YMCA Camp Bernie’s Overnight Camp is a traditional, co-ed program for kids entering grades 2-10. Campers are grouped into Units by gender and age, with each Unit divided into cabins composed of 8-10 campers and 2-3 counselors. Our traditions and camp spirit unite our overall camp community as campers are engaged in instructional activities, structured free play and memorable all-camp events each session.



Resilience Building

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 Cs: 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.

A group of kids in green shirts playing tug of war.


Campers are grouped by gender and grade level to provide optimal living and learning experiences in a safe, supportive environment. Lodges and cabins are equipped with bunk style beds, storage areas, indoor toilets and showers. All cabins have interior fireplaces and/or exterior fire pits for evening cabin activities. Older boys (grades 7-10) reside in the Nation, a more rustic, natural environment with screened wooden cabins and a central bath house.

See Our Cabins


Add-On Programs

Dates & Rates

Date Theme

2024 Rates

6/23-7/5 A: to be announced Tier 1 $-,   Tier 2 $-,   Tier 3 $-  
7/7-7/19 B: to be announced Tier 1 $-,   Tier 2 $-,   Tier 3 $-  
7/21-8/2 C: to be announced Tier 1 $-,   Tier 2 $-,   Tier 3 $-  
8/4-8/16 D: to be announced Tier 1 $-,   Tier 2 $-,   Tier 3 $-  


A deposit of $300 is due at the time of registration to secure your camper's spot.  Balances are due June 1st.  What is tiered pricing?  See explanation in FAQs below.

Date Theme

2024 Rates

6/16-6/21 to be announced Tier 1 $-,   Tier 2 $-,   Tier 3 $-  
6/23-7/5 A: to be announced Tier 1 $-,   Tier 2 $-,   Tier 3 $-  
7/7-7/19 B: to be announced Tier 1 $-,   Tier 2 $-,   Tier 3 $-  
7/21-8/2 C: to be announced Tier 1 $-,   Tier 2 $-,   Tier 3 $-  
8/4-8/16 D: to be announced Tier 1 $-,   Tier 2 $-,   Tier 3 $-  


A deposit of $300 is due at the time of registration to secure your camper's spot.  Balances are due June 1st.  What is tiered pricing?  See explanation in FAQs below.

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Coming soon for 2024: Mini Camp

Details coming soon!

Camp Believe Specialty Camp

Adventure awaits! Join us for a week filled with magic and fantasy.  Camp Believe is a LARP (Live Action Role Play) camp where campers live out a week-long story - think Dungeons & Dragons meets the outdoors!  Campers will learn to harness magic, engage in epic sword fights, and defend Camp from threats beyond our realm, all the while making choices that impact the outcome of the week.  If you love adventure, sign up today!  You won't believe how much you'll love Camp Believe!



The dessert of the camp session! If you’re signed up for multiple sessions, you can stay through the weekend and have the camp all to yourself! Holdover is also a great late pick-up option for families who have difficulty getting to camp on the scheduled Friday. Specialized activities, meals and even off-camp trips or on-site entertainment is included.

Please note: holdover can be added on to the end of a session for parents who prefer a Sunday pickup, however, holdover cannot be the beginning of your camp sessions.



Session Date Trip/Event 2024 Rate
Session A to B 7/5-7/7 to be announced -
Session B to C 7/19-7/21 to be announced -
Session C to D 8/2-8/4 to be announced -


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can my child be grouped with his/her friend?

    Campers are grouped by grade. 2nd-6th grade boys are Pioneers, 2nd-6th grade girls are Kois, 7th-10th grade girls are Shawnees, 7th-10th grade boys are Nation.11th graders are CIT's.  

    We accept two requests per camper and children must request each other. With an age gap, we prefer to avoid mixing ages in groups, but when exceptions are made, the older child must agree to move down to the younger group. We do not allow more than two requests as this can lead to cliques and some kids feeling excluded.

  • What do you do to make first-time campers feel comfortable?

    We help the children make new friends through cabin chats and team building exercises. Additionally, we call parents/guardians within 48 hours of a first-time overnight camper’s arrival to report on how they're adjusting and, if needed work together on a game plan for how we can best help struggling campers.

  • What are the qualifications of your staff?

    Eighty percent of counselors are 18 and up; mostly college students.  Counselors are interviewed, have a minimum of four references checked and clear a criminal background screening both through Praesidium (which includes the national sex offerder public system) and the CARI state background check system.  Staff are also fingerprinted by the state of NJ.  Staff attend in-person trainings of 1-2 weeks, depending on position, as well as online training courses through the Redwoods Group and the state of NJ. 

    Program staff members carry training or 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.

  • What is the Trading Post?

    This is our cashless camp store with snacks, drinks, clothing items and souvenirs. We carry a supply of toiletry items that campers may have forgotten. Campers visit the Trading Post on a daily basis.  Money can be added to your camper's online account throughout the session.

  • What are your medical procedures?

    A licensed RN, LPN or Health Officer 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 select staff members are certified in Basic First Aid and AED/CPR.

  • What do you do on rainy days?

    If it is moderate, we run our regular program; campers will need rain gear. For heavy rain, we run special, pre-planned indoor activities. During a thunderstorm, all campers and staff will immediately be brought indoors.

  • How do I contact my child?

    Parents can send e-mails via their online accounts; these are delivered to the campers each weekday. We also encourage parents to send traditional letters. We do not allow cell phones, as in our experience, phone conversations interrupt a camper's independent experience and often lead to increased homesickness.

  • What are the check-in and check-out times/locations?

    Check in at camp begins on Sundays at 1:00 pm at the Upper Pavilion.

    Check out for two-week sessions are on Friday between 10am and 11am. Please
    come to the Main Office.  You may also pre-register your camper for the Late Pick Up, 12pm to 4pm.

    Check out for one-week sessions is on Sunday between 10am and 11am at the Upper Pavilion.

    The overnight bus from the Ridgewood YMCA checks in at 12:00 p.m., with a departure of 12:30 p.m. On closing days, the bus arrives at the Ridgewood YMCA around 12:00 p.m.

    2023 Rate: $60/camper one-way, $70 round-trip

    Airport pickup may also be arranged.  Please contact info@campbernieymca.org 

  • Why are there tiered prices for camp?

    We recognize that families have different abilities to pay, so we offer a voluntary three-tier fee structure to best meet each family's needs.

    • Tier 1 reflects the full cost of the program.  If your family can pay this amount, please do.  We thank you for your support.
    • Tier 2 is a partially subsidized rate to help families who are unable to afford the full cost of the program.  Choose this rate if your family needs a partial subsidy.
    • Tier 3 is a substantial subsidy for families who need assistance to participate in the program.  Choose this rate if your family truly needs it.

    If Tier 3 still presents a barrier to participation, financial assistance is available through an application process.  Financial assistance may be awarded for up to 50% off the Tier 3 price and is awarded on a sliding scale based on household income and size.

    Please note that all camper experiences are the same, regardless of the chosen tier.

  • I have a credit from a cancelled session in 2020. How do I use it?

    Credits from prior years will not show online, only for Camp Administrators.  Please add the new session(s) to your camper's account and DO NOT make a payment. Contact us to let us know you're ready to have a credit applied and we will do so manually. If you have a balance left after the credit has been applied, you can then pay that balance online. Call 908-832-5315 or email info@campbernieymca.org

  • Will one-week overnight campers be in separate cabins from two-week campers?

    No, one-week campers will be placed with two-week campers in the same cabins. They will be starting camp on the same day and time, receiving the same first day orientation as two-week campers.

  • Can one-week campers decide to stay for a second week?

    Yes! We will be in contact with parents should a one-week camper express interest in staying for the full session.  Converting to a two-week session is a simple process and laundry service is available if a converting camper needs it.

  • Can one-week overnight campers sign up for add-on programs?

    They are eligible for regular dirt biking and the whitewater rafting trip, depending on their age.

  • Where do campers shower and use the bathroom?

    Most campers will stay in cabins with full bathrooms and showers inside the cabin. Older boys, grades 7-10, stay in the rustic Nation area with a central bathhouse serving the entire unit.

  • Do campers pick their own activities?

    Campers sign up for "free choice" progressive activities during orientation on the first day of camp. Cabin activity periods are pre-scheduled by our staff and campers rotate through activities with their cabin mates during these blocks.  "Smorgasbord" and "Escapade" are offered each week day for campers to choose their preferred activity in the moment.

  • What happens to my unspent Trading Post money?

    You have three options for any unspent Trading Post money:

    1. Do nothing - the money will be kept as a credit in your Trading Post account for your next session or event at camp.

    2. Donate - send an email to info@campbernieymca.org and let us know you'd like to donate your unused Tranding Post money to our scholarship fund to allow children to have a magical camp experience who otherwise would not have been able to.

    3. Request a Refund - send an email to info@campbernieymca.org and let us know you'd like your money refunded and we will process your request.

  • What is your refund policy?

    We do not give refunds after June 1.

  • Does Camp Bernie offer Financial Aid?

    Yes!  Applications for Camp Scholarships are considered on a rolling basis as long as funds remain available, but the first round of applications are reviewed on March 1st.  Only complete applications can be considered.  Scholarships are awarded for up to 60% of the full tuition rate, for a maximum of one two-week camp session.  Amounts are awarded are based on financial need.

    Additional scholarships are available through SCOPE for those that qualify. To qualify, a camper must be 7-16 years old, be enrolled in public school, and meet family income requirements established by USDA Income Eligibility Guidelines.

    SCOPE Application

    SCOPE Appplication (in Spanish)