Camp Wood YMCA

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:

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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…

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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!

From the eyes of the boys

July 9th, 2014 by admin

“We got to have s’mores and the chicken from nature and looking for crickets; to roasting a Starburst…”

Campout Night stirs up many thoughts and feelings when the word is spoken at Camp Wood YMCA.  It’s the night when campers and counselors grab their sleeping bags, a tarp and their food.  They hike out to a campsite where a fire is started and the memories begin. As they lay out their tarp, that search for a perfect spot for their sleeping bag begins.  Well, all boys may not think about that just yet…as the night under the soon-to-be-seen stars begins, but that time will come when they do begin to search for where they put their sleeping bag!

The boys experience it on Tuesday night and the girls on Wednesday night.  In the meantime the anxious anticipation and excitement awaits.  What will happen?  Will the stars light the way?  Will we need to get back to camp before the rain? Will we find enough grasshoppers to chase?  Or in the case of a past week of boy cabins…who will be willing to dangle the grasshopper over his mouth?  And how long will it take to get the fire going.  Along with this campers are found wondering: What songs will we sing?  Will I see animals?  What games will we play?  Will it be fun?

This week we asked the boys to write down their favorite thing about camp-out night; having just returned from the adventure out into our grasslands.

The comments came back in one sentence replies.  One that I found the most intriguing went as follow:  “We got to have s’mores and the chicken from nature and looking for crickets.”  Now I’m not sure where the chicken from nature story unfolds, but it’s good to know that our campers know that chicken is not produced in a grocery store frozen food isle!

Amongst other top rated comments were:

“the fire” and gathering firewood; followed by “the food”.  S’mores were a common theme along with being outside and meeting other cabins. Being with the counselors, baby frogs, exploring, the game of mafia and playing statues with Jacob, sleeping under the stars and seeing the constellations all were highlights of the boys night out.  One comment may lead us to believe that a few of the boys were a bit adventurous while the counselors were dozing, but they didn’t get too far from their camp-out home and for this we thank the night sky and those who were awake keeping watch over the boys. We can’t close out our comments without mentioning that one counselor decided to test out the roasting of Starbursts, and apparently it went well, or at least it was funny enough to make it a “favorite thing about camp-out” activity. Counselor Kyler you will forever be famous.

Next up: Girls night out…story and pictures to come!



A Big Thanks

July 1st, 2014 by admin

If you look around Camp Wood YMCA on any given summer camp day, you may see muddy kids, wet kids, smiling kids, early rising kids (or tired kids), kids smelling a lot like their horses in horse camp…and still smiling, tower climbing kids, kids running around the dining hall because they left an elbow on the table, and a lot of kids making mealtime mockeries to the staff person giving the announcements.

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In the mix of all these kids, you’ll find their faithful leaders, known as counselors. You’ll also find those directly in charge of areas and specialty camps, and those in charge of making sure things are set up, scheduled and in place; so that when the counselors and kids come running, areas are ready. American camping is a unique summer time opportunity for kids to experience a bit of something different for a week. Most countries don’t have the advantage of such a long holiday time to run such camps.

For us, it’s even more than an awesome opportunity for campers and their families. It’s also an opportunity for college students to gain experience with kids, experience in leading their peers, experience in leading activities that they love or that maybe they haven’t had the chance or the time to learn about and experience. It’s a chance for our staff to give your kids a great week at camp that they will never forget!

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Hopefully these experiences even lead to a new hobby or two somewhere down the road for both staff and campers. Camp is a chance for the staff to be stretched in their own areas of strength and in new growth. They then get the chance to teach kids, hang out with kids, laugh with and encourage kids, and learn from kids; as they practice both new and old skills. This week we want to say a big thanks to our staff who are half-way through their summer stay at Camp Wood YMCA. Kids are smiling and that relates directly to how you are impacting their lives!

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Thanks parents for entrusting us with your greatest treasures!
And a big thanks to those who serve our country!   Happy 4th of July

“I’m Almost 17″

June 25th, 2014 by admin

The thoughts of a Wrangler In Training:  “I’m Almost 17″

From early morning to early evening, our campers are on the go! What makes them willing to get up shortly after the sun rises?

From mudslides to cooking to nature exploring to archery to the Alpine tower and team-building… and Horses; quite possibly the excitement of new adventures or the memories of last year’s fun is what gets them out of bed.  It’s a definite advantage we have over parents for one week of the summer!  Some parents even allow us the advantage for 2-3 weeks. Even our teenage campers who are in our Leader In Training, Counselor In Training and Wrangler In Training camp programs are enthusiastic about the start of the day once they realize the day is starting.

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“IN TRAINING” campers doing a bit of team-building

We have an enthusiastic group of “Wrangler In Training” youth.  Yesterday they had big smiles on their faces as the last group of campers came in from the trail ride. One of them commented: “I’m almost 17, so soon I can become a wrangler”.   Almost 17 translates into 16, but the enthusiasm makes the almost 17 seem so much closer to us being able to hire him as that wrangler I’m told he’s talked about becoming for years.

The growth of our campers in all areas of life is what makes the days of Summer Camp rewarding. We see many kids start as little guys and girls, not quite sure of what to do on their first overnights away from home. Often our counselors spend the first night reading and talking them through that first night.  But once the day begins, the smiles grow and by the week’s end they are ready for more.  They are also ready for a big hug by a parent on a Saturday pick-up morning, as the stories begin to unfold. Thanks parents for sending us your kids!

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To 2014 Summer Campers:

Registrations are now open for 2015. All you need to do for now is give us a call and leave a $75 deposit.  Exact dates will be posted at the end of summer.

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