Q – How do I register my child?
A – Online here. If online registration is not a good option, parents can always call our office and register by phone. Our office manager can be reached at (269) 244-5125.
Q – What does a day at camp look like?
A – TYPICAL DAY AT OVERNIGHT CAMP
7:45 Flag Raising
8:00 Breakfast/Cabin Clean-up
9:30 1st Program
10:45 2nd Program
12:00 Lunch/Rest hour
2:00 Open Period
3:15 3rd Program
4:30 4th Program
7:00 Evening Program
10:00 Lights out
Q – When is Drop Off and Pick Up?
A – Drop Off Sunday is between 2:00pm-3:00pm / Pick up is on Saturday between 9:30-11:00am.
Q – Can I send a care package with snacks?
A – You many send a care package but we ask that you do not send food or snacks. We have a number of food allergies in camp and work very hard to keep all campers safe and healthy. Additionally, excessive food in the cabins can encourage wildlife visitors.
Q – Do you accommodate Peanut Free Allergy children?
A – Yes, we are a nut free facility.
Q – Can CIT’s and SIT’s drive themselves to camp?
A – No. All campers are minors and must be signed in and out by an adult.
Q – Can my family come and tour the camp ground?
A – We serve guests 8 months out of the year. Please call ahead to schedule a tour.
Q – How does the Thursday Day Camp Overnight work?
A – Campers (minimum age of 6) stay at camp and take part in an additional afternoon activity, enjoy dinner in our dining hall, participate in an evening program and wrap up their evening with s’mores around the campfire. Campers will sleep in stone cabins, Dave’s House or Obenchain Lodge dependent upon enrollment. The following morning campers will have breakfast in the dining hall before meeting back up with the returning day campers.
Q – How does 3 Day Try It’s work?
A – The 3 Day Try-It is technically 3 nights and 4 days! This glimpse of camp runs from Sunday afternoon through Wednesday morning with pick up from 10:00AM – 10:45AM. Campers sign up for activities the same as week long campers and experience all the same open and evening activities. The biggest difference is that 3 Day Try-It campers leave 3 days early. However, if your child is loving camp and would like to extend their week to Saturday, their bunk is reserved for the entire week and we are prepared for them to stay!
Q – What does a day at Ranch Camp look like?
A – It’s ALL horses ALL day!! Feeding, grooming, riding, lessons, trail rides, more riding, learning saddle parts, horse parts and colors, MORE riding!!
Q – What activities cost an additional fee?
A – Horseback Riding $140.00, Rock Climbing I or II $70.00, Trail Biking $70.00, Riflery $10.00, Photo Journalism $10.00, Photography $10.00, Rocketry $15.00, Astro Camp $70.00 and Waterskiing $140.00.
Q – What does a day at Astro Camp look like?
A – During the week of Astro Camp campers get involved in many different and engaging activities, including, but not limited to: going into the planetarium room to learn about the summer constellations. Campers learn about different telescopes; such as reflectors and refractors. Campers learn how to properly clean and care for telescopes. Campers get to build their own Galileo telescope. Campers look at the sun through a special lens on a reflector telescope. Campers reflect the sun onto a piece of paper. Campers get to tell stories about constellations around the campfire. Campers build their own star wheel. Campers get to view the stars at night through several different size telescopes. Campers learn the different phases of the moon. Campers get to earn awards for star gazing and learning constellations.
Q – What are CIT’s and SIT’s?
A – CIT’s (Campers in Transition) are traditionally campers in the 10th grades that are ready to start the transition from campers into future leaders. This program has a service base and CIT’s will work together to choose, plan and implement a service project on camp as well as travel off camp to provide local community service. Campers will also work on developing personal leadership skills and goal setting. CIT’s are still campers. On top of all that great leadership development, we make sure to provide plenty of time for them to also attend camp programs and activities every day!
SIT’s (Staff in Training) are traditionally campers in the 11th grade who love camp and are planning to apply to work at camp next summer. This great 4 week program teaches SIT’s how to work with children in a variety of situations. They will spend the first 2 weeks of camp training and participating in camp activities, learning the in’s and out’s of how camp runs and the various responsibilities of the counselors. The third week they spend “in-cabin” working alongside our counselors and the 4th week is spent back in the tree houses as they plan and implement an all camp evening program with the assistance of the SIT Coordinators and camp Leadership Team. *Please note, completion of the SIT program does not automatically qualify a camper to on staff the following summer.
Q – What happens during a Backpacking Program?
A – Campers who register for the Backpacking Program will take a 4 day/3 night backpacking trip to Manistee. Campers spend their first full day of camping charting their trip, learning how to prepare their packs and receiving a full safety orientation. Campers leave Tuesday morning with two staff members (who will have cell phone access as needed for the entire course of the trip) and return Friday afternoon. All meals are provided by camp and cooked over the open fire . Campers will set-up camp at a new sight each night while backpacking through beautiful back country with breath taking views of Lake Michigan. Upon return, campers will learn the proper way to turn-out their gear and debrief the trip, spending their last night on-site at YMCA Camp Eberhart.
Q – How many activities can campers choose?
A – They can choose 4 activities. These activities are chosen during the registration process.
Q – Do Day Campers choose their own schedules?
A – Not exactly. To ensure that day campers experience a wide variety of activities, their schedule will be partially completed before their arrival. On the first day of each session, campers will be able to work together to choose activities for the remaining “open” periods. Completed schedules are sent home on Tuesdays.
Q – What is the “Open Period” during Resident Camp?
A – Open period is the opportunity for campers to try a program area that they had not previously signed up for. Campers are presented a number of program options at every open period and have free choice to choose which activity they would like to try.
Q – Do Residential Campers progress during their activities? What happens if they stay a 2nd or 3rd session?
A – Every program area requires a different level of skill and therefore achievement. Our program areas are designed for progression and skill development with multiple layers of programming. Campers that return for multiple weeks and even year after year are continually challenged to take their skill to a subsequent level of mastery while still being fun and engaging!
Q – What happens if a camper does not pass their swim test?
A – Campers are classified into swim levels based on their swimming ability. Each swim level provides more options for swimming at the waterfront during open period (i.e. Coops Tower!) A camper that does not pass the swim test will only be allowed to swim in the shallowest section of the waterfront. *Please note that swimming in the lake is very different than swimming in a pool. Lake water is colder and in the deeper sections the bottom of the lake cannot be seen from the surface. Should a camper not pass the swim test, our lifeguards will not be swayed to allow a camper into a swim section higher than their ability.
Q – How long are the trail rides?
A – Trail rides are scheduled to last an hour. However, the first and last 15 minutes are instructional and safety based. The actual ride is 30 minutes long.
Q – Can campers bring fans? Do you have air conditioning?
A – Only Leighton lodge has air-conditioning to accommodate the Wellness Center that is located on the lower level of the building. Campers may bring fans but electrical outlets are limited. Counselors will open windows and help facilitate a more comfortable living environment during hot weather.
Q – Can campers roommate together if they are different ages?
A – Campers can request to roommate with campers that are within 1 year of age of each other. A 12 year old camper is very different than a 10 year old camper and we work hard to ensure that cabins keep a tight age range to help facilitate friendships through shared experiences.
Q – Which cabins will our campers be in?
A – Our youngest male campers stay in Baker/Cooper Lodge (Indoor Plumbing) and our youngest female campers stay in Morris Lodge (Indoor Plumbing). Our oldest male campers stay in the Hill Cabins (Bath House) and our oldest female campers stay in Leighton Lodge (Indoor Plumbing). SIT and CITS stay in our brand new Tree House Village. Our remaining camp population reside in our Traditional Stone Cabins on both the high and low road.
Q – What if my child has a food allergies?
A – We can accommodate most food allergies including gluten free. However, we are not able to provide a Celiac safe environment. If your child has a food allergy, please feel free to call us to discuss your concerns in more detail.
Q – When and how can I communicate with my camper?
A – YMCA Camp Eberhart is an unplugged camp, however if you have an emergency and need to speak to your camper, please do not hesitate to call the office line and we will connect you to your camper. Our desire is to create a sense of independence and character development among our campers, but we still also firmly believe in working with parents to make sure your child is as comfortable as possible at camp. We also have an email service that allows parents to send daily correspondence to their camper. This service is available for purchase during registration. Emails are delivered to campers daily.
And while it may seem outdated, campers are always excited to receive real mail and we know you want to keep up with all the exciting things your child is experiencing at Camp. Our counselors make a special effort to encourage campers to write home. If you have a younger or first-time camper with us, consider writing often. Help your kids keep in touch by packing pre-addressed and stamped envelopes. But, please don’t worry if your child doesn’t write frequently. Usually the kids just say, “I was just too busy having fun!”