Summer Camp Activities - YCAMP

Summer Camp Activities



One of the many skills that campers often experience for the first time, archery is always popular at Y Camp. Campers shoot from the deck of our Shooting Sports Range at our targets and improve their skills with bow and arrow every day. Thanks to books and movies like The Hunger Games, archery has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years and campers are eager to learn the techniques involved. Campers are closely supervised as they use Y Camp’s compound bows to aim for the bull’s-eye. Camp’s archery range is ready for the next Robin Hood. Could that be you?









Arts and Crafts

Dahl Lodge, the home of our arts and crafts program, houses the many projects and creations that campers work on every day at camp. With spaces to socialize while making friendship bracelets or concentrate on rock polishing in front of a lapidary, campers can enjoy all the aspects of artistic expression under the supervision of our arts and crafts program leader. Cabins and campers are always visiting Dahl Lodge for an opportunity to create without the stress of being graded or judged.














Y Camp’s basketball courts boast four hoops that are always ready for a game of knockout or one-on-one. As a skill area, basketball is led by a Leader who is passionate about the game and the development of players. Whether the camper wants to practice dribbling, shooting, or just wants to spend time with friends playing a game, basketball remains a popular program area at Y Camp.



Grab a paddle, a life jacket, and a friend or two and climb aboard! Whether it’s in the beautiful Des Moines River or the serene Pugh Pond, campers get the opportunity to canoe with friends each week. Two lifeguards accompany campers as they learn about teamwork and the importance of communication with fellow campers. Canoeing remains a traditional camp activity and continues to inspire future water sport enthusiasts. Make a friend and hit the water for a great learning opportunity!




Y Camp has two beautiful climbing towers, a high ropes course and a zip line all designed for the adventurous camper to test their skills. Climbers have a chance to challenge themselves and develop a new sense of confidence in their ability to reach new heights. The climbing programs are a great opportunity for personal growth. Certified and trained Y Camp Leaders belay the campers as they keep their eyes on the sky and take each step to the top.




Embrace the joy of movement! Camp’s passionate dancers teach new dances and encourage all to find the enjoyment of choreography. Campers can learn the steps of a new routine or simply find the courage to develop their own style. Dance is a great hobby and a great way to express oneself, and campers learn the value of both through the styles and steps of dancing at Y Camp.




Camp has access to several waterways down in “The Valley,” and we utilize them all when campers choose to go fishing at Y Camp. With the help of Y Camp Leaders, young fishermen and women can expand on their casting skills, handling skills, and fish knowledge. It may be pulling a Bluegill from Pugh Pond or a Catfish from the Des Moines River, but campers will gain confidence and appreciation of a terrific outdoor sport that can last a lifetime.




Camp has always been a place to learn new silly songs and sing your heart out, and the music at Y Camp is no different. In our music program campers can learn how to rock out on the guitar, play the drum, lead a song and perform their own work on stage. Music is a great form of personal expression and campers benefit from the value of getting on stage at the camp talent show and conquering their fears as the crowd cheers them on. Get caught up on the music and sing your heart out at camp!



The Des Moines River Valley is home to scores of rare Iowa plants and animals, and campers have the chance to see, touch, hear and learn about these species throughout their time at camp. After lessons and hikes with Y Camp staff, they bring home facts about the Chinquapin Oak’s age, the Pileated Woodpecker’s size and why the White-Tailed Deer favors the night. Campers learn about conservation and the ecological relationships right here in Iowa and their impact throughout the world. The nature program is perfect for the curious and adventurous who want to learn a little more about the world around them every day.




Outdoor Living Skills

This program is for the outdoorsman or woman at heart. Be prepared to get dirty and build a camp from the forests resources under the supervision and direction of Y Camp Leaders. Skills learned range from fire starting to shelter building and cover everything in between. By the end of the week, campers gain a new sense of confidence so that they no longer feel intimidated by camping outdoors. Next time the family goes camping, our survivalists can gather the necessities, start the fire and maybe even make a meal! It’s time to disconnect and learn how our ancestors survived without an in-home furnace or Google.




Campers ride the radio waves through camp as part of the radio program. From compiling a song list to reading the news, campers can experience radio media at the KYBO station headquarters here on camp! The young radio DJs will produce their own show, called the “Daily Flush” and keep the whole camp up-to-date on the day’s latest stories. Tune in to AM 1690 and catch the latest show, because no one wants to miss the excitement and fun of the radio program.



Riflery is a popular sport and challenge for campers who want to test their concentration and patience at the shooting sports range. With safety goggles on and BB guns at the ready, campers learn how to focus on their target and block out distractions as accuracy is essential at the range.




The teaching of skills like teamwork, sportsmanship, and confidence has always been an important focus at Y Camp. Therefore it’s common sense to make soccer a part of the camp experience, as it teaches that and more. Campers are a part of a team and learn what it means to share responsibility and trust in one another’s abilities. Y Camp has a number of talented soccer playing Leaders, from college athletes to international coaches, there are plenty of opportunities for instruction and growth. Put your tennis shoes on and take a shot at the goal with our soccer program.





Getting on stage can be very intimidating, but when campers conquer their fears and express themselves on stage they learn the value of practice and gain confidence. Our theater program utilizes passionate staff, an ever-growing costume closet and our outdoor stage as campers prepare a production through the week and present it to the whole camp at the Thursday night talent show.




First played at a YMCA in 1895, volleyball has been a tradition for over 100 years and is a popular program at Y Camp. Campers fill the sand volleyball courts on camp every day to bump, set, and spike through game after game. Volleyball teaches the skills of communication and teamwork; skills that all athletes and young adults need for success. With the instruction of Y Camp Leaders, campers will learn fundamentals and commands, master their serve and practice their volleys with friends.










Copyright © 2018 YMCA of Greater Des Moines. All rights reserved.