Camp Wood YMCA

Family Camp! 2014!

April 7th, 2014 by admin

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Guess what’s coming up at Camp Wood YMCA?
That’s right – Family Camp!
Family camp is offered over Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend each year, and is always a favorite of families and staff alike! 
Families get the opportunity not only to stay on camp in one of our many cabin options but they get to take part as a family in many fun activities.
Adults and children like get to enjoy the fun activities, the warm Kansas sun, and the beautiful Flint Hills where we’ll serve the food for you, and coffee will be ready first thing every morning!
Camp activities during the weekend include such things as canoeing, swimming, climbing our alpine climbing tower, trail rides, arts and crafts, outdoor cooking, nature hikes and lots more offered throughout the day.

It is by pure coincidence that we introduce Camp Wood YMCA’s new Spring interns for our 1st of April Blog.  Because these two ladies aren’t fools by any stretch of the imagination. In fact they are quite the impressive young ladies who were selected from some stiff competition to be the first of what looks to be a successful, ongoing internship program.

So without further ado (and in alphabetical order) here are our 2014 spring interns…

dani with clam shells lakefront

Dani Clammy

Dani Parkison joins us from Olathe.  Dani is 19 years old and has 6 other siblings.  Last year was her first year at Camp Wood where she served as a counselor.

Her summer here at Camp Wood was a great influence on her. As she puts it; “I applied on a whim and went in not expecting much, to be honest. BOY was I wrong! I left that summer a completely different person, in the best way! Camp matured me and helped me discover my purpose in life. After the summer I completely changed my plan for the future because I knew I was supposed to be involved in camp.

In regards to the internship, Dani said: “When I was told about the spring internship in September, I was so excited! I looked at it as such an amazing opportunity to get a taste of what being involved in the camp profession would be like.

In regards to the internship, Dani says she, “looked at it as an awesome opportunity to “test’ what my future career will be like, and to get some real work experience in before going to school.

When asked what she hoped to gain as an intern, Dani said she hoped, “to gain an understanding as to what camp is like behind the scenes and get an idea of what goes into the day-to-day operations of camp, as apposed to just hanging out with the kids over the summer.

Grace Walton joins us from Overland Park Kansas, is a sophomore at KU and has 2 pet turtles George and Leo. Oh and a gigantic goldfish named Steve.

Grace with Jazz Hands

Grace is Jazzed!

At KU, Grace is studying Applied Behavioral Science (ABS), with a focus in early childhood education and intervention.

Grace is no stranger to Camp Wood. This upcoming 2014 summer will mark her 12th year as either a camper, a volunteer, or a staffer.

The Camp Wood experience has been very influential on Grace, “Ever since my first summer at Camp Wood when I was eight years old, I wanted to work at camp. I loved my counselors and the program staff, I always felt included, safe, and I had so much indescribable fun! I have felt this way every year since that first summer, and I have always known that I wanted to grow up and become one of the people I looked up to as a camper.”

And when grace first became a staffer… “When I got hired my first summer not only was I able to achieve that childhood dream, but I was also able to grow so much as a person and learn from other staff members and campers.

And as for the internship… “I wanted to be able to be a part of camp in new and exciting way, and I wanted to be able to learn more about camp than my eight year old self could have ever imagined.  I also wanted to be able to help camp with groups, and be able to share the amazing place to that I have been lucky enough to call home for a few weeks every summer with the wonderful people that come to visit, learn and experience camp.

As for what Grace hopes to gain as an intern, she hopes that she “can learn more about all the different walks of life that come through camp, and I hope that I am able to learn how to best accommodate and teach them in every way” and she wants “to gain some experience in lesson planning, and group planning” and hopes to “to learn a little more about the professional side of camp, and all that goes into every single event from summer camp to off-season groups.”

They have just finished their first week here as interns, and it looks to be a successful program with the interns growing and helping the camp along the way!!

Things to come…

March 24th, 2014 by admin

As we look into the coming months, every day is filled with activity.  The countdown to Summer Camp is getting smaller as we prepare for the fun and development of kids and youth and they prepare for their time at camp.

● The new steps are waiting for the feet of campers and families
● School groups are coming
● The new Cabin in the Hillside is being built (to sleep a family/group of 12)
● The Alumni are coming
● Staff are being recruited
● The green grasses are coming
● A new well is being drilled
● Kids are coming
● The shade at the waterfront is built and is about to get a rooftop
● New fun IN the water is coming (we’re surprising you)
● The horses are being prepared for the summer
● The Ritchie Reader will return in May with brief updates on the happenings around camp. (The video below is a peak into our revamped Ritchie Reader.)
● AND The INTERNS are here.  Check the blog next week to find out more about them and what they will be doing.

For a bit of Monday lunchtime viewing: Check out our Youtube video of the construction of the new steps in superspeed mode! We said these guys were quick.  Now you can see how quick!

Hillside cabin

Hillside Cabin

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Waterfront shade

Reality Facetime : A New Social App?

March 17th, 2014 by admin

Oops! I wish I wouldn’t have posted that!

I saw that on Facebook! Did you see that tweet? I’ll Facetime you. Do I Instagram that or WhatsApp that to you?   Social media has taken us into a world of friends in ways some of us could never have imagined possible. The social world of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and all of the other new forms of social media that appear (social media that some of us battle to keep up with) can take us into the world without ever leaving our house. So what do we do with this?

We can celebrate what’s happening in people’s lives, even those across the world; and we can share laughter with friends over a funny picture.  We can even post a peaceful scene for someone needing a break from the busyness of the world. At Camp Wood YMCA social media has become a way of showing our families what we are up to; and it can be fantastic!

On the flip side: Do we ever say something to someone and later realize that we got caught up in the moment and maybe said something we wish we wouldn’t have said? What if one of those ‘somethings’ landed as a post on Facebook or a tweet? Maybe it was hurtful or untrue, or it aided in the spread of a rumor without first asking the person to find out the truth.   Even if it was true, what if the world didn’t need to know?

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How do we take responsibility for our actions and our words when our “friends” are just a click away? Today is a day set aside to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day; a man who impacted the world through his actions and his words.  St. Patrick didn’t have social media!  How can we make a difference in someone’s life today in a face to face moment? Isn’t that a part of what camp is about?  Join us for some Reality Facetime with family and friends!  Summer Camps begin on Memorial Weekend with a Family Camp. Come join us for some of that Reality Facetime!  We’d love to hear what you do in Reality Facetime this week to make a positive difference in the life of a friend.

Call 620-273-8641 to register for Memorial Weekend Family Camp. 

To see what Family Camp is about go to

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mud soccer

Life-Changing Awesomeness

March 10th, 2014 by admin

How would you describe your first experience at a camp? This is the question we asked last week to our alumni, via our Camp Wood YMCA Alumni page.  The first response: “Life changing awesomeness!” These are the words from Sarah, a camper…staff member…alumnus.  Other comments followed, but somehow they have disappeared into the cloud-hosted internet, and only two comments remain.  We sorta like this one!

A second response that didn’t disappear into the cloud was from an alumnus who was here years ago when gym-style open showers were the norm at school and camps.  We are glad you reported that you got through it!  We are also glad that we haven’t had those showers for years!  We hope that your experience during the rest of camp led to your own Life Changing Awesomeness! 

As you think about your first experience of something that changed your life, what was it that changed you?  Was it the activities?  Was it the people involved?  Was it “something in that place or moment” that you can’t quite explain?  Hopefully we all have the opportunity to experience things that leave a big impact on our lives.  We believe that camp can be one of those life-changing moments; quite possibly it’s the people, the activities, the place and “that moment” all piled together that lead to the life changing awesomeness described.    

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