienteering Course

*Coming soon*