YMCA Camp Eberhart

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Michiana Family YMCA
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Welcome to

YMCA Camp Eberhart

The Y has a long, proud history in camping activities and YMCA Camp Eberhart has been committed to nurturing youth development for more than 100 years. Not only do we provide a lifetime's worth of skills and experiences, but YMCA Camp Eberhart also strengthens the foundations of our communities through summer camp, specialty camps year-round, retreats, and other camping programs and activities for people of all ages, incomes and abilities.

At YMCA Camp Eberhart, we are a haven for learning and achievement for all children with the core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility at the heart of everything we do.

 

SUMMER PROGRAMS

Archery

Archery has been a part of YMCA Camp Eberhart since 1909! Our archery range is a very safe and controlled environment where campers can earn awards leading to an Archery proficiency. Campers have the chance to practice with both longbows and compound bows. The program features weekly contests and competitions between campers.


Astronomy

This program offers an exciting journey through the universe. During the day, campers build star charts and sundials. They also have the opportunity to build and launch rockets. The real fun begins at night. YMCA Camp Eberhart is fortunate to have a retractable dome observatory with one of the largest privately owned telescopes in the Midwest. Campers explore the night skies through laser guided tours and deep space hunts. This is one program where learning is definitely an exciting adventure!


Horseback Riding

From beginner to advanced riders, all campers in this summers Equestrian program are looking forward to an exciting and informative week. HorseMasters meet during the two morning program periods for arena lessons, chores, and ground lessons. Horse Riders meet in the afternoon for one period of pleasure trail riding. Our awards system has been revamped, new additions have been made to our curriculum, and all riders have the opportunity to earn awards for both their riding skills and their knowledge of horsemanship. For ages 10 and older.  Additional Fee: $140/week


*High Ropes Challenge

Campers thirteen and older can take their challenge experience one step further through High Challenge. In addition to the Tower Challenge activities, this program adds our 15 ft. and 30 ft. high ropes courses to the challenge curriculum. All activities are challenge-by-choice. Each camper sets a personal goal to achieve during the week. This is a great program choice for older campers who really want to test their skills and their courage. All activities are tightly controlled and very safe. Our course operates under the stringent standards of, and is annually inspected by, Low Ropes, Inc. Instructors are trained are certified by this organization. For ages 13 and older.  Additional Fee: $140/week


Land Sports

Unlike many other specialty sports camp programs, our sports program is designed to accommodate players of all skill levels and ages. Campers can try their hand at soccer, cricket, basketball, disc golf, tetherball, ultimate Frisbee, and more! We do teach rules and skills, but the emphasis is definitely on fun!


Leadership

This program utilizes our expertise in team building and group dynamics. Campers will learn the value of community, inclusiveness, diversity, awareness, and of course caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility. Campers will be able to bond over team building games while working through the challenges in our low ropes course. All ages are welcome.


Photography

This program uses digital photo- graphy to teach campers how to capture those special camp memories. Campers take advantage of our beautiful natural setting to learn how to frame photos, use special effects, and develop a creative eye. At the same time they are learning to use and respect the camera and computer equipment. Best of all, they get those special pictures to bring home, share, and remember. Additional Fee:  $10/week


Riflery

Riflery is another program with a long tradition at YMCA Camp Eberhart. The program stresses both skill and safety. Campers are taught the importance of personal responsibility around firearms, as well as learning shooting techniques on a closed and closely monitored range. Campers over the age of 10 may practice marksmanship using .22 caliber rifles. Younger campers are taught with BB guns. For ages 10 and older.  Additional Fee: $10/week


Rocketry

In Rocketry campers will build their own rocket throughout the week. Each piece needs to be carefully placed and glued to optimize aerodynamics. At the end of the week campers will reap the rewards of their hard work and launch their rockets into the front field! Our astronomy staff run rocketry in the morning which makes this a great opportunity for conversation about the universe. Is there life under the ice shelf on Europa? If so, what do you think it looks like? All ages are welcome in this program.  Additional fee: $15


Swimming

We believe that swimming is a skill that all children should have. For that reason, swimming instruction is mandatory unless a written request of exemption is received from the camper’s parents. At YMCA Camp Eberhart, swim instruction is fun and safe! Instruction is given at five levels, and campers progress through the levels at their own rate. Campers enjoy relaxing in the clean, cool waters of Corey Lake.


Trailblazing

YMCA Camp Eberhart has many miles of beautiful trails that campers can explore -  including some of the rarely seen parts of camp to look for wildlife, explore nature, gain respect for the environment, and much more.


*Water-skiing

Campers in this program are able to concentrate on either skiing or wakeboarding under the guidance of skilled instructors. The emphasis is on acquiring skills in a manner that promotes both fun and safety. We operate two ski boats through the four program periods, and are able to accommodate a large number of campers. We invite your camper to take advantage of this opportunity to learn an exciting lifetime skill. Warning, campers will have fun! For ages 9 and older. Must pass a swim test.  Additional Fee: $140/week.

 

Arts & Crafts

Many traditional crafts projects are featured in this program area. Weaving, beading, and wood painting are just a few. Each week we try to add a new and different craft project. Our crafts building is located on the waterfront and offers a beautiful and relaxing location to exercise your creativity.


Disc Golf

YMCA Camp Eberhart has an incredibly intricate frisbee golf course that weaves and wanders throughout the entire property.  This program is new and was previously part of land sports. A significant number of campers and staff asked for it to be its own program and here it is! Your camper could be the first to gain their proficiency in disc golf!


Drama

This summer’s Drama program is going to be tons of fun! We plan to perform skits and improv and learn how to a stage runs. There are eight steps to a drama proficiency. These include a scene award, beginning and advanced acting, a movement award, and others. This is a great place to explore your talents and get lots of attention!


Fishing

Campers who take advantage of our Fishing instruction program learn the intricacies of the sport from line preparation to fish identification. Fishing is done both from shore and off our pontoon boat. Fishing awards include casting, tackle maintenance, and fish cleaning. Fishing is a skillful and relaxing pastime which many campers continue to enjoy throughout their lives.


Kayaks, Boats & Canoes

Canoeing is a well-known and traditional camp activity. At YMCA Camp Eberhart, you get the chance to try 3 different boating programs. Campers receive instruction in the techniques of canoeing, rowing, and kayaking while working on awards. The program emphasizes safety on the water, including controlled "swamping" on those hot summer days. Must pass a swim test. 


Music

Music used to be the best part of camp and we are bringing it back.  Campers will be able to choose from a variety of instruments including guitar, drums, keyboard, and a variety of other instruments. At the end of the week campers are given the option to perform in front of their peers. Learn a new instrument and jam with your friends! Campers walk away from this program with skills and a shared passion for good music. Campers are encouraged to bring their own instrument if they would like. All ages are welcome.


Nature

Our Nature program is housed on a beautiful and unique environment of "the island", extending out into Corey Lake. Nature awards include Fire building, plant identification, and fun things like catching and observing insects, snakes, and turtles. All activities emphasize teamwork and respect for the environment. All campers enjoy the relaxing atmosphere at this program.


Outdoor Living Skills

Outdoor Living Skills is where campers learn about outdoor survival skills. Campers will learn how to utilize the resources in the natural environment to survive. From boiling water to edible plants, campers will learn the different skills necessary to adapt to the climate and survive in the wilderness in style. All ages are welcome. 


Raggers

This is a funny name for a serious program with a long and proud tradition. Campers who elect to earn a "rag" are counseled by a mentor as they set objectives to achieve a personal goal of their own choosing. Campers must be at least 12 to participate. Rags are awarded at the end of the week at a solemn ceremony on Raggers Point (a secret location!) This program is designed to give older campers an opportunity for personal reflection and a sense of significant accomplishment from their experience at YMCA Camp Eberhart.


Sailing

YMCA Camp Eberhart boasts one of the largest sailing fleets of any camp in the Midwest! From Sunfish to Snipes to Scows, we have it all. Campers who take sailing learn to rig a boat, maintain the sails, tie knots, read the wind, and many more important sailing skills. Earning a proficiency in sailing is a real accomplishment, and often sparks a passion for sailing that lasts into adulthood.


Snorkeling

A new program this year, we've roped off the clearest and most interesting part of our lake, off the island. Campers can learn to use a mask, snorkel, and fins to explore the world under the water. Thankfully, Corey Lake is a spring fed lake so most of the summer is very clear. We're expecting this program to be an immediate favorite among campers. Campers must have their blue band from swimming to participate in this program. Must pass a swim test.


Tower Challenge

Tower Challenge activities are available to campers who are eleven years or older. Through the use of our Team Initiatives activities, low ropes course, and 32 ft. climbing tower, campers test their creativity, problem-solving abilities, and team spirit. The majority of activities focus on the climbing tower and on building teamwork skills. Tower Challenge is a great choice for a camper who wants a meaningful growth experience, a chance to bond with other campers, and loads of fun! For ages 11 and older.  Additional Fee: $70/week.



Trail Biking

Campers will get the opportunity to ride our mountain bikes on the paths, roads, and trails all around our 200 acre wooded property. Campers will receive instruction and training on all aspects of trail riding from our highly skilled and trained staff members. Riders will practice their skills on the rolling hills that surround Corey Lake, while also learning how to safely ride in a group and properly maintain a bicycle. Trail Riding is only available for campers age 12 and up for an additional fee. BIKES WILL BE PROVIDED. You are welcome to bring your own helmet and pads, but safety equipment will be provided. Availability for riders with minimal to no experience is limited. For ages 12 and older.  Additional Fee: $70/week.

RAISING RESILIENT KIDS

Last year’s blockbuster book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua, and this year’s Pamela Druckerman book, Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting, seem to indicate that parents today are looking for some sort of instruction book for raising happy, healthy children.

We have a solution. We call it summer camp!

American kids have come to YMCA summer camps for well over 125 years. It was 103 years ago that a group of boys from South Bend traveled to Corey Lake near Three Rivers, Michigan, for a week of sleeping under the stars, swimming in the cool waters, hiking in nature and fishing from the shore. Their campsite became YMCA Camp Eberhart, where boys and girls have been coming for much the same activities ever since.

“At the Y, camping is our DNA,” says Brice Emanuel, executive director of YMCA CAMP EBERHART. “Parents trust that their kids will make lifelong friends, safely share exciting new experiences, and develop leadership skills when they have time to play together.”

In an article published February 5, 2012, in the magazine “Psychology Today,” Dr. Michael Ungar, PhD., writes that summer camps are the “perfect place” for children to build resiliency, connect in a positive way with peers and adult mentors, learn to ask for help when needed, and take the appropriate risks required to develop new skills.

Kids at YMCA Camp Eberhart are resilient and resourceful. They put away the cellphones and video games, and get dirty or stub their toes. They fall asleep in their swimsuits in cabins without air conditioning, shower, brush their teeth and wear the same t-shirt for 3 or 4 days.

And they can’t wait to come back next summer to do it again.

The seven coping skills Dr. Ungar believes every child needs for healthy psychological development are:

  • NEW RELATIONSHIPS: At camp, kids make friends outside their school or neighborhood and are mentored by camp counselors, from around the world, who are often only a few years older. They develop strong positive relationships outside their families and learn to trust each other.

  • A POWERFUL IDENTITY: Trying new skills, like horseback riding or trail biking (coming this summer!), build confidence. When a camper is encouraged by his bunkmates to climb to the high ropes, he drowns out the negative messages of those telling him what he can’t do and begins to believe in what he can do, developing a more keen understanding of who he is and what he can become.

  • COMPETENCE AND INDEPENDENCE: Campers are expected to get to the dining hall, their program areas, the special activities and their cabins on their own. They keep their bunk area and shared space picked up, and never leave their dishes behind for someone else to clean up for them. They make up their own games (such as wall-ball) and manage to compete fairly, without referees, timekeepers or a schedule. In other words, they become problem-solvers.

  • SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY: Science geeks can learn more about rocketry and astronomy at camp. A shy girl can find a friend in the horse barn. A quiet boy will soon be parroting the camp songs along with his friends. Whoever they are in their “real life,” at camp all kids are encouraged to achieve their goals and cheered on by their peers and counselors. Bullying is not tolerated.

  • DEVELOP PHYSICALLY: Fresh air, exercise, a balance between routine and free play are all a kid needs to grow up healthy and happy.

  • SENSE OF BELONGING: The camp songs and traditions are a shared experience that many years later our alumni will still repeat when they meet. The attachment they have for their home-away-from-home helps them to establish roots while they continue to grow.

  • CULTURAL LITERACY : Performing a skit helps them to step outside of themselves for a little while, and learn more about themselves and others. Living in community with people from all over gives campers a chance to understand the world around them.

At YMCA CAMP EBERHART, we welcome kids ages 7-16 to traditional week-long summer camp. 3-week counselor-in-training opportunities are offered for teens 15-17. Youngers kids, not ready for the full-week or overnight, can try three-day camp or day camp, but most yearn (and beg) to stay longer. In July, campers focus their eyes to the sky at Astro Camp, where they study the “last frontier” alongside trained astronomers. This year, we are introducing Art Discovery Camp.

To find out more about YMCA CAMP EBERHART, and other camp experiences at the MICHIANA FAMILY YMCA, please visit our websites, www.ymcacampeberhart.org or www.michianaymca.org.

Summer is short. Don’t miss a single minute!

Join us!

YMCA Camp Eberhart is committed to providing programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all. We make every effort to ensure that no one is turned away due to inability to pay. Click to read more about our financial assistance.