Traditional Camp

As the heart and soul of YMCA Camp Kern, our Traditional Camp programs make sure that your child experiences the adventure and magic of camp life. Our camp offers 485 beautiful acres of nature while being unplugged from the busy life of technology. From cabin activities and free time to evening programs and a full slate of camper chosen activities, your child will be able to make friends, develop skills, grow their confidence, and make memories to last a lifetime.

There is never a dull moment in Frontier Village!

Residential/Overnight Camp: Sunday - Friday

Each day is jam packed with exciting games and activities specially designed for Frontier Village. Counselors are trained to ensure a positive experience for younger campers. Frontier camps out as a village together and plays a special village game known only to Frontier each week!  

Frontier campers enjoy their own pool time for one hour each morning, where they learn some basic water safety in fun and engaging games. Campers then participate in activities with their cabin group in the morning, and choice activities in the afternoon. Frontier campers cook their own hot dogs by the fire on Tuesday night, and follow it up with stargazing and a campfire! Frontier is the best week in the world for any 7 to 9-year-old, regardless of their camp experience in the past.

2024 Session Dates
Session 1: June 2-7
Session 2: June 9-14
Session 3: June 16-21
Session 4: June 23-28
Session 5: June 30-July 5 (Boys spots sold out, waitlist available)
Session 6: July 7-12
Session 7: July 14-19
Session 8: July 21-26
Session 9: July 28-August 2

Availability

  • Session 1
  • Session 2
  • Session 3
  • Session 4
  • Session 5
  • Session 6
  • Session 7
  • Session 8
  • Session 9

Explorer Village Campers will enjoy a thrilling week of fun and adventure.

Residential/Overnight Camp: Sunday - Friday

Each week includes the traditional charm of Traditional Camp, including choosing their own afternoon activities, with specialized programs only for Explorer Village. Each Tuesday features games such as Capture the Soup Stick, which is both highly entertaining and exhausting.

Explorer campers conquer the Giant Swing during their week of fun, and have their first shot at the Archery Range! To round things out, the week features optional Trail Rides, and access to all the Add-on Programs for Traditional Camp! Spending a week at Explorer Village builds friendships for life, and independence for the future!

2024 Session Dates
Session 1: June 2-7 (Girls' spot sold out, waitlist available)
Session 2: June 9-14
Session 3: June 16-21 (Girls' spot sold out, waitlist available)
Session 4: June 23-28 (Girls' spot sold out, waitlist available)
Session 5: June 30-July 5
Session 6: July 7-12
Session 7: July 14-19
Session 8: July 21-26
Session 9: July 28-August 2

Availability

  • Session 1
  • Session 2
  • Session 3
  • Session 4
  • Session 5
  • Session 6
  • Session 7
  • Session 8
  • Session 9

No two days are the same!

Residential/Overnight Camp: Sunday - Friday

During their Adventure Village experience, campers spend their days trying new activities and participating in some of Camp Kern’s most exciting events.

No two days are ever the same in this fun program, where campers choose their own afternoon activities for the day. Adventure participates in the themed all-camp game, along with an individualized campout experience where they camp out with their cabin mates and prepare their own “Hobo Dinner” over a campfire!

Village Game night is spent playing Raptor Tag in the evening, a game on which the future of Camp Kern rests. Every camper spends time riding the Twin Zipline, and for the first time, shooting at the Rifle Range! If you are ready for Adventure, you will go home with new friends, great memories, and completely exhausted.

2024 Session Dates
Session 1: June 2-7 (SOLD OUT, waitlist available)
Session 2: June 9-14 (Girls' spots sold out, waitlist available)
Session 3: June 16-21 (Girls' spots sold out, waitlist available)
Session 4: June 23-28 (Girls' spots sold out, waitlist available)
Session 5: June 30-July 5
Session 6: July 7-12
Session 7: July 14-19
Session 8: July 21-26 (Girls' spots sold out, waitlist available)
Session 9: July 28-August 2

Availability

  • Session 1 (Sold out)
  • Session 2
  • Session 3
  • Session 4
  • Session 5
  • Session 6
  • Session 7
  • Session 8
  • Session 9

Step up to Pioneer!

Residential/Overnight Camp: Sunday - Friday

Pioneer Village is designed for the teen who still wants the Traditional Camp experience, but is ready for new challenges. We combine all the fun and excitement of Adventure Village, with bonus features reserved only for Pioneer Village.  

Pioneer Village campers will choose their own activities for the day, play themed all-camp games, and create traditions which will carry on for years to come. Pioneer Village is the only Traditional Camp program to do the High Ropes course, and features extra team-building and leadership activities.  Step up to Pioneer!

2024 Session Dates
Session 1: June 2-7
Session 2: June 9-14
Session 3: June 16-21 (SOLD OUT, waitlist available)
Session 4: June 23-28
Session 5: June 30-July 5
Session 6: July 7-12
Session 7: July 14-19 (Girls' spots sold out, waitlist available)
Session 8: July 21-26
Session 9: July 28-August 2

Availability

  • Session 1
  • Session 2
  • Session 3 (Sold out)
  • Session 4
  • Session 5
  • Session 6
  • Session 7
  • Session 8
  • Session 9

Make a splash!

 

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Want to spice up your camper's traditional week of camp? Consider adding a river rafting trip to their Traditional Camp registration. Available to campers in the Explorer-Pioneer Villages, campers with this add-on will be bused down the hill from camp to Morgan's Outdoor Adventures. Camp staff will chaperone their leisurely paddle down the Little Miami River.

2024 Session Dates
Session 1: June 2-7
Session 2: June 9-14
Session 3: June 16-21 SOLD OUT
Session 4: June 23-28 SOLD OUT
Session 5: June 30-July 5
Session 6: July 7-12 SOLD OUT
Session 7: July 14-19
Session 8: July 21-26
Session 9: July 28-August 2

 

Availability

  • Session 1
  • Session 2
  • Session 3
  • Session 4 (Sold out)
  • Session 5
  • Session 6 (Sold out)
  • Session 7
  • Session 8
  • Session 9

Saddle up!

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Won't you be our neigh-bor? Available for campers in Explorer-Pioneer Villages, campers registered for this add-on will travel to YMCA Camp Kern's Circle K Ranch for a one-hour trail ride on camp's horses accompanied by our ranch staff. 

2024 Session Dates
Session 1: June 2-7 SOLD OUT
Session 2: June 9-14 SOLD OUT
Session 3: June 16-21 SOLD OUT
Session 4: June 23-28 SOLD OUT
Session 5: June 30-July 5
Session 6: July 7-12 SOLD OUT
Session 7: July 14-19 SOLD OUT
Session 8: July 21-26 SOLD OUT
Session 9: July 28-August 2 SOLD OUT

Availability

  • Session 1 (Sold out)
  • Session 2 (Sold out)
  • Session 3 (Sold out)
  • Session 4 (Sold out)
  • Session 5
  • Session 6 (Sold out)
  • Session 7 (Sold out)
  • Session 8 (Sold out)
  • Session 9 (Sold Out)

Fun All Weekend Long!

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Want to experience the magic of camp for two weeks or more in a row? Stay the weekend in between at Kern!  The weeks must be consecutive weeks at camp. All campers laundry is cleaned in between weeks. Campers will participate in various activities at camp over the weekend before they are signed in for their next week of camp!

Weekend stays are only available to campers attending weeklong residential camp programs. Weekend Stayovers are not available for campers attending Sunrise Day Camp, Lil' Farmers Day Camp,  First Camp, Taste of Kern, Boots & Bits Day Camp, or Frontier Village programs.

Space is limited! Make sure to select the Free Weekend Stayover Add-on on your Camper Application. 

The following Free Weekend Stayovers are planned for summer 2024:

Sessions 3-4: June 21-23

Sessions 4-5: June 28-30 SOLD OUT

Sessions 5-6: July 5-7 SOLD OUT

Sessions 7-8: July 19-21

We are also offering "Super Stayovers" on other weekends that include a trip to Kings Island. These Super Stayovers will have a fee to cover park admission and food. Click the "Add On: Super Weekend Stayovers" tab to learn more. 

Availability

Stay for the weeeeeeeeeeee-kend

Super Stay 1

Want to experience the magic of camp for two weeks or more in a row, stay at camp over the weekend AND take a day trip to Kings Island? Stay on for a Super Weekend Stayover at Kern! Participating campers must be enrolled for consecutive weeks at camp.

All campers laundry is cleaned in between weeks. Campers will participate in various activities at camp over the weekend and take a day trip to nearby Kings Island amusement park. The fee for the Super Stayover includes park admission, food, drinks and transportation. 

Weekend stayovers are only available to campers attending weeklong residential camp programs. Weekend Stayovers are not available for campers attending Sunrise Day Camp, Lil' Farmers Day Camp,  First Camp, Taste of Kern, Boots & Bits Day Camp, or Frontier Village programs.

Space is limited! Make sure to select the Super Weekend Stayover Add-on on your Camper Application. 

The following Super Weekend Stayovers are planned for summer 2024:

Sessions 2-3: June 14-16

Sessions 6-7: July 12-14 SOLD OUT

We are also offering Free Stayovers on other weekends that do not include a Kings Island excursion. Click the "Add On: Free Weekend Stayovers" tab to learn more. 

Availability

If you have any questions about our Traditional Camps, please contact Jesús Castaño, Summer Camp Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (513) 932-3756 (ext. 1528).

2024 Weekly Big Game Themes

Session 1 – Outer Space

Session 2 – Wizarding World

Session 3 – Greek Olympics

Session 4 – Pirate Paradise

Session 5 – Under Siege

Session 6 – Space Invaders

Session 7 – Magic Adventures

Session 8 – Myths & Legends

Session 9 – Medieval Quest