Camp Kern

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Winter Wonderland Camp

By: sean Posted on: November 11, 2014 Comments: 0

Winter Camp Flyer

Come spend a weekend in Camp Kern’s Winter Wonderland. Your children will sip hot cocoa with their best friends and favorite counselors. They’ll build snowmen and craft the perfect snowball. Winter is a time of joy, friendship, and memories. Give your children a chance toremember this winter for the rest of their lives.

Winter Wonderland Camp at YMCA Camp Kern

December 12th-14th

Click Here to Register On-line

Fall Calendar of Events

By: admin Posted on: September 29, 2014 Comments: 0

Fall has arrived and Camp Kern could not be more excited about the slate of events we have rolling out. Mark these dates on your calendar and be ready for an amazing fall and winter. For any questions about this programs, please contact Camp Kern at (513) 932-3756 or via email at skline@daytontymca.org!


Fall Camps at Kern

PDF Printable Version

Halloween Camp!

By: sean Posted on: September 23, 2014 Comments: 0

Halloween Camp-facebook

Halloween Camp is right around the corner! 

Trick-Or-Treat, Halloween Candy, S’Mores, Campfires and all great Summer Camp Activities! Relive the great times of this past summer at YMCA Camp Kern’s Halloween Camp reunion weekend! New to camp? Even better — now is a great time to meet some awesome kids and counselors while making memories for a lifetime! Campers will spend the days doing their favorite traditional camp activities such as tie-dye, archery, climbing, canoeing and more! In the evening, the activities will take-on a “spookier” theme with all the Halloween classics such as pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating and so much more!

When: October 10th-12th // Check-In is 6:30pm Friday and Pick-Up is 4:00pm Sunday

Cost: $140/Main Camp & $160/Ranch Camp

Ages: 7-15/Main Camp & 10-16/Ranch Camp

Click here to download the registration!

Click here to register on-line!

Kid’s Night Out This Friday!!

By: sean Posted on: September 18, 2014 Comments: 0

This Friday, 9/19/14, Camp Kern will be having the First Kid’s Night Out of the fall season! Your children will be able to enjoy an overnight camp experience full of climbing, campfires, s’mores and more!

Go and enjoy a nice night out while knowing that your children are safe and having the time of their lives with our trained camp counselors!

$40 for the first child and $25 for each additional child from the same family!

KNO Flyer The final FINAL edits


Register on-line or by calling (513) 932-3756. For more information or any questions, please contact Sean at skline@daytonymca.org

Camp Kern’s Open House

By: sean Posted on: April 7, 2014 Comments: 0

Come out this Sunday the 13th for Camp Kern’s Open House! From 1 PM to 5 PM, we will have staff members at the ready to answer questions, address concerns, and take you all over camp! The Open House is free of charge and is a great way to see what YMCA Camp Kern is all about. If you have any questions, please contact us at (513) 932-3756!


Kid’s Night Out!

By: sean Posted on: March 21, 2014 Comments: 0


YMCA Camp Kern is excited to be hosting their next Kid’s Night Out this next Friday, the 28th! Register your kids now for a fun filled night of climbing, hiking, snacks, and laughs. Drop off will be at 6:30 PM and pick up will be at 10:30 the following Saturday. It’s $40 for one kid and $25 for a second. Don’t miss this great opportunity to get out of the house for some “you” time while giving your kids a memorable Camp Kern Night. Click below for easy registration!

Click Here to go to the Kid’s Night Out Registration Page!

Spring Camp!

By: sean Posted on: March 11, 2014 Comments: 0

There’s still time to register for Spring Camp 2014! For those kids with cabin-fever from this INSANE winter, Spring Camp is a chance to get out to camp and get a taste for this coming summer. We’ll be climbing, hiking, shooting, and gaga-ing. There will be pizza eating and egg dyeing. Counselor skits, songs, and jokes. All and all, it’s about to be one great weekend.

For those of you still not registered, you’re just one click away.

Register Here!


A New Summer, A New Staff, Same Great Camp!

By: sean Posted on: March 11, 2014 Comments: 0

The snow and ice of this memorable winter has begun to thaw and Summer is right around the corner. Camp Kern is beginning to put the pieces together in order to form another great summer of memories and magic.

This past year has seen a TON of changes going on around YMCA Camp Kern. We opened the doors to our brand new indoor recreation facility, complete with a basketball court, indoor/outdoor stage, and offices. We sadly said our goodbyes to our executive director, Jeff Merhige, and and welcomed in Chris Addison to take on the role. Summer Camp will also have a different feel as our fearless leader, Mike Costlow, left to move closer to home and we brought in Roy Harriman to fill his shoes.

Camp will certainly have a different look this year, but we have never been more excited! It’s time to keep building on our 103 years of great tradition and leave a new mark making the 104th summer that best one yet!

Keep an eye on this page as over the next few weeks we’ll be updating you with open house dates, CIT retreats, and all sort of other great ways to stay involved with Kern as we lead up to this summer! If you have any questions about the changes or comings and goings of camp, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us!

Here’s to a great spring!


Program Spotlight: Star Wars Camp!

By: admin Posted on: May 2, 2013 Comments: 0
Program Spotlight: Star Wars Camp!

Program Spotlight

Star Wars Camp

Through a creative collaboration beginning in 2009, Camp Kern and Lucasfilm have worked together to create an outstanding themed camp resource surrounding their Star Wars movies, and the animated series on Cartoon Network, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. This resource has resulted in hundreds of camps and thousands of children participating in themed programming hosted at www.clonewarscamp.com.

Star Wars Week at YMCA Camp Kern is a fully-themed week based on this collaboration! Campers begin the week as Padawans who are preparing to begin their Jedi training. Throughout the week, these Padawans are challenged through daily Star Wars activities, and through training missions.

Star Wars Week Activities


  • Jedi Trials – Follow the path of the Light Side, and learn what it takes to truly become a Jedi.  You and your fellow padawans will work together to complete challenges and to learn the code which guides all Jedi.
  • Jedi Temple– Spend time together each evening at this place of community and inspiration.  Take your next steps in your training, and work toward a higher calling.
  • Pod Racing– You loved it in the movies, now is your chance to do it for real!  Work as part of a team to guide your Pod Racer safely through the caverns and flats of Tatooine.
  • Where you stay is an adventure! Sleep in the newly completed Wilderness Yurt Village part of camp. Not only are the cabins like nothing you’ve ever seen, you will have your own section of camp to explore while you hang out in the awesome Wilderness Pavilion.
  • And many, many more! Rock Climb, ride the Mineshaft, work on your Lightsaber technique, challenge your aim at the Blaster Range, cool off in the Pool, and enjoy many other sections of Camp Kern.

Star Wars Week is only one of the many Summer Camp programs at YMCA Camp Kern! Take a look around www.campkern.org and see photos, videos and descriptions for all of the programs available.

Teen Programs at YMCA Camp Kern

Main Camp Programs at YMCA Camp Kern

Ranch Camp Programs at YMCA Camp Kern

Taste of Kern programs at YMCA Camp Kern

10 Great Reasons for Summer Camp!

By: admin Posted on: April 11, 2013 Comments: 0

Camp is fun.

Getting outside, meeting new people and playing games for a week builds skills and memories for a lifetime. However, many families struggle with the decision to send their children off to Summer Camp. Worry about a child’s health and well-being combine with an uncertainty of the value of camp for a child, and make it a difficult decision.

At YMCA Camp Kern, we are dedicated to providing a safe environment for our campers through a combination of great staff and training, along with excellent policies and procedures. RN’s are always on-site during Summer Camp programs, and everyone follows the standards of the American Camp Association throughout operations to make sure each and every child is healthy and happy.

As for the values of camp, well, here are 10 great outcomes from a week spent away at camp:

Team Building Activities!

1. Exposure to diversity

Camp connects kids to those who they may not normally meet. Kids learn the world is a big place with lots of people, who might do things differently than they’re used to. That includes other kids from all over the state and beyond – and the camp’s counselors and leaders, who serve as positive role models who can leave a huge impression. They’re not seen as strict “law enforcers” but older, “cool friends” who care about them. Camp Kern staff and campers come from all over the tri-state area, and throughout the world. Not only counselors, but campers attend from international locations such as Spain, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, China, and more.

2. Self-esteem boost

When kids are at camp, they don’t have mom and dad there to help them approach people and make connections. They have to put themselves out there. Learning how to canoe or developing archery skills also makes a child realize how capable he or she is to learn and grow. According to the American Camp Association, 92 percent of kids who attend camp say that the people at camp helped them feel good about themselves.

3. Attune to nature

Camp gets children outdoors, and helps them enjoy nature. Kids today spend much less time outdoors, causing a “nature deficit” according to many reports and a popular book on the issue, Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv. But camp reconnects them with nature, seeing things like frogs and trails in person and experiencing swimming in a lake or biking along a path. Camp Kern opens up 485 acres of wooded land with access to the Little Miami River, and an on-site lake. Children run and explore all over the property!

Natural History

4. Develops independence

Kids are empowered at camp to take care of themselves, with guidance from camp counselors. Bedtimes are set and schedules are packed,

but children still have to get themselves up and ready, make their camp beds and find their way to the dining hall. And kids a little too attached to mom and dad can learn how to trust themselves to make decisions and take care of themselves. All of the programs at Camp Kern are designed to promote independence, and the Taste of Kern and First Camp Programs are even more intentionally built for just that!

5. Instills leadership skills

Because camps allow kids to make choices and direct summer projects, they’re natural leadership training places. These kids are less likely to be affected by peer pressure and more likely to set the pace and tone for other kids – and feel empowered in tasks they take on throughout their lives. Leadership qualities infuse everything Camp Kern does, and the Leaders in Training and Counselor in Training programs take it to the next level.

6. Gives magical memories

Kids have tons of memories of the good times, silly shenanigans and fun activities. It’s a time of discovery and self-improvement that stays with a kid long into adulthood. At Camp Kern, our themed Big Games are a great way to stretch imagination and have amazing memories of interacting with your favorite movie and book characters!

7. Helps them make friends

This offers a unique opportunity for your child to branch out in the buddies he or she has. Navigating and building these friendships over the summer also teaches children how to be more socially confident – something they can take back to school with them in the fall. From sitting around a campfire on a cabin overnight, to playing imaginative games with friends, everything at Camp Kern is geared toward building friendships.

8. Gets them active

YMCA Camp Kern does not allow cell phones and computers, so kids can truly take advantage of all summertime has to offer. That means those prone to sit on their duffs and text or play video games are encouraged to get up – and get moving! At Camp Kern, the days start at roughly 7:00am, and end at about 10:30pm. These long days are filled with amazing activity, most of which is outdoors! We love the sunshine, rain, dirt and grass.

9. Develop interests

With so much to do at summer camp (archery, swimming, canoeing, crafts, etc.), there are many fun activities for kids to discover. That’s why it’s the perfect place for your child to tap into an interest that he or she wants to carry on after camp is over. Did your daughter go ga-ga for horseback riding? Perhaps she’s a budding equestrian who would enjoy regular lessons.

10. Occupies the summer

Many parents have a full summer of work for themselves. After all, when school lets out, kids have to go somewhere to spend their time. Camp isn’t just a “parking spot” for kids, though: It also offers fun, excitement and lessons that last forever. If your family has been searching for the perfect balance of fun and activity, a summer at Camp Kern is just the ticket! See you this summer!