The YMCA offers overnight camps, day camps, special interest camps, teen leadership camps and inclusion programs for special needs children. Different YMCA locations may offer different selections of summer camps.
Overnight camps are open to children from seven to 17 years old and run for one to two weeks. At YMCA Camp Speers in the Pennsylvania Poconos, campers in the one-week session select three activities they want to do every day at camp, explore the wilderness, and have an overnight campout. Two-week campers pick six activities to do while at camp and may make off-site trips to learn kayaking, mountain biking and outdoor living skills.
Day camp is for children from pre-kindergarten through 10th grade. Campers from first grade on up may choose activities such as sailing, archery, music, and arts and crafts. Campers also participate in theme days and special events.
Horseback riding programs include all-day horse-focused activities, three-hour horseback lessons and horse care, and one-hour riding lessons for children in the traditional overnight camp. Non-campers may take group or private lessons, and younger children may take short pony rides.
Camp Shady Brook in Colorado offers a drama camp where children ages 11 to 14 engage in skits, improv, stage makeup and set design in the mornings and regular camp activities later in the day. Adventure campers experience hiking, fishing and survival skill activities.
The Leaders-in-Training program offers teens entering 10th grade the traditional camp experience, plus leadership seminars, service project, trips away from camp and first aid training.
The ACCES – All Children Can Experience Speers – program allows full inclusion in camp activities for children with mild to moderate developmental disabilities. One staff member is available for every three campers.