Frequently Asked Question About Camp

Sky-Y and Chauncey Ranch Frequently Asked Questions about Summer Camp

We know going to camp can be both an exciting experience and one wrought with uncertainties and unknowns, for both parents and campers alike. Are are some of our most frequently asked questions. If you do not see the answer to your questions here, please contact us.

General Camp Questions:

Do I need to be a YMCA Member to attend Camp?

No. We offer both Member rates and Non Member rates for all of our summer camps.

Are the YMCA Camps religious?

The YMCA strives to put Christian Principles into practice through all of our activities. We give thanks at meals, have morning Chapel and use Christian teachings (love, faith, forgiveness, do unto others…) as a basis of our Rags & Leather program. The CORE VALUES of the YMCA are Caring, Respect, Responsibility and Honesty. These values find their way into all of our activities and programs. Though we do not preach a doctrine, we do talk about God, character development and personal values.

Medical Concerns:

Does Camp provide Insurance?

The Camp carries a SECONDARY sickness & accident policy and takes affect only after the parent’s insurance policy.

How are medical needs handled?

We have a full time, live in Camp Nurse. In case of campers feeling ill or having a minor accident which requires first aid, leaders will accompany them to the Health Center. Our Camp Nurse is in contact with the Camp Doctor (off site) and works under his orders. Bumps, bruises, scrapes and tummy aches are all part of camp and our Health Staff is well prepared to handle them. In case of a serious accident, campers are transported to Yavapai Regional Medical Center OR the Urgent Care Center. Anytime campers are taken to the medical center or are in the Camp Health Center overnight parents are notified.

Can I send medication to Camp?

Prescription medication is allowed in Camp and MUST NOT be packed in the camper’s suitcase. It MUST be given to the camp staff upon check in. Our Health Staff are prepared to distribute the medication according to the doctor’s orders. Non prescription medications or vitamins ARE NOT PERMITTED. PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS MUST BE IN THE ORIGINAL CONTAINER WITH THE CAMPER’S NAME ON THE LABEL. MEDICATION WITHOUT ORIGINAL PACKAGING AND LABEL MATCHING CAMPER’S NAME WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

Is a physical required before attending camp?

All campers must have had a medical exam within 24 months prior to attending their camp session. Contact your family medical office and have the Nurse fill out the medical form included in your parent packet, and sign if the exam happened within 24 months. If your camper has not received a physical in the past 24 months, arrange to have one completed BEFORE attending camp. The entire Medical Form must be filled out completely with attention to the vaccination record and signature lines. Campers CANNOT attend camp without a signed medical form. Keep a copy for your records, as we do not access previous years’ archives for copies of earlier physicals.

Visitation Questions:

Can parents visit campers during the week?

Parents are encouraged to visit camp during check in on the first day of camp or check out on the last day and meet the staff and see the camp. Mid-week visits can be very distracting and are not recommended for the campers since our sessions are only 6 days long. If your camper is staying more than one week, please use the weekend as your visiting time. We encourage parents to send letters (or bring them to camp at check-in to ensure they will be delivered to your camper on a designated day) and/or enroll in Bunk Notes, a one way email program. The link to Bunk Notes is available at the bottom of our homepage. All visitors MUST sign into the camp office.

What if my camper is homesick?

Most campers who are feeling homesick are fine by day 2 or 3 because of the busy camp schedule and the counselors working with the kids to get them involved. If homesickness persists the Director may call the parents or have the camper talk to the parents for positive support and encouragement. Parents can play an important role in preparing their camper PRIOR to camp by building up the experience, being positive about meeting new friends and trying new activities that they cannot do at home. Be POSITIVE and SUPPORTIVE in your communication with your camper during their session, to set your camper up for success, not failure. The WORST thing you can do is give them an easy out if they “don’t like it”. Camp Staff will monitor their campers and communicate with the Directors and parents when appropriate. Our goal is to help all campers have a fantastic time. Talk to your camper BEFORE Camp to be sure the experience will be right for them and YOU!

Questions for Campers:

What activities are offered at Camp?

Camp Sky-Y offers the following types of activities: Advanced Ceramics, Archery, Arts and Crafts, Bouldering, Camp Crafts, Campfires, Canoeing, Ceramics, Dance, Digglers (mountain scooters), Drama, Giant Swing, High Ropes 1, High Ropes 2, Hiking, Mountain Boards, Opening Jamboree, Paintball, Paintball Target Shooting, Pine Cone Dedication, Pool Games, Trips to Chauncey for Horseback Trail Rides, Team Challenges, Climbing Tower, Games, Sports, Overnight Camping, Rags & Leather Program, Swimming, Nature Studies, Counselor and Leadership Special Interest Classes.

How do our Campers get to Camp?

Most parents drop off and pick up their campers at the camp. This allows parents the benefit of seeing camp and meeting the staff before their camper’s session begins. We also offer bus transportation. Air conditioned buses are available for an additional fee of $40.00 one way or $70.00 round trip. Bus pick up and drop off is at the Chris-Town YMCA, 5517 N. 17th Ave. Phoenix. Reservations must be made 2 weeks prior to departure times.

What are the age requirements for camp?

Campers who are turning 7 this summer and entering grade 2 are the youngest campers accepted into camp. Several of our programs have additional age requirements. To participate in age restricted programs, the camper in question must be the appropriate age for the program by July 31st. Exceptions regarding age can only be made by the Summer Camp Director. The oldest campers attending our camps are 16 (with the exception of our Counselors In Training Camp. There are different programs and specialty opportunities available as campers get older. This is called PROGRESSIVE PROGAMMING and we give Campers more responsibility to plan their schedule as they get older.

Camp Counselors:

How many counselors are in the cabins?

At least two staff members in cabins with campers age 12 year olds and younger, one staff member in cabins with campers age 13 years old and older. Overall camp ratio is 1 counselor per 8 campers.

How are counselors screened and trained?

Staff members are selected based on their experience working with children, specialized knowledge of program areas, and those who represent a high moral character. In addition, we conduct background checks and phone references. Summer Staff are required to attend a one week training that includes: first aid, CPR, camper behavior management, handling discipline, acceptable discipline measures, group work skills, special class planning and more. The supervision structure at Camp is important for the safety of campers as well. We enlist Head Counselors, Unit Directors and the Camp Director to breakdown the supervision responsibility of the Camp community.


How is the Camp food?

We have a full-time, professional Food Service Director and sufficient kitchen staff. Menus are planned to be nutritious and delicious for the campers. We can provide options for special dietary needs. Any special concerns of a medical nature MUST be noted on the health form.

How are the campers placed in cabins?

Campers are placed in cabins by gender and age. Example: 7-8 year old girls. Girls are put in one village and boys in a separate village. Each camper is allowed to request ONE friend to share their cabin of the same gender and age group. We will NOT mix campers who are 3 years apart in age. In addition, we try to avoid large groups or “clicks” from monopolizing a cabin. Campers in different age groups and different cabins will have the opportunity to get together throughout the day and week.

What are the cabins like?

Cabins are fully enclosed with electricity, doors and windows. Sky-Y cabins are heated for winter time; Chauncey cabins have evaporative coolers for comfort. Bunk beds are built in with a 4 inch mattress. Cubby holes and shelves are provided for storage. New cabins at Sky-Y are called YURTS, they are framed tent structures and still have windows, doors and a light. Covered Wagons at Chauncey Ranch are for the mini camps and younger campers.

What is the Camp Store?

We have a small store at camp that carries a variety of drinks, snacks, t-shirts, stamps, chap stick, and sundries. All campers have the opportunity to visit the camp store during the week. Additionally, the store will be open on the first day (check in) and last day (check out) of camp for parents. We DO NOT allow campers to keep cash in the cabins, so we ask each camper to deposit their store money on opening day. An average deposit in the camp store is $20-$30 per session. This amount would allow for your camper to purchase a drink and snack each day of the week (totaling an average of $15), with a small amount left over for camp memorabilia. Any unused camp store deposits will be refunded to your credit card on file if over $5 (please note we do not offer cash or check refunds), amounts remaining of less than $5 will be donated to the Strong Kids Foundation (for future camp scholarships).

Payments & Fees:

Do I have to pay to make a reservation?

Yes, a $100.00 non-refundable, non-transferable deposit is required to secure each spot per camper, per session (all two week sessions will require a $200.00 deposit – $100.00 per week). The deposit must be received at time of registration.

Are there any fees in addition to the Camp Fee?

Optional fees include: Transportation for your camper round trip from the Chris-Town YMCA for a fee of $70.00 round trip or $40.00 one way, and a Stay-Over Session charge of $65.00 (each stay-over) will combine 2 or more sessions together. Additionally, parents have the option of making a deposit into the Camp Store for their camper’s use towards the purchase of drinks, snacks, and camp memorabilia.

Is Financial Assistance available?

If a lower cost is needed to allow your camper to attend, you may fill out the Financial aid application, available online. Partial Scholarships are awarded based on individual needs. Parents are encouraged to pay as much as they can. We will make an offer to everyone who applies. Parents are still required to pay the camp deposit if a specific session is requested. Payment arrangements from the parents are required to be made before the camp session. Financial Assistance can only be applied for through the Camp Office, not your local Branch.

When are all paperwork & final payments due to the Camp Office?

Final payments are due two weeks prior to your camper attending camp. Paperwork should be turned in at check in on the 1st day of camp.