While Summer Camp at YMCA Camp Kern is dedicated to fun for kids and teens of all ages, it is so much more than that. With a focus on friendships, campers spend the week participating in activities they choose, with amazing counselors from all over the world. Each program is designed with specific age groups in mind, and counselors are trained to not only build campers up, but to encourage and empower them to become more, guide them through challenges and provide great role models. We believe Camp is important; this is why we are proud to offer camper scholarship opportunities to those families who may not be able to afford the summer camp experience. For more information, please visit our scholarship information page.
Campers can spend as little as one week, and as long as eight weeks at Camp Kern each summer. There are programs for campers aged 5 to 16, filled to the brim with activities and programming specifically designed for them. Camp Kern is known for a dedication to 'Kids First' programming, and for innovative and engaging camps which truly make each week unique.
Along with our many specialty programs, Camp Kern offers five main “Core” programs:
Our most traditional program at camp. Traditional Camp (formerly Main Camp) is made up of four different aged-based Villages: Frontier, Explorer, Adventure and Pioneer. The fore core values of the YMCA run through this program and build a great foundation for a successful week at camp. Campers choose their own activities from a long list of options, including Swimming, Nature, Digital Photo, Archery, Rock Climbing, Waterfront, Radio, Riflery, Arts and Crafts, Drama and more! This program also features the “Big Game”, a themed all-camp game on Wednesday evening which truly embodies the word “magical”. Add to the mix night hikes, team building, campfires, a dance, pool parties and a one night camp out and this is a week that promises real growth, true friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.
Day Camp ('semi-residential')
Technically two programs, but these 'introduction' programs are the best option for young first-time campers. Learn about YMCA values with a specially chosen staff who works to build friendships and confidence in new campers. Day camp days are followed by overnight experiences later in the week, and every day is filled with great age-appropriate activities: Arts and Crafts, Swimming, Sports, Nature Hikes and more! These camps stick together throughout their time so the bonds between campers and staff are built quickly and create trust that leads to increased resilience and confidence.
Whether you are an accomplished rider, or you are just interested in starting out in the Equestrian world, Ranch Camp is the place to be! Spend all week riding in various formats and programs, doing ring riding and lessons along with trail rides all over Camp Kern’s 485 acres. Get to know your assigned horse, and learn how to ride on many others! With programs for ages 7-16 and with traditional camp activities thrown into each program, Ranch Camp is a perfect place if you are looking for something just a little different.
Teen & Leadership Programs
The opportunity for Teens at YMCA Camp Kern is unlimited! Kern Challenge is filled with canoe trips, lazer kraze and Ozone Zipline Adventures. Ultimate Survivor involves tribes squaring off in all-day challenges in search of a victory at Tribal Council. The Leaders in Training and Counselor in Training programs prepare campers to step up into roles of leadership both at camp and in real world. With these programs and more, there is plenty of choice for those campers looking for a challenging but rewarding week. Boundary pushing, safety net removing and thrown in at the deep end activities will build confidence and skills that will last well beyond a week at camp. Friendships built through shared experiences, creative thinking enhanced through problem solving and life lessons such as teamwork, leadership and communication are all part and parcel of our teen and leadership camps.
YMCA Camp Kern’s Fully Themed Camps are unique, fully immersive programs that give campers an experience that you can’t find anywhere else. From the second they arrive till the moment they leave, campers live and experience the adventures, challenges, and moments of their favorite characters and stories. Our themes change each summer so check out this summer's offerings below. A truly one of a kind experience based on imagination, creativity and shared interests.
Why choose Camp Kern?
- Safety is our number one priority that's why we are ACA accredited and proud of it.
- We're a unique place where kids escape screens, have positive role models and take safe risks.
- See what other are saying about us on our Testimonials Page.
- Financial Assistance, Monthly Payment Plans and no hidden fees.
YMCA Camp Kern is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
2021 Summer Camp Themes
Session 1 – Star Wars
(June 13 - June 18)
Session 2 – Harry Potter
(June 20 - June 25)
Session 3 – Ultimate Kern Week
(June 27 - July 2)
Session 4 – Neverland
(July 4 - July 9)
Session 5 – Agents of K.E.R.N.
(July 11 - July 16)
Session 6 – Willy Wonka
(July 18 - July 23)
Session 7 – Rainbow Royale
(July 25 - July 30)
Session 8 – Harry Potter
(Aug. 1 - Aug. 6)
Session 9 – Jurassic Camp
(Aug. 8 - Aug. 13)