- Who We Are
- Youth Development
- Child Care
- Education & Leadership
- Swim, Sports & Play
- Summer Camp
- Swim Team
- Healthy Living
- Social Responsiblity
YMCA Summer Camps focus on youth development. Our day camps nurture the potential of every child. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. All kids deserve the chance to discover who they are and what they can achieve.
We draw on nearly 80 years of success in providing summer camps in our community and 150 years of YMCA camping experience around the country. We know camp!
We believe the values and skills learned early on are vital building blocks for quality of life. With the help of the Y community, kids in our neighborhoods are taking more interest in learning and making smarter life choices. At our day camps, kids learn to share, learn about sportsmanship and, most importantly, learn how to be themselves. These skills make for confident kids today and contributing and engaged adults tomorrow.
Our focus is on youth development. Our day camps nurture the potential of every child. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. All kids deserve the chance to discover who they are and what they can achieve. That’s why, through YMCA camp, youth today are cultivating the values, skills and relationships that lead to positive behaviors, better health and educational achievement.
The YMCA of Southern Maine prides itself on the quality and commitment of our staff. These individuals are caring, fun, energetic and responsible people who participate in a comprehensive training program. As a result, 97% of families believe our staff members are good mentors to their children.
We perform criminal background checks on all of our staff over the age of 18. Staff are certified in First Aid and CPR. Staff members largely consist of college or high school students, teachers and parents.
The Casco Bay Branch’s Camp Osprey, a Maine State licensed day camp, offers a diverse, age appropriate experience in a safe and fun outdoor environment. Campers enjoy the Y’s two swimming pools, open-air gymnasium and play ground, as well as its 25 acres of woods and trails. Throughout the summer we will be incorporating into our activities and discussions the 4 core values of the YMCA: Caring, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility. In addition to the normally scheduled camper activities, each week of camp will also have its own theme and field trip that will serve to enhance the camper experience.
Camp Osprey is designed to accommodate the most suitable activities for our campers’ developmental stages. We have separated our camp into two age groups; the Herons (5-8) and the Egrets (9-12). All campers will share the same program, meeting and lunch space. Herons and Egrets will participate in group specific games/activities in addition to camp-wide events throughout the day. We have organized our camp with safety and developmental appropriateness as our highest concerns.
Camp Pineland is a 10 week Maine State licensed day camp for children ages 5-12, located on the Pineland Farms Campus in New Gloucester. Campers will enjoy the Y’s swimming pool, bowling alley, and gymnasium, along with 20 miles of walking trails, open fields, and frog ponds. We also offer teen volunteer opportunities.
Our experienced staff will guide your child through swimming, hiking, arts & crafts, games, sports, and nature exploration, along with a weekly special event. Camp Pineland invites you to join us for a wonderful summer!
Come for one week, a few weeks, or the whole summer! Activities and excitement will fill each day as campers make new friends, get to know their great counselors, and enjoy their summer with the Y! Our full-day state licensed day camp will take advantage of the great resources Cumberland County has to offer.
Each week, campers will take field trips to local parks, beaches, and area attractions; do arts and crafts projects; get active; engage in team-building; and participate in swim lessons. Camp is based at the Greater Portland YMCA where we use the gym, pool, art studio, and outdoor playground.
In addition to In-Town Camp, the Greater Portland Y will also offer Art Camp, Swim Camp, Sports Camp, Saddles & Swim, and teen leadership opportunities (CIT and LIT programs) during select weeks.
Otter Pond is a wilderness camp, located across from Sebago Lake, and sits on 250 acres of trails and woods with a sandy beach, swimming area, ropes course and rock climbing wall, fishing pond, archery range, boating, shaded pavilion and much more.
Otter Pond's setting and programming encourages youth ages 5-12 to use their senses, their imagination, and to benefit from all the gifts nature has to offer. Campers have the opportunity to learn about nature and preserving it, participate in team building activities that promote good sportsmanship and confidence building. Swim lessons, creative art projects, sports and games, weekly theme presenters and guests, and rainy day field trips are all part of what our camp offers.
We are adding two specialty camp weeks for teens (10-14 years old) for more focused activities and our Leadership and Counselor in Training programs are available for teens who want to become future camp counselors.
Busses transport children daily from pickup locations in Portland, Westbrook, Gorham, Windham, and the Pineland Y Branch in New Gloucester. Bus transportation and extended before and after camp care are provided at no additional charge. A complete bus schedule is available on our website.
Situated on 26 acres of the Northern York County Branch's campus, is a co-ed traditional day camp for youth ages 5 - 15. A rock wall, high and low ropes courses, archery range, two sports fields, outdoor amphitheater, sand volleyball court, and hiking trails highlight our outdoor offerings. Camp also provides three lodges for group activities and an Olympic size pool for all aquatic activities.
Each camper is placed in a village based up their age or grade and will become part of a camp tribe. Highlights of each village's curriculum are as follows:
Mikmaq Village: (Entering Kindergarten and Grade 1) participates in an introductory gymnastics program on hour per week at Dudziak's Gymnasium. This village has an extended lunch and rest period, as well as a specialized curriculum planned by the Mikmaq counselors.
Passamaquoddy Village: (Grades 2-3) chooses various weekly activities which focus on fun and skill development in our four core activity areas.
Penobscot Village: (Grades 4-6) enjoys the same choice format as Passamaquoddy Village and they also participate in canoeing or kayaking once a week on Bunganut Lake.
Abnaki Village: (Grades 6-8) is our Senior Camper Program which provides campers with a curriculum that more richly meets their developmental needs. These campers are given glimpses of the CIT experience and participate in a community outreach experience. Senior campers also canoe or kayak once a week on Bunganut Lake and go on an additional weekly field trip.
Campers will be part of a non-competitive, nurturing environment designed to develop skills and build character. Renowned for its focus on caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility, the camp curriculum fosters healthy living with emphasis on exercise, accountability for one's behavior, and an awareness of the specific developmental needs of each age group. Additionally, as campers grow older, they may enroll in our Senior Camper and Counselor-In-Training programs, which both encourage the camper to accept a more vital and responsible role in our daily mission.
Jon suffered a hard blow last year – losing his mom at the age of 8. His dad was not around, so he found himself suddenly uprooted and living with his grandparents. Not long after this happened, his grandmother reached out to the Y for help.
Because of this tragedy in his life, he needed the safe, nurturing support of the Y more than ever. That is exactly what we offered, with the use of our financial assistance program to alleviate the burden on his grandparents in this time of need. They received help with a Y membership for the family and summer camp for Jon.
Jon attended a full summer of camp that year. Since then he has continued to come back for vacation camps and will once again be joining us for another summer of camp. One of our staff, who has worked closely with Jon’s grandmother to set up their financial assistance, shared the impact of the Y this way: “I would like to think that as this little boy’s memories of his mother grow more dim, that the memories of his time spent at the Y’s vacation and summer camps - making new friends, experiencing new things, and being in the company of caring camp staff - grow stronger and stay with him as he grows older.”
Stories like this are why the Y needs the support of our community, so that we may have a positive impact on those in need. Not every child or adult that we support at the Y has a story as hard as Jon’s. However, we believe every person deserves the same level of nurturing support, regardless of their ability to pay.
The YMCA of Southern Maine strives to serve the entire community, regardless of ability to pay. We do this by providing need-based financial assistance, made possible through the generous support of individuals, businesses, and organizations throughout the area. The Y also accepts Aspire and other vouchers. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions about financial assistance.
We understand that many parents need a safe, enriching place for their children outside of the 9:00 am - 4:00 pm daily camp session. Before- and after-camp care is provided for all campers as part of the weekly camp fee. Extended care is provided at no additional charge from 7:30 - 9:00 am and 4:00 - 5:30 pm each day.
Through our Teen Leadership Programs (LIT and CIT), we develop leadership skills that young people can use throughout their lives to help others and themselves in identifying and achieving goals. In addition, in our Counselors in Training (CIT) program, we help young people learn how to effectively lead children. There are three components to our skill-based, leadership training process:
- We help young people figure out what good leaders do and say.
- We give them lots of opportunities to practice doing and saying these things.
- We make it fun!
We want to best serve your child and to make his or her camp experience enjoyable. Communication is a key component of this and critical to a successful relationship. Therefore, if your child has any behavioral or medical challenges (including allergies), please speak with our Camp Director to determine if we can safely accommodate his/her needs.