The Camp Wood YMCA Experience




Camp is where campers canoe and swim, make fires and friends, try archery, go climbing, make an artistic masterpiece, and explore the Flint Hills Tall Grass Prairie.

But Camp is much more than that.

Campers and leaders (counselors) work together, learn new skills, and build an honest, caring, responsible, and respectful community where all individuals grow. It is our focus on “I’m Third” living and experiencing the Three Be’s.

Saying “I’m Third” has many different connotations. For some it is about faith (JOY – Jesus/Others/Yourself). For some it is about virtue (COY - Character/Others/Yourself). For some it is about campers and staff (COY Campers/Others(staff)/Yourself). For many it is all three wrapped up into one. Whatever it may be for you it is always about putting something bigger than yourself before yourself. This is not always the easiest thing to do. At Camp we believe to live the “I’m Third” lifestyle means to live with a bigger purpose in the service of others. It is about having a true impact on those around us. It is about having a life philosophy that will create relationships, character, fun, skills and so much more.

At Camp, kids feel completely comfortable with themselves. They discover who they are and to love who that person is. They feel the character values (Caring, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility) and live them out with a heart knowledge (putting them into place in their daily lives). That’s “Be You.”

Campers leave with a story to tell having had an adventure. They find a level of growth in themselves., in their independence, and their own skills. They leave having developed perseverance and becoming a hero of their own story. That’s “Be Adventurous.”

Campers find a home at Camp, a place where they have their own community, crew, gang, cohort, squad, niche, tribe, or group. Campers leave missing camp, and knowing that camp will miss them. That’s “Belong.”

The heart of our programs has much to do with stretching to meet mental and physical challenges, gaining confidence and becoming skilled at teamwork. Our programs incorporate the natural surroundings, and require a can-do attitude, cooperation, and age appropriate independence. Active and successful participation in the overnight camp experience at Camp Wood YMCA entails the ability to independently, safely and cooperatively:

  • Live with (i.e. sleep with and create a summer home with) similarly aged campers in a communal living environment, and take part in the social and play time of the unit.

  • Exhibit suitable behavior without needing more than the usual amount of individual attention.

  • Be responsible for personal care, and individual health and safety.

  • Follow a varied individual and group activity schedule, and manage free time with minimal supervision.

  • Maneuver rugged and steep terrain and distances between activities that are part of the natural

  • surroundings.

  • Enjoy overnight excursions which may require challenging hikes and offer little or no shelter.

  • Understand and respond to group instruction for most of the activities offered at Camp.

  • Join in group activities that build community, such as singing, campfires, and buffet-style meals in the dining room.

  • Act appropriately in case of an emergency.

  • Contribute positively to the overall spirit of the Camp community.

Camp Wood YMCA endeavors to arrange reasonable accommodations to make Camp accessible while preserving the rustic facilities, natural surroundings and a quality camping experience for all.