What are the Y's COVID-19 plans? What is a typical day at camp like? Are there discounts available? How do we accommodate children with food allergies? Learn the answers to these and other frequently asked questions.

COVID Protocols

We can’t wait to welcome you to YMCA Summer Camp in 2021! The health and well-being of our campers and families is our number one priority.

This summer, we’ll offer the same fun and enriching activities that you’ve come to expect from the YMCA’s Summer Camp — while following all safety and health guidelines from New York City, New York State, the CDC, and the American Camping Association (ACA).

Here’s a brief list of some of the things we are doing to keep everyone safe this summer.

Programming & Protocols:

  • Protective face coverings required at all times for all staff and campers.
  • Frequent hand washing and sanitizing added to our camp schedules.
  • All staff trained regularly on all health and safety regulations.
  • Curriculum and lesson plans modified to meet all safety standards, including increased social distancing.
  • Camp activities take place in ventilated activity spaces, as well as outdoors.
  • Equipment, furniture, program spaces, and high-touch surfaces cleaned frequently throughout the day with EPA certified cleaners and disinfectants.

People:

  • Maximum group sizes:
    • 12-24 campers and at least 2 staff in each “camp pod”
    • Dependent on classroom capacity and 6 feet social distancing
    • Campers and staff will stay together in their camp pods each session
  • Camp ratios:
    • 5 and under: 1 staff to 6 campers
    • 6 and above: 1 staff to 8 campers
  • We have reduced capacities in our facilities to ensure an increased amount of space to have fun.
  • Campers receive their very own set of materials and equipment.

What plans has the YMCA put in place to keep campers and staff safe?

The health and well-being of our campers and families is our number one priority, and we’re doing everything we can to create a welcoming and clean environment for all. Our operating procedures are consistent with New York State and New York City regulations, and follow safety guidelines from the CDC and the American Camping Association (ACA).
 

Do campers and staff wear masks?

All campers and staff must wear masks while indoors at the Y. Campers will be able to take their masks off when outside in their static pods. Family members dropping off and picking up campers must also wear a mask while at the Y. 

 

Who is required to wear masks at camp?

All visitors, members, campers, and staff over the age of 2 must wear a face covering in the YMCA. These policies are in accordance with New York City and State policies. 

What do I need to prepare?

Campers are expected to wear a mask and bring a spare (mask), snack, bottle of water, wear comfortable attire with closed-toed shoes, clearly label all belongings with full name, and for children 5 and under bring a spare change of clothing.

What does arrival and dismissal look like?

When arriving in the building, campers will join their pod. For everyone's safety, we cannot allow family members to enter our classroom spaces.

During dismissal, a YMCA staff member will ask caregivers for their photo ID. The staff member will match it to the authorized pick-up list and circle the caregiver’s name that matches the ID on the sign-out form, include the pick-up time, and initial to indicate that an authorized person has picked up the child. Every authorized person MUST be at least 16 years of age and MUST have a valid form of ID.

What is your credit/refund policy?

All refund requests related to medical or health emergencies will be honored. All requests for credits or refunds not due to medical or health reasons must be submitted in advance of program start.

Will campers go on field trips?

We are closely following CDC and city guidelines. We plan on offering outdoor activities and walking trips in our local communities. We will share all our trip information in our family orientation. 

Will campers have the opportunity to swim this summer?

At this time, due to city and state capacity guidelines, we will not be able to provide swim lessons as a part of camp. If you would like to register your child for swim lessons at the Y, please see our Classes and Programs page.
 

What kind of training do YMCA staff members take prior to camp?

All Camp staff members attend a mandatory and comprehensive pre-camp training program that covers all NYC Health Department and YMCA requirements. Examples of the training our staff participate in are: COVID-19 protocols and practices, CPR/First Aid, Responding-to-Emergencies (RTE), Risk Management, Positive Youth Development principals, YMCA Camp Standards.
 

Dates & Locations

Are there Open Houses I can attend to learn more about YMCA Camps?

The YMCA hosts multiple open houses, virtual and in-person, throughout the spring. Join us to learn more about summer camp options for your child. Take a tour, meet our team, and get excited about summer camp 2021! Links will be available closer to the dates of the virtual open houses.

 

What are the dates for summer camp?

Summer camp starts on July 6 and runs in two-week sessions through August 27. We are closed on Monday, July 5

July 5-August 27, 2021
Closed July 5

  • Session 1: July 5-16, 2021 (Closed July 5)
  • Session 2: July 19-30, 2021
  • Session 3: August 2-13, 2021
  • Session 4: August 16-27, 2021

 

Where are YMCA camps located?

With over a dozen camps in all 5 boroughs, there’s bound to be a camp near you.

Our camps are hosted in YMCA branches that are licensed by the New York City Department of Health and accredited by the American Camping Association to meet health and safety standards.

Costs, Discounts, & Signing Up

How much does YMCA summer camp cost?

Fees for YMCA day camps vary depending on branch and type of camp. Find the right camp for your child and see price information based on the camp's location.

We offer discounts and financial assistance for all of our camps.

Do you offer financial assistance or scholarships?

At the Y, no family is ever turned away because of an inability to pay. The YMCA of Greater New York awards financial assistance to campers based on the family’s annual income. Download an application and bring it to your branch to explore scholarship options.

What discounts are available?

Member Pricing
YMCA of Greater New York members receive discounted member pricing and priority registration for camps. Join the Y today and save all summer long.

10% Early Bird Discount*
Receive 10% off by paying your camp balance by May 16, 2021.

10% Sibling Discount*
All siblings of the first child registered at full price receive a 10% discount.

*Discounts cannot be combined and are available only on the cost of camps per session, not on extended day or transportation fees. 

How do I sign my child up for camp?
  1. Consider joining the Y and becoming a member. Members get access to our fitness equipment, free fitness classes, pool, and family programming, as well as discounted rates for Summer Camp.
     
  2. If you wish to sign up for camp in person, come to one of our YMCA branches and we will be happy to assist you.

  3. Sign up online and reserve your child’s spot
    • Complete online forms
      • Guide - How to complete the YMCA's Summer Camp Online Registration Form
    • Submit a refundable deposit for each session you would like your child to attend

  4. Take advantage of our discounts
    • Member rates if you are a YMCA member
    • 10% Early Bird discount if you pay off your entire balance by April 18, 2021
    • 10% Sibling Discount for all siblings of the first child registered at full price
    • Note: Early Bird and Sibling Discounts cannot be combined
       
  5. Note on payments:
    • The YMCA accepts all major credit cards 
    • You can pay in full or in part when you register. If you pay in part when you register - you can log on to our website and pay down your balance at increments that work best for you.
    • Online payment is currently not able to process 3rd party payments, sibling discounts, and financial assistance
    • Guide - How to complete online payments 
       
  6. Once you’ve submitted your information and payment online, you’ll receive an email with additional registration and medical forms that you’ll need to complete and submit to the camp director before the start of camp.
     
  7. Your child’s full application packet, including medical forms, are due before the camp registration can be finalized. The medical form must be completed by a physician and include signature, date of exam, and stamp.

 

How to complete registration form

How to complete online payments

What is your credit/refund policy?

All refund requests related to medical or health emergencies will be honored. All requests for credits or refunds not due to medial or health reasons must be submitted in advance of program start.

What paperwork do I need to provide?

According to the NYC Department of Health, all participants must have a completed medical form on file prior to the start of summer camp. Please submit your child’s complete medical information form. It’s also a good idea to keep extra copies of the medical form for your records. If your child does not have complete medical forms along with immunization records, they may not attend camp.

During the registration process, it is extremely important that families notify the camp if the child has any medical conditions such as, but not limited to, allergies, asthma, diabetes or other conditions.

Additionally, campers must submit all necessary consent forms, including but not limited to:

  • Authorized Pick Up
  • Emergency Care Consent

 

Medical Form

Camp Activities, Schedules, & Gear

What kind of activities will my child participate in?

Y campers stretch themselves physically and creatively. They play games, read, create books, and write poetry. They participate in science experiments, solve puzzles, craft art, and perform music and shows. Parents say their children come home tired, smiling, and frequently humming a new camp cheer.

Weekly schedules for each age group are provided to families at the beginning of each session. They can be obtained from the camp office. Families are encouraged to review the weekly schedule with their child. Weekly activities that are planned and scheduled are age-appropriate, recreational, challenging, and fun. If there are any questions about the activities or events, please speak to the Camp Director.

What's the daily and weekly schedule for campers?

A Typical Day at Camp

MORNING
Morning assembly including camp songs and traditional camp group activities

LATE MORNING
Hands-on learning theme activities including STEM/Literacy

MID-DAY
Physical recreation including group games and sports

LUNCH
Food and Friendship

EARLY AFTERNOON
Creativity time

LATE AFTERNOON
STEM/Literacy

END OF DAY
Journal writing & reflection

 

A Typical Day at Specialty Camp

MORNING
Morning assembly including camp songs and traditional camp group activities

LATE MORNING
Daily specialty skill development

MID-DAY
Physical recreation including group games and sports

LUNCH
Food and friendship

EARLY AFTERNOON
Daily specialty skill development

LATE AFTERNOON
Hands-on learning theme activities including STEM/literacy

END OF DAY
Journal writing & reflection

 

A Typical Week at Camp

MONDAY
Challenge of the week

TUESDAY
Fun & Fitness day

WEDNESDAY
Wacky Wednesday theme day

THURSDAY
STEAM Challenge day

FRIDAY
End of week acknowledgements, end of session showcase or family event

What clothes/gear does my child need?

Each camper will receive two t-shirts and a camp bag. Camp t-shirts must be worn every day. Additional camp t-shirts may be purchased with the camp director.

What's the Y's program philosophy?

The Y promises to prepare kids for success in life. Summer Day Camp builds self-esteem, fosters self-reliance, and teaches healthy behaviors and positive values. Because it’s different from school, campers also explore different sides of themselves. Supported by our highly skilled counselors, campers build competence and confidence while learning and growing all summer long.

What more can you tell me about YMCA Camps?

All Y Camps feature:

  • Well-trained staff who serve as positive role models

  • Activities that promote cultural diversity

  • Lessons in conservation and protecting the environment

  • Exposure to new age-appropriate, challenging, and fun experiences

  • An atmosphere that fosters fairness, teamwork, and cooperation

  • Health, exercise, and nutrition education

Do you offer camps for children with special needs?

Yes, we offer inclusion camps at the following locations in partnership with the Lisa Beth Gertsman Foundation: 

Staff, Safety, & Compliance

What's the Y's criteria for hiring camp staff and what kind of training do they receive?

The Y recruits mature and capable staff to work in our programs. We count on each of them to be a role model to our campers and to teach campers the Y’s core values—respect, responsibility, honesty and caring.

All camp staff members are carefully screened and selected based on:

  • Experience, skills and abilities
  • Certifications and education
  • Character
  • Enthusiasm
  • Love of working with children

All Day Camp staff members attend a mandatory and comprehensive pre-camp training program that covers all NYC Health Dept., American Camp Association and YMCA requirements. Examples of the trainings our staff participate in are: CPR/First Aid, Responding-to-Emergencies (RTE), Risk Management, Dept. of Health Mandates, YMCA Camp Standards, and ACA camp Standards.

Most of our Day Camp staff work for the Y year around in programs such as the Y Afterschool, Early Childhood Programs, and Teen Programs.

Camp staff are there to serve the children and their families. Families are encouraged to share as much information as possible about the child to make the child’s time in the Day Camp as pleasant as possible.

All of our staff members are looking forward to seeing you at camp this summer!

I'm interested in a camp job. How do I apply?

We're so glad to hear that. You can make a difference in a child's life, make new friends, and create lifelong memories while working at YMCA camp! 

Learn more about available positions >

How safe are YMCA camps?

All YMCA of Greater New York Day Camps are licensed by the New York City Department of Health and accredited by the American Camp Association. This means that we have passed a very strict set of standards that are geared toward assuring a healthy physical environment, positive staff/camper interactions, and strong programming. We always maintain the proper counselor-to-child ratio, and attentive, professional staff members are ready and alert to attend to campers’ needs. All our staff complete rigorous screenings to ensure we have the best team possible to support your family.

How do you accommodate children with food allergies?

The YMCA is a peanut and nut free environment.

During the registration process, it is extremely important that families notify the camp if the child has any medical conditions such as, but not limited to, allergies, asthma, diabetes or other conditions.

What if my child gets injured?

If a child is injured, the staff certified in CPR, First Aid, and Responding to Emergencies, and all other camp staff will take whatever steps necessary to administer care and/or obtain emergency medical care.