YMCA Camp Onyahsa

Frequently Asked Questions

How many campers are in each cabin or tent?

Cabin assignments are gender specific and by general age. Usually, there are 8 campers per cabin with two staff members.

Can a camper be bunked with one of his/her friends?

Yes, as long as they are the same age and gender, we will do our best to honor placement requests. In fairness to campers who are not attending with friends, we ask that campers request only one mutual cabin mate.

What are the check-in and check-out times?

Check-in is scheduled between 2:30pm and 4:00pm on Sundays. Each family will receive a confirmation letter with a specific check-in time listed. Camp sessions end on Saturday at approximately 11:30 am. Parents are invited to attend the awards presentation that runs from 10:45-11:30am.

How many campers are at camp each week?

The average camper enrollment is fewer than 120 per session, which allows our camp to foster a real sense of belonging.

Where is Camp Onyahsa located?

Camp Onyahsa is located on Chautauqua Lake in Southwestern New York State approximately 20 minutes from Jamestown, New York; 50 minutes from Erie, Pennsylvania; 80 minutes from Buffalo, New York and 2 hours from Cleveland, Ohio. For more information please visit our Location and Site page.

Do campers need to complete a health form to attend camp?

Yes, our top priority is the safety and health of your camper and our Health Director and Assistant Health Staff reside on-site and will be available for consultation during check-in hours. In accordance with New York State Health Codes, all campers must have received a physical examination within the last 12 months, must be in good health and have all immunizations required for school attendance. Health & Confidential Disclosure Forms are available upon registration via CampDoc.com. All campers must have their online health profile completed prior to their arrival to camp.

Can I send extra food with my camper?

No, the presence of food or beverages in the living areas presents safety concerns with respect to food allergies, spoilage and rodents. It also poses equity issues. Central to our wellness aims, Onyahsa offers nutritious meals and snacks throughout the day. Special dietary foods will be accepted and stored in the kitchen area for serving under the supervision of the Health Director.

May I call my camper to check on him?

From years of our own experience, along with that of other respected resident camps, we recommend that parents do not call children during their camp session unless it is an emergency. If your child is experiencing significant challenges, is injured, or becomes ill, the Camp Administration will contact you. Many campers adjust well to camp until a phone call from a well-meaning parent.

May I send mail?

Absolutely! Although we think it best not to make frequent phone calls or visits, we strongly encourage you to send letters to your children. It is also a good idea to send pre-stamped and addressed postcards or envelopes with them to Camp. These paper letters and cards tend to be those that are saved and cherished later.
Our mailing address is PO Box 84, Dewittville, NY 14728. Our physical address is 5411 East Lake Rd, Dewittville, NY 14728

What if my camper becomes homesick?

Campers are encouraged to speak with counselors and the camp director’s any time they are having difficulties. Our staff is always on duty and will do all they can to provide a positive experience for each camper. However, if a camper experiences significant challenges, they may telephone home. If this happens, you may wish to encourage the camper to stay by instructing him or her to “call back tomorrow if you still feel the same.” As parents, we also encourage you to trust your instincts. No camper will be forced to endure a camp experience they perceive a negative. Please see our Parent Handbook for ways to prepare your children for a successful away-from-home experience prior to their arrival at Camp.