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.
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.
Created for campers entering grades 3 and above who want to focus on skill development and building confidence in the saddle, Horseback Riding Lessons help campers hone their skills in 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 previous 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. Horseback riding lessons are eight hours total split between a four-day period. There will be time set aside for make-up lessons due to inclement weather. Campers must bring long pants and boots with a heel and are encouraged to submit the Horseback Riding Questionnaire prior to their session. For the enthusiast, there is also an option to add Horsebakc Riding for both weeks or try out our Ranch Camp specialty week.
2022 Rate: TBD
Campers going into grades 7 and above are eligible to sign up for Dirt Bike Lessons at camp. No experience is needed! Campers will be assessed and placed in lessons dependent on their skill level. Lessons include safety, mechanics, and techniques of operating the equipment, and instruction takes place on our practice field and on camp trails. Dirt Bike Lessons are eight hours total split between a four day period. There will be time set aside for make-up lessons due to inclement weather. Safety equipment is provided, including helmet, pads, and gloves, but riders must have long sleeves and boots with ankle support. Campers are encouraged to submit a Dirt Bike Questionnaire. For the enthusiast, there is also an option to add Dirtbikes for both weeks.
2022 Rate: TBD
Campers in grades 8-10 can choose to go on the optional whitewater rafting trip each session. Typically, campers who take part would camp out at Hickory Run State Park and then spend the day on the Lehigh River with our Pocono Whitewater guides. for 2021, this will be run as a day trip. The eight-mile stretch of river includes class I and II whitewater, as well as a touch of class III. Campers must register in advance for this trip, and there will be an added fee of $100. There is a minimum requirement of 10 campers in order for each trip to run.
2022 Rate: TBD
|6/26-7/8||A: TBD||Tier 1 $1900, Tier 2 $1850, Tier 3 $1800|
|B: TBD||Tier 1 $1900, Tier 2 $1850, Tier 3 $1800|
|C: TBD||Tier 1 $1900, Tier 2 $1850, Tier 3 $1800|
|8/7-8/19||D: TBD||Tier 1 $1900, Tier 2 $1850, Tier 3 $1800|
|June 26-July 3||A: TBD||Tier 1 $925, Tier 2 $900, Tier 3 $875|
|July 10-17||B: TBD||Tier 1 $1,025, Tier 2 $1,000, Tier 3 $975|
|July 24-31||C: Color Wars||Tier 1 $1,025, Tier 2 $1,000, Tier 3 $975|
|D: TBD||Tier 1 $1,025, Tier 2 $1,000, Tier 3 $975|
|June 20 - 25||Ranch Camp||Tier 1 $1,025, Tier 2 $1,000, Tier 3 $975|
August 1 - 6
|Tier 1 $1,025, Tier 2 $1,000, Tier 3 $975|
|August 15 - 20||Camp Survive
|Tier 1 $1,025, Tier 2 $1,000, Tier 3 $975|
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 A to B||7/8-7/10||TBD||TBD|
|Session B to C||7/22-7/24||TBD||TBD|
|Session C to D||8/5-8/7||TBD||TBD|
Campers are grouped by grade. 2nd-6th grade boys are Pioneers, 2nd-6th grade girls are Kios, 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.
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.
Eighty percent of counselors are 18 or over, mostly college students. Seventeen-year-old JCs are paired with a Senior Counselor in Overnight Camp and lead younger groups in Day Camp. Counselors are interviewed, have a minimum of four references checked and clear a Criminal Background Screening. Program staff members carry training and/or certifications relevant to their program areas. On average, one third of our counselors were campers at YMCA Camp Bernie helping them to relate to the children attending camp.
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.
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.
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.
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 imdependent experience and often lead to increased homesickness.
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.
We recognize that families have different abilities to pay and offer a voluntary three-tier fee structure to best meet each family's needs.
If Tier 3 still presents a barrier to participation, financila assistance is available through an application process that can be accessed in the registration 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.
Credits from prior years will not show online, only for Camp Administrators. Please add the 2022 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
They are eligible for regular horseback riding and dirt biking. They will only have time for one of these two specialties, however.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know you'd like your money refunded and we will process your request.
We do not give refunds after June 1.