Day Camp - Summer and Seasonal

Serving Boone and Ames communities.

Traditional - Summer

Ages 6 – 13

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 may include: climbing, hiking, archery, fishing, canoeing, field games, Imagineering, crafts, swimming, gaga ball, horseback riding (additional fee), and so much more!

Additional Child Discount- Sign up more than one sibling for the same week and receive $25 off the registration price. 

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

Financial Assistance  Tiered Pricing Structure

2024 Fees:
$260 Traditional Session
$10   Horses (Optional- Offered Weeks 1, 3, 4, 8, 9, and 10)
$15   Bus Transportation (Optional- Offered Weeks 1- 10)

A $20 per week non-refundable deposit is due at the time of registration. Weekly balances are due by check in each Monday.

Day Camp Traditional Sessions 2024
Date Week
June 10- 14 Week 1
June 17- 21 Week 2
June 24- 28  Week 3
July 1- 5        Week 4
July 8- 12 Week 5
July 15- 19  Week 6
July 22- 26 Week 7
July 29- August 2 Week 8
August 5- 9 Week 9
August 12- 16 Week 10

2024 Fees:
$280 Specialty Session
$10   Horses (Optional - Offered Weeks 1, 3, 4, 8, 9, and 10)
$15   Bus Transportation (Optional- Offered Weeks 1- 10)

Day Camp Specialty Sessions 2024
Date Week
Art-Rageous July 8- 12 Week 5
Top Chef  July 15- 19 Week 6
Gone Fishin' July 22- 26 Week 7 


Swim Lessons  

All day campers are encouraged to 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. 
Campers ages 6- 8 enjoy morning swim lessons included in their registration.

Elective Activity

Campers ages 9-13 have the choice between morning swim lessons OR an elective activity such as soccer, dance, archery and many more! If your camper prefers the elective activity over swim lessons, please uncheck elective activity when registering. During Day Camp Weeks 1, 8, and 10 campers may choose not to participate in swim lessons but the alternative elective activity is not offered. 

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 chicken tenders, walking tacos and mac-n-cheese. 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- Fees Apply

For the convenience of our families we provide daily bussing from Herman Park in Boone and 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. 

The fee for transportation is $15.00. You may sign up for transportation through the registration site here

Families are also welcome to drop off and pick up at the Y Camp office 1192- 166th Drive, Boone.

Horses- Fees Apply

To better serve our campers we offer optional horse rides. The fee for horses is $10.00. We are able to guarantee each camper one ride per week. You may sign up for horses through the registration site, here. Please note there is no horse option available for Weeks 2, 5, 6 or 7.

Payment Information

A $20 non-refundable deposit is required per session, per child. We kindly ask that balance dues be paid before check-in each week. Visit your account here to make payments using the Return to Pay feature as often as you like as well as view and download your account statement.

Additional Child Discount- Sign up for more then one sibling for the same week and receive $25 off the registration price. 

Transfer or Cancel Session

To transfer to another session please contact the Y Camp at for availability. There is no fee to transfer sessions. 

If you need to cancel please contact the Y Camp at You will be refunded to the card on file less the non-refundable deposit. If you have only paid the non-refundable deposit, no refund will be given. 

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 the "All Clear" is given by the leadership team.

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 
Day Camp Staff Boone Cell: 515-443-2209



Ames- Lloyd Kurts Park, off Bloomington Road
Day Camp Staff Ames Cell: 515-443-3111



Y Camp Office- 1192 166th Drive, Boone
Y Camp Office: 515-432-7558




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.



Spring Break - Seasonal

Ages 6 – 13

Traditional Spring Break Day Camp activities may include: archery, crafts, gaga, outdoor play, rock wall climbing and more! Each day campers get the opportunity to explore new interests, while developing friendships and personal development. 

One-Week Sessions 2024
Date Price
March 11- 15, 2024 $260
  Optional Thursday overnight $50
  Optional Bus Transportation $15