Day Camp


Serving Boone and Ames communities.

Ages 6-13
Traditional Sessions Member $175/Week 
Traditional Sessions Program Participant $195/Week
   *Additional child discount- Sign up more than one child for the same week and receive $25 off the registration price
    for each additional child.  
Offered 10 weeks of Summer June 7 through August 20

For space to open a current camper will either need to transfer weeks/sessions or cancel their spot.
When/if this happens WAIT LISTED campers will be notified in the order they are listed on the wait list.  


Traditional Sessions: Week 1- June 14- 18; Week 2- June 21- 25; Week 3- June 28- July 2; Week 4- July 5- 9; Week 5- July 12- 16; Week 6- July 19- 23; Week 7- July 26- 30; Week 8- August 2- 6; Week 9- August 9- 13; Week 10- August 16- 20
(Week 0- June 7- 11 has been cancelled) 

Specialty Day Camps:
Ranch Camp (Ages 9- 13): Week 3- June 28- July 2    $255 Member/ $305 Program Participant
The ranch program is a great fit for horse lovers. Our talented and enthusiastic instructors prepare lessons for campers that cater to skill and experience. Campers will learn more about grooming and horse care, horse equipment, and riding techniques. On day one, each camper is partnered with a horse for the week. The two develop a special bond as a result of the hours spent together each day. Ranch camp provides a good mix of lessons and trail rides to ensure that campers learn riding skills and enjoy spending time on horseback. Campers enjoy the ranch program in the mornings and experience the traditional camp activities during the afternoon. 

What better place for your child to spend their summer days than at the Des Moines Y Camp located in Boone?  Under the supervision of our trained staff your child will spend their summer enjoying the outdoors through various program activities all while building new friendships and growing in the four Y values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility. 

Daily traditional activities include: horseback riding, climbing, hiking, archery, fishing, canoeing, field games, outdoor cooking, gardening, Imagineering, crafts, swimming, gaga ball, disc golf, and so much more!

The Des Moines Y Camp strives to make camp affordable for all. Through the generous donations of Y members, community members and local businesses we are able to offer Financial Assistance to individuals and families at all income levels to make our programs accessible to all. To fill out an application and view our policy please click here

Register Now Parent Information

Swim Lessons

All day campers participate in daily swim lessons (weather permitting) included in the cost of camp.  Lessons are taught by trained staff with emphasis on stroke refinement and water safety.  Campers are swim tested each week and placed into skill level groups based on ability. It’s a great way to build confidence and learn a new, valuable skill, all while keeping cool during those warm summer days.

Hot Lunch

Take a break from packing lunches!  Lunch is provided every day at Y Camp.  The summer menu is kid-friendly and nutritious with fresh fruit and vegetables offered daily along with childhood staples such as corn dogs and pizza.  Special dietary needs such as vegetarian or gluten free can easily be accommodated with prior communication.

Summer Reading Program

Students experience significant learning loss when they do not participate in educational activities during the summer months. Research shows that students on average score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer than they do on the same tests at the end of the school year. Summer reading loss is cumulative, these children do not typically catch up in the fall. Their peers are progressing with their skills while they are making up for the summer learning loss. By the end of 6th grade, children who lose reading skills during the summer are on average 2 years behind their peers.

That is why Y Camp implemented the summer reading program at Day Camp.  The core of the program is a half hour of reading time every day.  Groups find their favorite spot under a tree or by a stream to read either books from home or a selection from the ever growing camp library.  Incentive programs, local library partnerships, and consultation from board certified reading coaches work together to help prevent summer learning loss and spread the love of reading all summer long.

Transportation Provided

For the convenience of our families we provide daily bussing from two locations.  One located in Herman Park in Boone, and the other at Lloyd Kurtz Park in Ames.  Staff are on site for Drop Off and Pick Up times to provide supervision and lead activities while waiting for caregivers to arrive.  Families are also welcome to drop off and pick up at the Y Camp office.

Frequently Asked Questions

What age can my child start camp?

Day campers must be 6 years old by the first day they attend camp.

What about bad weather?

During inclement weather staff move activities indoors.  During severe weather staff are trained to take campers to the nearest emergency storm shelter until All Clear is given by leadership staff.

What should I send to camp?

We suggest a backpack comes everyday with the following items.  While some might not be needed every day it is best to have them handy. Look to the weekly newsletter to find the day to send your camper with long pants for horse rides or closed toed shoes for climbing. 

  • Sunscreen

  • Water Bottle

  • Book or Magazine

  • Swimsuit

  • Towel

  • Change of clothes (dirt is complimentary)

  • Rain coat or poncho

  • Sweatshirt or jacket for cool mornings

When are the drop off and pick up times?


Drop Off

Pick Up

Boone- Herman Park, South Greene Street



Ames- Lloyd Kurts Park, off Bloomington Road



Camp Office- 1192 166th Drive, Boone




Do I need to stay with my child at drop off and pick up?

No, we will have staff with your child during drop off and pick up times. 


Is there a minimum of weeks my child can attend?

Your child can attend one week, or all 10 weeks of our summer season.

Register Now Parent Information