Day Camp at YMCA Camp Bernie is a thrilling, active program for all children entering grades K-11. Our weekly sessions allow campers to enjoy and explore everything our beautiful 275-acre facility has to offer. We believe that a camp experience provides children with the unique opportunity to try new things and discover who they truly are. We will help children to make new friends, build memories and to challenge themselves daily.
Today’s children face more stressful situations than we can imagine. Kids often react by indulging in unhealthy behaviors. As parents and childcare providers, we feel the need to protect them, but we must remember that our goal is to prepare them to be happy and productive adults. YMCA Camp Bernie focuses on helping campers to build the 7 C’s: competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping, and control in order to better deal with stressful situations. Together we can raise successful children who will make their unique and substantial contributions to the world.
Children entering K-5th grades spend the week exploring our alluring programs. In small groups, campers participate in a wide variety of adventurous outdoor activities throughout the week. The program provides opportunities for campers to find what they enjoy most and do more of it as well as stretch their imaginations during All Camp Day every Wednesday. The entire day is a unique, customized experience where campers are immersed with our weekly themes. Don’t miss the opportunity to dress up along with camp staff!
Teens & tweens entering 6th-8th grades experience all the fun of camp’s adventurous activities, plus some more advanced challenges! Campers explore adventure outside of Camp Bernie while under the watchful eyes of our trained staff. *Summer 2020 will feature special on-site entertainment and activities in place of off-site trips.
Outstanding Weekly Leaders (OWL) - Last Summer, Camp Bernie introduced a new and exciting endeavor for 9th-11th grade campers, and it was a hit! These one week sessions focus on our most advanced challenge elements and other camp activities, as well as some leadership opportunities--it’s all about excitement! O.W.Ls, or Outstanding Weekly Leaders, is our way to show our older campers that there’s a place for them here at Camp Bernie that allows them to make their mark on camp like never before!
Please note that for summer 2020 trips will largely be replaced by on-site entertainment and activities, especially for the beginning of the summer, and as always, are subject to change.
|July 9th||Hippo Chow Down Inflatable & Kona Ice||Onsite|
|July 16th||Inflatable Slip & Slide & Enjoy Creperie||Onsite|
|July 23rd||Nailed it Competition & Rita’s Italian Ice||Onsite|
|July 30th||Inflatable Derby Races & Nacho Bar||Onsite|
|August 6th||Escape Room, Laser Maze, and Cold Stone Creamery||Onsite|
|August 12th||Paint & Snack and Arena Touch Light||Possibly Offsite|
|August 19th||TBD||Possibly Offsite|
|August 26th||TBD||Possibly Offsite|
A wonderful opportunity to introduce young children to the exciting world of horsemanship. Campers entering grades K-2, will learn how to be calm and confident around horses. Skills taught & practiced daily include: putting on a halter & lead rope, leading a horse, brushing/grooming and proper use of equipment. All skills are with the assistance of equestrian staff until campers are comfortable doing them alone. On hot days campers enjoy giving horses a bath, sometimes cooling themselves off with the hose as well! Selected basic riding skills will be taught and campers will be kept on a lead rope as they’re learning to steer on their own. Campers will need to bring long pants & boots with a heel and are encouraged to submit the Horseback Riding questionnaire prior to their session.
This program runs during the regular camp day.
Created for campers entering grades 3-8 who want to focus on skill development and building confidence in the saddle, Horseback Riding Lessons help campers hone their skills on safely working around horses, confidently leading a horse and mounting/dismounting a horse properly. Staff create lessons for campers to learn new skills while improving those learned in pervious lessons. Campers will be assessed and placed in lessons dependent on their skill level. Since each camper is unique and advances at their own pace, lessons are individually created following CHA guidelines. Campers must bring long pants and boots with a heel Monday – Friday and are encouraged to submit the Horseback Riding questionnaire prior to their session.
This program runs during the regular camp day.
This program is designed for campers who can control a horse on their own at a walking pace, as each camper will ride their own horse. Campers may get additional instruction in the riding ring or in the stables caring and feeding these beautiful animals. Trail Rides are offered 4-5pm Monday through Thursday, with Friday reserved in the event of cancelation due to thunder. Campers must be entering 3rd-8th grade in the upcoming fall. Campers will need to bring long pants & boots with a heel and are encouraged to submit the Horseback Riding questionnaire prior to their session.
Please note: Bus transportation is not available after Trail Rides.
Our American Red Cross certified Lifeguards help children improve their swimming skills through the use of the National YMCA Swim Lesson program. Children are grouped according to skill level and guided through engaging activities to develop and improve skills. Swim Lessons are offered 4-5pm Monday through Thursday, with Friday reserved in the event of cancelation due to thunder.
*Please note: Bus transportation is not available after Swim Lessons.
This program is not available for summer 2020. In a typical summer, lunch can be provided by our Food Service team for your camper for the week at an additional fee, and you MUST register for the program by the Wednesday prior to your session. The whole summer's lunch menu will be posted here!
Regular Day Camp hours are 9am to 4pm. Need a little extra time dropping off or picking up your camper? We’ve got you covered! We offer multiple options for extending your child’s camp day & making it a blast! Along with our lesson programs, you can chose to add before & after or extended care to the day. Before Care operates from 7:00am until the start of the camp day, after care operates from 4:00-6:00pm and extended care begins at 8:00am and ends at 5:00pm. Great if you need just a little more time in the morning & evening! Campers will play group games, create new crafts & have the opportunity to join in on exclusive projects only offered during this time.
Please note: Bus transportation is not available with Extended Care.
Camp Bernie provides transportation to and from camp for an additional fee per family.
East Route: Valley View Elementary School, Emmanuel Bible Church & Hackettstown Middle School
West Route: Franklin Township Elementary School, Oxford Central School & St Joseph’s Catholic Church
Please check pick-up and drop-off times in the FAQs below.
|K-1st Grade||Chickasaw Lions||$307|
|2nd-3rd Grade||Abenaki Foxes||$307|
|4th-5th Grade||Apache Bears||$307|
|6th-8th Grade||Wolf Pack||$382|
*Please note: Registration closes at 5pm the Wednesday prior to the start of the session. $100 deposit per session is required to reserve a spot. Balances are due June 1st. Spaces may not be available for campers who have balances due after June 1st. Refunds will not be given after June 1st.
Compete against time to save our planet from a supernova end! Will we survive?!
Santa’s been kidnapped! Campers band together to save him and all holidays before they disappear from existence!
Experience fun behind every corner at the Camp Bernie Circus! Face painting, snow cones & ring toss, oh my!
Slip & slide into our water filled week! Will you be walking the plank? After all, smooth seas never made skilled sailors!
Before broadcasting from Japan, the Olympics visit Camp Bernie for a trial run of some never-before-seen games!
Animals are on the loose! Wrangle & coax some of the fluffiest, slimiest & slowest critters to create your own zoo!
Color Wars is back & bigger than ever! Campers are split into teams to see which color will reign supreme!
Lights! Camera! Action! Campers will have the opportunity to showcase their talents & perform with friends!
Campers teleport into classic films to defeat the villains they love to hate! Don’t let a red apple fool you…
Venture into the forest to search for our favorite curious creatures & fantastic beasts! Who will you choose?
Parents are encouraged to register for their camp weeks as soon as possible to guarantee their camper’s spot. A waiting list will be created if camper units reach capacity. Registration officially closes at 5 p.m. the Wednesday prior to each week of camp.
We accept one request per camper and both children must request each other. With an age gap, the older child must agree to move down to the younger group. We do not allow multiple requests as this can lead to cliques and some kids feeling excluded.
Campers experience every program area at least once during their weekly schedule. Grades 2-8 participate in Free Choice, where they chose program areas to spend more time at throughout the week. Campers sign ups take place on Monday morning with their units.
Every Monday begins with an orientation and team building games for campers to mix up any friend groups and get to know everyone! Campers chose activities based on their interests and staff are trained on honing inclusive environments.
Please label each item with your camper’s name to ensure that is returned to you if it gets misplaced.
⎯ Water Bottle (minimum 20 oz)
⎯ Spray Sunscreen
⎯ Lunch Box with ice pack
⎯ Change of clothes including underwear
⎯ Closed-toe shoes (required)
⎯ Face mask in a plastic bag
⎯ On-the-go bottle of hand sanitizer
⎯ Goggles for swimming
⎯ Appropriate attire for inclement weather
⎯ Bug spray
⎯ Individual activity as a second option to planned activities*
- Basic supplies such as a pack of crayons, markers etc. (these will be provided)*
*There will be times that campers are offered individual activities to choose from & they are welcome to bring some basic supplies for personal use if they feel more comfortable. We suggest books or a small bag of toys they can play with on their own, while around other campers. These items will not be shared between campers. These can also be used if campers do not want to participate in a scheduled activity as well. Electronic devices are still not permitted.
Trading Post is our camp store where campers can purchase snacks and drinks daily, and souvenirs on Fridays. Parents can add money to their campers’ accounts online through Campwise or call our main office at 908-832-5315. Chickasaw Lions may choose to purchase a “snack pack” daily which includes a small snack and a juice, but will only visit the Trading Post on Fridays.
We do not give refunds after June 1st.
A licensed RN, LPN or EMT is on property 24/7. There are regular call times and medication is stored and administered by the Nurse. Hackettstown Regional Medical Center is 20 minutes from Camp. Many staff members are certified in Basic First Aid and AED/CPR.
80% of counselors are 18 and up; mostly college students. Counselors are interviewed, have a minimum of three references checked and clear a Criminal Background Screening. Specialty staff members carry certifications relevant to their program areas as well as American Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED certifications. Lifeguards are certified by the American Red Cross. On average, 1/3 of our counselors were campers at YMCA Camp Bernie helping them to relate to the children attending camp.
Here's a sample schedule:
7-9am Before Care
9-9:10 Group Gathering/Flagpole
11:30-12:30 Vertical Playpen
3:45-4:00 Group Gathering/Check-out
4-5pm Extended Care & Community Lessons
5-6pm After Care
Pick-up Drop Off Location
7:55-9:00 4:55-5:00 Valley View School - Lebanon Township
8:15-8:20 4:35-4:40 Emmanuel Bible Church - Long Valley
8:30-8:35 4:15-4:20 Hackettstown Middle School - Hackettstown
Pick-up Drop Off Location
7:55-9:00 4:55-5:00 Franklin Township Elemeentary School - Franklin Township
8:15-8:20 4:35-4:40 Oxford Central School - Oxford
8:30-8:35 4:15-4:20 St. Joseph's Catholic Church - Washington
Camp Bernie will be implementing new procedures into our camp program for summer 2020 to address COVID-19. These are in accordance with State, CDC, and YMCA/ACA guidelines and are available on our Day Camp web page.
Overnight Camp has, unfortunately, been canceled for the summer of 2020. Please see our Events page for info on our alternate programs this summer: Family Archery, Family Horseback Riding, Weekend Cabin Rentals, Community Swim Lessons, and Labor Day Family Camp!