Camp Wood YMCA

New WATER…6 years in the making

November 15th, 2014 by admin

It’s an announcement we’ve been waiting on….

Today we celebrate as we let friends of Camp Wood YMCA know that we have new streams of flowing water!  I’d go outside and take a picture but it’s sleeting as I write this!

photo(32) Camp Wood YMCA is now, as of this week, operating a new water system in collaboration with the city of Elmdale.

As explained by Ken: This has been a six year project in the making. Through state tax credits and some very good friends of camp, the money was raised to dig a well, construct a delivery and treatment plant complete with a backup generator and two 5,000 gallon holding tanks in the Koger Horse Pavilion. This will supply water if the pump goes down and serve as a gravity flow delivery; and a delivery system that will now supply water to every program area on camp and provide for future growth of camp.


Elmdale is allowing us to use their water rights and with this plant we have the infrastructure in place to provide Elmdale with water if they so choose.  This collaboration is one of a kind between private and public provider. It is a very exciting time for all of us.

photo(33)  Water hydrants now exist all around camp; even in the outskirts of our main programming areas!  A new way to be sure all of our campers, year round, stay hydrated.  The treasure hunt for Hydrants is coming!


Something about Honor …from an Elevator

November 11th, 2014 by admin

Last Saturday, while on an elevator in a Kansas City hotel, the doors opened and a young man joined us. A conversation started and we learned that the man had just returned home from his overseas mission, as he called it. The man standing next to me stopped, looked into the eyes of the young man, stood up straight with his heels together and said: “Sir, thank you.  Thank you for your sacrifice.” The young man seemed a bit caught off guard at the way this older gentleman stood honoring him, as was I. His eyes welled up with tears as he replied with a “thank you”. I wondered if this older gentleman related a bit more than was said to this young man’s experience of just coming home.


I left thinking about honor. What is honor?  Do our lives demonstrate honor and respect towards others?  As an organization who works with youth, one of our goals is to draw a focus to living a life with healthy values.  Some of our campers may one day become service men and women.  They may be workers in industry, school teachers, executive CEO’s.  Maybe they’ll become YMCA Camp leaders trying to do what we do.  We hope while they are here having fun, making friends and learning new skills at camp; that they will leave with a greater awareness and respect for the uniqueness that each person brings into the world.  We all have something to contribute.  Who will you honor today?

Thank you to our men and women and their families who faithfully serve our country in ways many of us will never understand.  We look forward to meeting some of your kids this summer.

Something for the Week on Youth

November 3rd, 2014 by admin

Meet Summer Camp Joe and what Summer Camp 2015 hopes to bring to our teens.

Saturday Something introduced you to our new Summer Camp Director in the form of a video called: “Joe Knows Summer”.  We hope you saw it!   If not, it’s attached here.  Although the quality of the app that condensed the video clips needs a bit of work, we hope the idea behind the video was still there.  The idea behind it? FUN!  We had fun making it and that was the point!  Fun is important.

As we explore what youth want, need and hope for as they grow into their adult years, we think FUN  is a big part of it.  We know they want to learn new things (we hope!), develop new skills that will take them into adulthood, laugh with friends, spend time away from parental figures, and do the activities that their friends are doing.  Or maybe they want to create new activities for friends to do!  They also want to know that they are important and that they can make a difference in the world around them.

What we hope to see this summer is exactly that. We want to see them grow up into happy healthy adults. We want to provide a place for them to laugh, a place for them to meet new friends and catch up with old & soon-to-be life-long friends, and a place for them to try out new things and develop new skills as they grow in character. This summer we’re adding some new adventures to our teen programming at camp. We’ll share more as we unfold the return of Last Blast, teen only camp, during the last week of summer.  But be assured that every week where teens are present, new adventure awaits with “Summer Camp Joe”.

Joe will be traveling around the Kansas area soon, hoping to meet some of you, parents and/or campers.  Be sure to watch his Facebook postings on the Camp Wood YMCA (official) Facebook page  and watch your emails to see when he’ll be in your area.  We hope to see you at Summer Camp 2015.  Registrations are open!


Wednesday at the Y with Joe and Geneva

October 21st, 2014 by admin

Introducing Geneva and Joe…

Meet Geneva, our Events and Outdoor Education Director:


Geneva is a Kansas girl who began her career in camping in 2001 as a Summer Camp Counselor right here at Camp Wood YMCA. She worked almost every summer camp position possible with us before completing her degree in Communications from Sterling College in 2008. After her last summer here Geneva moved on to take the position of Team-building director for Frost Valley YMCA in New York, where she earned her Challenge Course Management certification. She later became the Retreat and Conference Center Director for Vacamas Programs for Youth. She loves theatre and music but most importantly she is ecstatic to be back at her home camp and looks forward to many years of sunsets in the Flint Hills. She brings her dogs Rory and Romo with her, who love the running around and playing in the wide open spaces.

One of Geneva’s favorite quotes: “If you hang out with chickens, you’re going to cluck and if you hang out with eagles, you’re going to fly!” Dr. Steve Maraboli

Meet Joe, our Summer Camp Director:

Joe pic

Originally from Fenton, Missouri, near St. Louis, Joe came to Camp Wood YMCA in the fall of 2014. Joe spent six years in Auburn, New York as Camp Director at YMCA Camp Y-Owasco. He grew up camping with the Boy Scouts, eventually earning his Eagle Scout.  Joe’s YMCA camping career began at YMCA Camp Lakewood in the southeast Missouri Ozarks. At Lakewood, Joe started as a Cabin Counselor, and eventually ran leadership programs and taught Outdoor Education. Joe attended Lindenwood University for Speech & Theatre Education. Once upon a time, Joe was a speech and drama teacher for grades 7-12 before he realized that he’d much rather be at camp than in the classroom. Joe is thrilled to return to his Midwestern roots and join the Camp Wood YMCA family, where he can continue his passion of teaching kids life skills at camp. He enjoys running, hiking, Ultimate Frisbee, disc golf, theatre, writing, and reading.

One of Joe’s favorite quotes: “To know is nothing at all; to imagine is everything.” Anatole France

We are enjoying the company, insight, experience, humor and creativity of Joe and Geneva. Watch for us to be in your city.  Updates of our travels and “meet the camp staff” opportunities will be posted on Facebook in the near future.

Other things to know about Joe and Geneva and other camp staff coming soon…

joe w balloons








Geneva puma

Fall’s First Friday and the return of the blog

September 26th, 2014 by admin

The blog is back!  And it’s is a perfect day to return to it.  The wind is light, the sun is bright and kids are having an incredible 2 days with our Outdoor Education staff.

College Hill 2015Outdoor Education means many things from  exploring the natural world around us and learning about ourselves to just having a bit of fun mixed in with education.  Through canoeing, fishing, bread on a stick and outdoor cooking, archery, campfires, hiking, s’mores, laughter, stories, learning new things about ourselves and our friends, stream exploring with nature surrounding us, and discovering adventures all around us, life is alive at Camp! 

Fall’s first Friday also seems like a fantastic day to introduce our upcoming SUMMER CAMP 2015. If you have not yet visited our website, follow this link and it will take you there!

You’ll be introduced to new adventures in paintball, construction with a bit of deconstruction, an adventure trip camp, some leadership learning opportunities, a return of a camp just for the teens, FAMILY Camp and more!  First step: take yourself to the to find out what the more is!


Have a great day!