YMCA Summer Camp for Kids

There are three age groups (a.k.a. “villages”) at our summer camp for kids, each focusing on the developmental needs and abilities appropriate to each group.

EXPLORERS

Entering Grades 2 to 5

For our youngest summer camp group, our top priority is creating a safe, comfortable, and fun camping experience for each and every kid.

  • This is your child’s first step into summer camp – we take that very seriously.
  • We place a strong emphasis on cabin unity.
  • The cabin group, made up of 2 Counselors and 10 campers, stays together throughout the week.
  • The Explorers sample camp activities in shorter, age-appropriate time blocks.

View Upcoming Explorers Sessions

Challengers

Entering Grades 6 to 8

The Challenger village is designed to give our summer campers more independence and decision-making opportunities while being guided by our trained staff.

  • On opening night, each camper gets to select eight of the fifteen to twenty different activities we offer. Out of these eight, each camper gets to participate in four activities throughout the week (with everyone getting to participate in their top choice).
  • Wednesday morning is spent in an all-camp activity we call Color Chaos!
  • We organize our afternoons to be more relaxed. Campers can choose their activities during structured “Pick Your Pleasure (PYP)” time.
  • Evening programs include traditional campfires, skit-nights and themed all camp events.
  • Our camp week ends with a special candlelight ceremony on Thursday night and a family BBQ on Friday afternoon.

View Upcoming Challengers Sessions

Mountaineers

Entering Grades 9 to 11

For our oldest youth group, the Mountaineers actually only stay for two nights in the main campground – the majority of their time is spent in the beautiful surrounding wilderness of Pine Hills, and makes for the perfect introduction to the outdoors

  • The Mountaineers program is the perfect introduction to the outdoors for young people.
  • We start each week at Camp Marston’s Mountaineer Village, with team building, swimming, and character based discussions around the campfire.
  • On Monday we board the camp bus for our climbing trip to Stonewall Peak in the Cuyamaca State Park, followed by our overnight adventures in Mount Laguna.
  • In smaller groups we hike and mountain bike some of the most spectacular backcountry in San Diego County.
  • Our experienced staff provide opportunities for their campers to learn about the environment along the trail.
  • Each evening we set up camp, prepare dinner and share stories, memories and great food around the campfire.
  • On Thursday afternoon, we return to Camp Marston for debriefing, awards, and our Candle Light Ceremony.
  • The week leads to strong friendships and life-long memories.

View Upcoming Mountaineers Sessions

Teen Leadership Camps

We also offer two specialized camps that focus on helping teenagers (ages 15 to 17) gain valuable leadership skills that they can utilize throughout the rest of their life.

Learn more about Leaders in Training (LIT) and Camp Assistant (CA) camps