YMCA Camp Kern has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1910, and now serves more than 30,000 guests a year, through multiple departments, as one of the largest and most well known Camp and Conference Centers in the US. Each program (or department) here at Camp has its own character and purpose and allows us to meet the needs of guests from all over the United States, and beyond. We are proud of our tradition of excellence, of putting our guests first and of always remembering our vision: ‘To unleash the potential in all through enriching outdoor experiences.’ Below, you will find an outline of our main programs and what they offer.
YMCA Camp Kern is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
The core of what we offer, with as much tradition as there is variety. Offering everything from magical residential summer camp experiences, hybrid day / sleep away camp, literary themed camps, ranch camp, leadership camps, teen camps and counselor in training experiences, we have something for every camper. Focused on building self-confidence and facilitating relationships between campers and counselors, we create a safe space where kids can disconnect from the digital world, take risks and learn new skills.
For more than 50 years YMCA Camp Kern has proudly served students and schools from all over the tri-state, delivering an educational curriculum with a hands-on learning experience in nature's classroom. Typically serving 3rd to 6th grades on day and overnight field trips, students will take guided hiking trails and living history experiences by seasoned Environmental Educators, while still getting to enjoy traditional camping activities such as climbing, canoeing, campfires and night hikes. If you are a teacher or parent interested in benefiting from a school trip to Camp Kern, click below for more information.
With more than 500 beds and numerous programs, conference buildings and facilities we are able to accommodate any group size for any event. Whether you wish to run a one week specialty camp with us, host a conference or get married at Kern, we have the facilities and the staff to make that happen.
Kern’s Team Building programs are designed to improve collaboration and communication for groups of all types and we strive to ensure every group leaves Kern with a greater sense of purpose and respect that when they arrived. Tailored to fit each group's goals and needs, our programs utilize; high ropes courses, low ropes challenges, brainstorming facilitation, ice breakers and our ultimate tool - the Adventure Challenge, all of which will be led by our experienced facilitators.
Circle K Ranch is our dedicated Equestrian Center at YMCA Camp Kern and, more importantly, is home to our herd of 60 wonderful horses that bring joy to thousands of campers and guests every year. A core part of Circle K Ranch’s offering is our residential Ranch Summer Camp program which gives hundreds of campers a horse focused, meaningful summer camp experience. Outside of the summer, we offer boarding, leasing programs, year round lessons, trail rides and birthday parties. Click below for all our Circle K Ranch offerings.
Ozone Zipline Adventures
Ozone Zipline Adventures is YMCA Camp Kern's very own 11 line, zipline canopy tour. Thousands of guests every year enjoy the thrill of zipping from tree-top to tree-top led by our safety conscious and fun tour guides. Throughout your tour you will learn interesting facts about the local wildlife and history of the area, as well as enjoy some of the best views of the Little Miami River Valley. To make reservations and get more information, click below.
An expansion of our summer camp programs include; our hugely popular Labor Day and Memorial Day Family Camps; Mini Family Camp, Seasonal Camps (Spring, Halloween and Winter), Kids Night Out and Parent Child Camps. Relationship building and memory making is the focus of these programs and we are proud to be considered a home away from home for so many families and campers...building traditions that will last a lifetime.
YMCA Camp Kern's premier paintball facility, with a natural wooded field, great games, experienced referees, quality equipment and a welcoming atmosphere for all abilities. Our newest addition to Camp Kern's Programming is open for reservations May through October, with all equipment needed for a great experience. Ages 13 and up, this activity is a great idea for birthday parties, corporate events and other group outings.
Throughout the year Camp hosts numerous events that public and alumni alike can get involved in. Whether it be our Arctic Dash Mud Run, Annual Golf Outing, Pre-Thanksgiving Feast, Zipping from Zombies, or our Alumni Strawberries & Ice Cream Dinner, there is always something going on at Camp. Check out our events calendar to see what's coming up or click below for more information.