YMCA Camp Onyahsa

Summer Youth Resident Camp

The 2018 Onyahsa's "Tri-Sci" Summer offers nine integrated residential programs for youth during each youth camp week:

Onyahsa Campers

Onyahsa: For Friends, For Fun, Forever

Prior to, and following the youth summer camp program, Mini Camp, family camp-outs, and adult programs are also available.

Resident youth campers live in rustic single-sex, age-graded cabins, tents, or dorms under the supervision of carefully selected and trained staff members. The Camp’s directors and health staff also reside on site, and provide 24 hour per day supervision, and the Camp has a staff to camper ratio of at least 1:8. The typical camper population at Onyahsa is approximately 110 per week. This is rather small compared to other camps, which allows Onyahsa to create a deeper sense of community. All full-week overnight sessions begin on Sunday afternoon and end on Saturday late morning.

All resident youth campers participate in our special activities, such as campfires, skits, Club Time, theme nights, Olympic games, village nights, and other all-camp programs. Meanwhile, through age-group cabin and tent living, campers learn to share and live cooperatively as members of small groups. The activities and living areas are staffed with well-qualified and highly committed counselors, who share the goal of making a stay at Onyahsa a truly rewarding experience for all members of the Camp Community.

Traditional Camp (Weeks A – I)

This program is designed for youth ages seven to fourteen and all activities are developmentally appropriate. Traditional Camp is the heart of our program, for here are made the special friendships and fond memories, which last a lifetime. It is recommended for both new and veteran campers. Traditional Camp will be offered during all summer sessions.

Campers who attend Traditional Camp will enjoy all the favorite daily activities such as Swimming, Boating, Arts, Sports, Nature, and campers’ "Choice." Swimming activities include National YMCA instructional swimming and water safety classes. Boating generally offers kayaking, sailing, wind surfing, skin diving, fishing, rowing, and canoeing. Arts includes activities such as camp crafts, painting, clay sculpture, drama, and other creative projects. Sports offers a wide range of athletic activities like Soccer, Basketball, Climbing Wall, Archery, Court Games, New Games, and many others. Nature includes Environmental Education and outdoor activities such as hiking, planting, outdoor cooking, conservation, and many others. Choice enables campers to help create the activities they most enjoy, and to try non-traditional ones, ranging from taking canoe trips, to baking their own pizzas, to crossing our “Burma Bridge” on the Onyahsa Challenge Course.

In addition to these structured daily activities, Traditional Camp also offers morning Polar Bear Club, free time, recreational swimming and boating, diverse and creative Club Time activities, evening programs like New Games, reenactments, or treasure hunts. Special programs such as Olympics, camp elections, dances, skits, campfires, village activities, theme nights, and many others are also offered.

Traditional Camp is our best value, and moreover it forms the foundation of our program. These favorite programs provide the ideal experience for both "first time" and veteran campers.

Specialty Camps

Horseback Riding Specialty
Camper ages 7-13 who register for this elective will spend 1 ½ hours each weekday at Starr Point Farms, a local riding stable; learning the basics of western riding, horse care, and equestrian ethics. The program is coached by Connie Dolecki, who has 15 years’ experience and who is currently completing her PhD in Psychology. She has worked on teams developing therapeutic riding programs and on programs for children with behavior issues. Campers are transported to the stable in Camp-leased vehicles by Onyahsa staff. The program is open to riders of any level. Cost $100/week plus Onyahsa tuition. Program may be cancelled if insufficient enrollment. Offered weeks B-G. Please check the program guide for the schedule.

Teen Camp (Weeks A – I)

Each week’s 14-16 year-old campers who are registered for Teen Camp will participate in and help to conduct their own more autonomous and exciting programs such as trip-camping, “extreme team,” climbing, sailboat racing, and many other great activities. Teen campers will be able to exercise their independence and responsibility by helping to create their own less-routine programs. They will also complete a Camp project and assist with special events.

Leadership Training (Weeks A – I)

Campers who are fifteen years old (by the start of camp), and who register for a two-week Leader in Training (LIT) session, will have a great time taking trips and participating in more mature projects, while also learning the responsibilities required of leadership. This experience is great for older teens who want both excitement and responsibility, and who are ready to handle more independence.

During their first week, they will participate in training, and during the second one they will assist in general cabin areas to help with the camp program. LITs will be able to help structure their own program, and activities include several off-camp trips. Successful LITs often return as staff members in future seasons. LITs may register for more than one session, and can attend any two consecutive weeks. Offered each week of summer youth camp.

Summer Theme

This summer's theme is Tri-Sci! 2018 will mark our 120th summer, our weekly session dates are:

Week AJune 10-16Take advantage of our SOS (Start of Summer) discount
Week BJune 17-23Take advantage of our SOS (Start of Summer) discount
Week CJune 24-30
Week DJuly 1-74th of July week! No better place to be than on the lake for fireworks!
Week EJuly 8-14
Week FJuly 15-21
Week GJuly 22-July 28
Week HJuly 29- Aug 4
Week IAug 5-11

Kid’s Mini Camp (August 5 – 8, 2018)

This “introduction to camp” offers a half-week of resident camp for younger campers, ages 5-10, who may not desire a full week. All activities will be developmentally appropriate, but "Mini-Campers" will participate in a full range of programs. Kid's Mini Camp will run from Sunday afternoon to Wednesday evening. Each year's Mini Camp has been a great success, and enrollment is very limited, so sign up soon! Arrival at 3:00pm Sunday, and departure at 6:30pm Wednesday.

Summer Weekender Camp (Between All Summer Weeks)

Summer Weekender Camp is available to campers who are attending consecutive weeks. "Summer Weekender Campers" will participate in less-structured activities Saturday at Camp, attend an off-Camp activity, relax, see a movie, and have fun with the small weekend group usually at our YMCA facility in Jamestown. This popular program is only available to self-monitoring campers who are staying consecutive weeks. The fee includes all meals, a snack, all activities, and laundry money. Ages 7-16.