Be You!

At Camp Wood YMCA we encourage all our campers to just be who they are. To “Be You” means to be proud of who you are and to not let others tear you down and tell you to be someone that you aren’t. During a week of camp, we are given a great gift to witness amazing, kids be who they really are outside of everyday pressures. They have opportunities to choose their own passions and be proud of their accomplishments. But having confidence and a strong sense of self is something that can be built just like any other skill. Here are a few things you can do at home to help your child gain some healthy self-esteem and just be who they are even outside of camp.


1.      Be You!

When you are proud of who YOU are then they can rest assured knowing that it is also okay to be who they are without fear. As adults we are always trying to improve ourselves. Whether it’s our health or wealth or even happiness, we rarely just be. Let your kids see you be proud of who you are now, not what you hope to become later. Embrace your passions, whatever they may be or how old you are. Be proud of the skin you’re in and take care of it because it’s yours. Don’t shy away from the things that scare you. Face your fears with joy and excitement. Let your child see what confidence really looks like and they won’t be able to help but follow suit.


2.      Challenge Them!

During the summer, campers can try new things all week long. We encourage them to face their fears and push themselves outside of their comfort zone. Whether it’s meeting new people, riding horses, getting in a lake or even camping outside, these kids can overcome challenges and gain pride in themselves in a short amount of time. It’s sometimes hard to see our children struggle and it’s definitely difficult to watch their fear but, when they safely see the other side of that mountain that they have overcome on their own, it makes the challenge worth it. Give them opportunities to face fears and trials no matter how small. It might be tempting to do it for them but instead encourage them and let them know they are capable. The more they feel that feeling of accomplishment in something they have done on their own, the more they will want it to happen again and again.


3.      I’m Third!

“I’m Third” can mean different things to different people but in general the idea is to put something bigger than you first. Whatever that may mean to you and your family, having faith in something that grounds your kids in perspective and consistency gives them strength when things are scary. Unfortunately, the more confidence they have, the more someone is going to come along and try to tear it down. Having a consistent strength greater than they are can help them through those tough times and will make it that much easier. Putting others before them as well can help your child stay grounded in their confidence. Nothing gives a person a higher self-esteem then knowing that they have a purpose and are needed in this world. Give them opportunities to serve and give to others so they can feel pride in knowing this world is a better place because of who they are.  Lastly, being third doesn’t mean they aren’t important. In fact, just the opposite is true. They are an intricate and treasured piece to the “I’m Third” equation. Being who they are, is exactly what this world needs them to be. Let them know that this world is greater, better and more valuable because of who they are.

We are thankful for you!

We want to wish all of our Camp Wood YMCA families and friends a very Happy Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for this year including each and everyone of you. We hope you have a great holiday!

We are thankful for a loving and dedicated group of staff and counselors!

We are thankful for caring and supportive families!

We are thankful for a rich history filled with generous and kind
volunteers and alumni!

We are thankful to be surrounded by the beauty of the Flint Hills!

Last, but not least, we are always thankful for the kids, the kids, the kids!

This Thanksgiving we have a lot to be thankful for but we are mostly thankful for you! Camp Wood YMCA would not be here without each and everyone of you! We are so blessed!

Happy Thanksgiving,

From all of us at Camp Wood YMCA!

Your Next Family Vacation

Could your family use a few days away from the busyness of everyday life? Nestled in the heart of the Flint Hills and surrounded by Tallgrass Prairie is a peaceful vacation just a two hours away from the Kansas City area. With accommodations that can fit the needs of just about any size group and activities from horseback riding to canoeing, Camp Wood YMCA is a vacation like no other. Enjoy an unhindered skyline view of the prairie while listening to the tranquil sounds of meadowlarks and nighthawks. Explore our private trails and finish your day around your own campfire under the stars. With the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve and the Historic Chase County Courthouse only a few miles away, everything you need for an inexpensive, fun, family get-away is right at your fingertips. Stay in one of our affordable family cabins, utilize our full RV hook-up or tent camp around one of our many campsites. Re-image your next family vacation and make the Flint Hills and Camp Wood YMCA your next destination for family connection and adventure.

Strickland Cabin

Our newest lodging option was completed in 2015 and offers a private two-bedroom, 2-bath stone cabin with a spectacular view of the surrounding Flint Hills from a large covered porch. There are two lower level bedrooms. The master bedroom style features a private bathroom and one queen size bed, while the second bedroom has one full sized bed with twin trundle and access to the hallway bathroom.  The cabin also features two large sleeping lofts, each with 2 twin beds. The open-concept kitchen and living area, centered around a large stone fireplace, is the ideal gathering space for families and small groups. Sleeps 13. $200/night

Stone 1

If you're looking for a unique and comfortable space for your Flint Hills experience, this historic stone cabin is for you. Built early in Camp Wood's history as a home for the camp director, this cozy cabin offers a kitchen, living room with pull-out couch, a private bathroom and a large bedroom with two full beds. Before heading out to enjoy the surrounding area for the day, enjoy a stunning prairie sunrise with a cup of coffee or tea on one of two front porch swings. Later that night, you and your guests can roast marshmallows at the adjoining fire pit. Sleeps 6. $100/night

Stone 2

Modeled after one of Camp Wood's historic buildings, this new two bedroom, one bath stone cabin was built to comfortably accommodate groups of up to 6 people. It features a full kitchen, which is open to a large living area for group gatherings and meals. In contrast to Stone 1, this cabin has two separate bedrooms, each with a queen bed. The living area also offers a sofa sleeper. Watch the stunning prairie sunrises each morning from the covered front porch and enjoy a campfire under the Flint Hills sky each evening at the adjoining fire pit. $100/night

WoodFest Schedule 2018

10:00 am Music, Prairie & Art Classes

10:00 am Music, Prairie & Art Classes

11:00 am Music, Prairie & Art Classes

11:00 am Music, Prairie & Art Classes

1:00 pm Music, Prairie & Art Classes

1:00 pm Music, Prairie & Art Classes

2:00 pm Music, Prairie & Art Classes

2:00 pm Music, Prairie & Art Classes

3:00 pm Music, Prairie & Art Classes

3:00 pm Music, Prairie & Art Classes

4:00 pm Music, Prairie & Art Classes

4:00 pm Music, Prairie & Art Classes

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Class Descriptions

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A Playground Like No Other


Camp Wood YMCA is located on over 800 acres of picturesque Tallgrass Prairie in the heart of the Flint Hills. This unique landscape provides visitors to camp with a front row seat to explore an ecosystem that has been molded to perfection over millions of years. From glaciers to cowboys, each rock and grass is painted with a rich history that tells a story of those that came before us. But beyond the scientific discoveries and historical markers, the Flint Hills continues to breath life into all those that embrace its beauty. In its vastness, each wave of tallgrass and expanse of endless sky provides perspective and peace to all that find themselves there. For Camp Wood YMCA, we take pride in knowing that this exceptional place is our home and whether you are a camper, student or retreat participant it thrills us to be able to share our little piece of the prairie with all who visit.

Our Playground is Educational…

Between Meadowlarks and Collard Lizards, taking a walk through the prairie creates a hands-on Earth Science classroom. Finding fossils and seeing layers of flint and shale tells a history that dates to the time of dinosaurs. The quiet breeze of synchronized tallgrass produces an environment ripe for creativity and discovery.

Our Playground Builds Relationships…

With miles of unobstructed scenery, the prairie offers a place to disconnect from the business of the rest of the world and opportunity to engage in a relationship with nature, others and self. Whether its bonding with friends and family over a lakeside campfire or taking a moment to self-reflect in the breeze of the prairie wind, Camp Wood YMCA brings together what is so often frayed and neglected in a hectic world.

Our Playground is Fun…

Lastly, our little piece of the Flint Hills is chalk full of fun and exciting programs. Get a birds-eye view of the prairie from the top of our Alpine Tower or release your inner cowboy on a horse-back ride through the tall-grass. Scour the fossil pit for hidden relics of a time long ago or explore trails and creeks for critters big and small.

So, whether you find yourself at Camp Wood YMCA for a retreat, school group or summer camp, we hope our little piece of the prairie brings you a connection to nature, self and others like nothing else.