Family Camp

Family Camp at the Des Moines Y Camp is a wonderful opportunity to focus on what matters most: the ones we love. Family is one of the strongest support systems we have and at Y Camp we believe that a healthy family starts with quality time investment. Thus, Family Camp was created.

This program spans generations, first running in the 1930s and drawing families from across the country and from many different backgrounds. During the week camp is open to you and your loved ones. You can relax poolside, hike the woodland trails with your family, take part in fun-filled evening programs, ride a horse at the Ranch and challenge your fears by flying down Y Camp’s zip line. The week is yours and you can choose your adventure with the ones you love!

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Start a new family tradition!

Many of our families have decided to make a trip to Family Camp a tradition. Generations of campers, from infants to grandparents, come to celebrate the bonds of family in a place that feels like a second home to all who come. Whether it’s your first time or your family’s 75th year at camp, the Des Moines Y Camp welcomes you with warm smiles and open arms. Be a part of something great!

What will you find at Family Camp?

Each summer, Family Campers vote for and elect a Mayor. That mayor picks a theme and creates your experience with Y Camp’s help. It’s a huge honor and a big responsibility to lead Family Camp as the mayor.

This year’s mayors are Spencer and Stephanie Cox, with their children Logan, Kennedy, Tatum and Harper Cox. The theme for Family Camp 2019 is “Y Camp’s 100th Birthday Party” to celebrate camp’s centennial summer.

Family Camp 2019 is August 4- 10! 

Family Camp is currently full. If you would like to be put on the wait list please email us at or call the Y Camp office at 515.432.7558

There are many activities available to families who attend camp, all of which are open and available. Keep in mind that some may be age prohibitive to ensure safety. Program areas available are:

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Archery
  • Bird Watching
  • Canoeing
  • Climbing Towers
  • Disc Golf
  • Golf Tournament
  • Hiking
  • Capture the Flag
  • Evening Programs
  • Fishing
  • Riflery
  • Swimming Pool
  • Horseback Riding
  • Tie Dye
  • Zip Line
  • River Tubing
  • Sports and Games
  • Costume and Dance Party
  • Campfires and S’mores
  • Much More!