Why should you send your kids to overnight camp at YMCA Camp West Mar?

kids in a canoe at Camp West Mar

We want all our children to explore and experience everything a child dreams about. Camp West Mar offers experiences to inspire youth to try new things and expand their horizons. When campers are away from home, there’s an amazing amount of growth and development that occurs. Campers begin to trust themselves more and learn they can achieve great things on their own. At the YMCA overnight camp, kids get to discover all the wonders of the outdoors while making friends and forming memories that will last a lifetime. An outdoor experience helps children grow in all areas of leadership, responsibility, building relationships, communication, participation and much more. 

Sneak Peak to what overnight camp is!

Some of the activities they will get to experience are team building exercises such as our giant swing but you need strength and determination to get it moving. We will have a group campfire at least once during the evening which is one of our oldest camp traditions where the campers and staff will perform skills, tell stories, perform a musical act or anything that the camper wants to share with their fellow campers. However, it is not always fun and clean, there will be cabin competitions to see who has the cleanest cabin or the nicest made bunk. 

Additional activities that overnight campers will have that the day time campers will not, include counselor hunt which is a giant game of hide and seek where the campers have to work together to find their counselors, counselor show which is where the counselors put on a one of a kind performance for their campers to watch, camp carnival which will be a night of games and prizes, night hikes through nature’s beauty, mess hall clean-ups, and free periods in the day to hang out with their friends or get a chance to meet new fellow campers. 

But what’s a summer camp without getting a little wet? The campers will get a chance to go swimming, canoeing, and even fishing. Additionally, the campers will get to engage with each other and nature in events like archery and team challenges like our rope courses. Campers can choose to join us for day camp only, or maximize the fun by sleeping in one of our comfy on site cabins for a week of overnight camp. 

Three Benefits your child will get from overnight camp:

two girls at summer camp laughing

1. Grow Confidence:

One of the most important benefits of sleepaway camp is that children build confidence and self-esteem while living away from their parents. While staying at an overnight camp can be a weird adjustment, every kid will get to experience the camp in their own ways. These positive experiences that the camp will provide with many unique opportunities for children to succeed in these few areas such as: The campers will belong to their team and bunkhouse, the campers will learn from trying new activities and make new friends and the campers will contribute by helping during meals and by serving as a team leader.

2. Caring about community:

Children benefit from being part of the unique community found at sleepaway camp. At Camp West Mar, the campers will be given a sense of belonging, which will ultimately improve their ability to cooperate, contribute, and serve their future careers. Also, campers are gaining new social skills from being in a group setting. They have the opportunity to share a room with others, manage chores, resolve conflicts, communicate effectively, and be kind and accommodating to their fellow campers. Some campers come in from being an only child; however, at Camp West Mar everyone is welcomed and offered the chance of long life friendships. Being part of an open community can be challenging at times, but children learning how to adapt and get along with others will reap the benefits of that experience for a lifetime.
children going canoeing

3. Building Skills: 

Sleepaway camp is a handful of unique activities and events that children can’t find anywhere else. Attending Camp West Mar, allows kids to learn new skills, whether it be in sports, arts or outdoor exploration. For each camper, being exposed to so many new programs and activities enhances their knowledge and capabilities, allowing them to get closer to discovering what interests them the most.

Also, sleepaway camp helps kids become more independent. They will learn how to make their own decisions without a parent talking for them and teachers telling them what to do and not to do. Each camper is expected to manage daily chores, show up on time to all activities, and keep their belongings neat and clean. While most campers will come to Camp West Mar not knowing how to allocate for themselves. That is okay, there will be camp counselors there to help and guide the campers in the right direction. All the life skills they will learn during their time at Camp West Mar will help them succeed in whatever they do.

At the Y, We welcome all children and their families, because our communities are stronger when everyone can take part in programs where they can learn, grow and thrive. The values at the YMCA are Respect, Responsibility, Caring, and Honesty. With these four values we will teach your children how to use them through group activities, leadership building, teamwork, and many hands-on activities. At the end of the night camp, your camper will be able to walk away with these four values and contribute them to their actions and interactions throughout their life.

To learn more about the Overnight Camp at Camp West Mar, visit our camp webpages or view our summer camp guide. The YMCA of Frederick County also offers financial assistance through their Annual Campaign, apply here. For additional questions, contact Camp West Mar at west-mar@frederickymca.org.