Sustainability and Future

Nestled within 180 forested acres in a sheltered bay on the shores of Lake Chautauqua, YMCA Camp Onyahsa has been at the forefront of providing memorable outdoor camping experiences for youth and families since its founding in 1898. Over its 120-year history, it has been a leader in creating programs that meet the educational, social, and recreational needs of the youth of our communities. YMCA Camp Onyahsa has responded to changing societal needs while remaining true to its mission: To promote excellence in youth development through quality camp programs that place a premium on participants’ safety, health, and happiness within an active outdoor environment.

The Jamestown YMCA has served the area since 1858. At the turn of the century, visionaries from the Jamestown YMCA saw the value in starting one of the first resident camps in the country as a way to expand their mission of guiding boys in spirit, mind, and body. Since its founding, YMCA Camp Onyahsa has emerged as a premier organized youth camp program and is today one of the three longest-established YMCA resident camps in the United States. The camp remains focused on providing a new generation of campers the same opportunities for quality outdoor experiences as enjoyed by previous generations.

As new societal demands and expectations for camps in the United States change, Camp Onyahsa needs to keep pace with them so we can continue to attract kids and their parents and best serve our community. Both the YMCA of Jamestown and Camp Onyahsa need new and improved facilities to meet the needs of today's children and adults. We have not had a capital campaign for over 25 years. The time has come for us to move forward with long-range strategic plans to enhance our facilities and programs. Where we spend our summers as youth become sacred; building on the Camp’s Proud Past, we accept the responsibility to ensure its Fantastic Future.

Send A Kid To Camp Scholarship Fund

Fund the tuition for a deserving child who lacks the means to attend this positive, life-enhancing experience. A donation of $520 will fund one week of resident camp, and partial funding is also greatly appreciated.

Become a member of The Onyahsa Association

The membership organization includes current campers, staff, and all interested alumni. Annual membership fees of $30 fund the Onyahsa Endowment to ensure the Camp’s viability for future generations. Thus, the Association serves to foster responsibility among its members. 

The $35 Association fee will be assessed to each camper’s first resident week only and will be good for one calendar year. Current YMCA members who attend Camp will be automatically enrolled in the Association at no extra charge. Alumni are strongly encouraged to join the Association to stay connected to Camp and to assist in its capital development.

Individual Contribution

An individual contribution or memorial is always very welcome. Please contact us to inquire about naming opportunities for large gifts.