Teen & Leadership Camps

Kids in Life Vest Having Fun in Water

YMCA Camp Kern prides itself on programming which helps develop our teens and campers into the future leaders of tomorrow. These programs focus on character building, leadership development, teamwork, and challenging oneself physically, mentally and emotionally. Whether your camper is looking to grow into one of the future leaders of Camp Kern or become a leader in the community, YMCA Camp Kern's leadership camps has a program for them. Each of the programs listed below offers something a little above and beyond a traditional week at camp, but they all share a focus on giving experiences and memories that will help teens and campers succeed in the future. Looking for teen Equestrian programs - click here.


Girls Leading The Way!

Revamped for 2020! Come and experience a great adventure! We’ll live in our own Air Conditioned Lodge; enjoy camp’s adventurous activities like low ropes, climbing, hiking, zip lining, tower climbing, and more! We’ll focus on building leadership skills, challenging fears, building self esteem, and making friends.


  • Session 7

Boys Advenutres!

Revamped for 2020! This is a great opportunity for boys to experience all of Camp Kern’s exciting activities including the Double Zipline, Tango Tower, Mine Shaft, hiking, canoeing, and much more. The focus will be on leadership skills, overcoming fears, building self-esteem, making new friends, and most of all, having fun! Campers stay in their own Air Conditioned Lodge!


This newly redesigned program is designed for the camper who has a spirit for adventure and is ready to take on new challenges. Test your sense of adventure while tackling challenges like our high ropes course, Ozone Zipline, 9-mile canoe trip, and other numerous high adventure activities!


Back by popular demand! Challenge yourself to a week of living in the outdoors while competing with and against friends. Living quarters will be rustic, challenges will be difficult and the opportunities to build character and meet new friends will be endless! At the end of each session we’ll name Kern’s Ultimate Character Survivor, who will receive a free week of camp the next summer.


Teen Survivor is back! This is the ulitmate program to test yourself, make lifelong friends, and experience Camp Kern in a way you have never imagined! Challenges will be greater and Survivor will have a brand new home! What challenges await you? Who will be this year’s Ultimate Teen Survivor?! The prize is still the same: a new and improved self-image, along with a free week of camp for the week’s winner.


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West Virginia is not for the faint of heart! Come prepared to push youself and meet some life-long friends as you make memories. Travel to West Virginia and begin with a run down the Lower New River in Class II to IV rapids (those are big!). Next, challenge and competition await on the paintball field. Run a professional vendor, this is your chance to show off some paint marking skills. Following paintball, the entire group is challenged to complete a unique Mud Obstacle course! To request any additional information, or if you have any questions regarding our Kern Adventure Trips programs, contact Karley Holdeman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 513-932-3756 x1530.


Extreme around every corner!

Prepare for a major adrenaline rush! This week will be one to remember with all the most extreme activities in the area on offer: tearing through the Paintball field, zipping through the trees with Ozone Zipline Adventures, splashing into the fun at The Beach Water Park or screaming at the top of your lungs at King's Island. You're sure to find adventure to get your heart pumping each day, while throwing in a few traditional camp activities just for good measure.


Learn to be a Leader!

While living in a rustic setting, campers participate in the main camp activities and programs while focusing on their leadership skills and program development. This training is a stepping stone for older campers who are interested in transitioning into future camp leaders, but still enjoy the magic of being a camper.


  • Session 5

Two Weeks of Growth!

This two week program is the first step towards becoming a Counselor at YMCA Camp Kern. You will leran from some of our very best counselors what it means to be a summer camp counselor and will gain valuable experience and skills that will help you change lives as a senior counselor. For more information, including how to complete the CIT Application and CIT Reference Check, please click here.


$750 for two weeks

Fun All Weekend Long!


 Want to experience the magic of camp for two weeks or more in a row? Stay the weekend in between at Kern!  The weeks must be consecutive weeks at camp.  Saturday is spent relaxing from the week by going to Kings Island, The Beach, The Newport Aquarium, and many other fun excursions!  Saturday ends with a movie night at camp.  All campers laundry is cleaned in between weeks.  Only available to campers ages 9 to 15.


  • Session 4
  • Session 5
  • Session 6
  • Session 7

Kids in a Group Having Fun at Camp Kern

2020 Summer Camp Themes

Session 1 – Star Wars
(June 14 - June 20)

Session 2 – Harry Potter
(June 21 - June 27)

Session 3 – Ultimate Kern Week
(June 28 - July 4)

Session 4 – Neverland 
(July 5 - July 11)

Session 5 – Agents of K.E.R.N.
(July 12 - July 18)

Session 6 – Willy Wonka
(July 19 - July 25)

Session 7 – Color Wars
(July 26 - Aug. 1)

Session 8 – Harry Potter
(Aug. 2 - Aug. 8)

Session 9 – Jurassic Camp
(Aug. 9 - Aug. 15)