Camp Wood YMCA

What Makes YOU Smile?

December 15th, 2014 by admin

Unplug - March BOTHStories are being told, laughter is being heard, and big smiles can be seen on the faces of kids as holiday traditions are being celebrated. Moments of “what matters most” seem to be shared around the world.   It’s that time of the year for family and friends, as you gather together with laughter and hope to celebrate the season, maybe the year, and what matters most to you.

It’s said that laughter is the best medicine, so rather than sharing oodles of ideas on what we think can bring a smile to those around you, we’ve found you a year’s worth of ideas on what makes a smile happen!

Before you watch, I do need to suggest that one idea was left out…

Camp Wood YMCA brings out a BIG smile! Check out the new Family Camp July 1-4: “The Great Family Escape”.  It’s an opportunity for your entire family to smile together at camp.

Enjoy the video as you consider: What makes you SMILE?

Some Healthy Living thoughts at laughter-is-the-best-medicine can be found below:

The Benefits of Laughter
Physical Health Benefits:

  • Boosts immunity
  • Lowers stress hormones
  • Decreases pain
  • Relaxes your muscles
  • Prevents heart disease
Mental Health Benefits:

  • Adds joy and zest to life
  • Eases anxiety and fear
  • Relieves stress
  • Improves mood
  • Enhances resilience
Social Benefits:

  • Strengthens relationships
  • Attracts others to us
  • Enhances teamwork
  • Helps defuse conflict
  • Promotes group bonding


ABC’s to Winter Fun

December 9th, 2014 by admin

ABC bubblesOh the weather outside is chilly!  So what will you do with this winter chill?

As the cold settles in, it’s easy to nestle inside for something like a long winter’s nap.  Although it may not mean sleeping, it often means a less active lifestyle until the winter wind turns back into a warm breeze. Will you join us this winter on an adventure to stay healthy?   We invite you to explore new and old activities, fun and creativity; while moving through the ABC’s of some holiday fun.

Adventure hikes. Imagine a hike to a new place with your family and write a story about what you see.
Bubble break out. Add some food coloring to your bubble mix and let the bubbles land on white paper and see what you create.
Camp Christmas S’mores over the fireplace or a candle. Add a thin mint for a new s’more flavor as you read the Christmas Story.
Draw a picture of your favorite holiday activity
Eat SNOW ice cream (
Fruitcake: Let your kids throw in what they like and eat it with them!
Gumdrops: Make a batch of Gumdrops and read Twas the Night Before Christmas (
Holiday songs: Rewrite an old song with your kids with words that describe their favorite things about the holiday season.
Icicles! Go on a search for the longest icicles after a storm. Build an ice castle.
Joy to the World. Create a sing-a-long!
Kites for the big kids (adults and teens): Most of us only fly kites in the warm weather. Try a sled kite for the winter!… Kites for the little ones:
Laugh a lot
Make a Movie time: create your own video to watch on a cold winter’s break afternoon
Nutcracker soldier:
Offer a stranger a helping hand
Play a lot
Quiet times: Find a quiet place with a warm drink to think thankful thoughts
Run a race with your kids (in your yard, at a community run, down the street…)
Sled on a new trail or start a new family tradition this month
Turtle pie: (use the easy recipe!)
Understand that fun is waiting for you to make it happen!
Vicks can be helpful for some fresh holiday air!
Wind behind a kite: a site for those who wonder what makes a kite fly:
XYZ…what will you do?
Yummy healthy treats load you up with energy: OR
Zip up your coat and go outside for some fun in the sun! Make Snow Angels!

Happy Thanksgiving friends and family!

November 26th, 2014 by admin

We could create a list of 100, for the reasons we are thankful; but we decided on this day to limit our list to YOU.  Thank you for being a part of our Camp family.

We wish YOU a Happy Thanksgiving and hope you find your own list of 100!

Happy T from CWY family

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.