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.
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 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. 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.
|Date||Theme||2021 Earlybird Rate||2021 Rate|
|6/27-7/9||Session: 13A||Tier 1 $1900, Tier 2 $1850, Tier 3 $1800||TBD|
|Session: 13B||Tier 1 $1900, Tier 2 $1850, Tier 3 $1800||TBD|
|Session: 13C||Tier 1 $1900, Tier 2 $1850, Tier 3 $1800||TBD|
|8/8-8/20||Session: 13D||Tier 1 $1900, Tier 2 $1850, Tier 3 $1800||TBD|
|Date||Theme||2021 Earlybird Rate||2021 Rate|
|Session: 7A||Tier 1 $1,025, Tier 2 $1,000, Tier 3 $975||TBD|
|7/11-7/18||Session: 7B||Tier 1 $1,025, Tier 2 $1,000, Tier 3 $975||TBD|
|Session 7C||Tier 1 $1,025, Tier 2 $1,000, Tier 3 $975||TBD|
|8/8-8/15||Session 7D||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||Date||Off-site Trip||2021 Rate|
|Session A to B||7/9-7/11||TBD||TBD|
|Session B to C||7/23-7/25||TBD||TBD|
|Session C to D||8/6-8/8||TBD||TBD|
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.
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.
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 three references checked and clear a Criminal Background Screening. Specialty staff members carry 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 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.
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.
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 daily. We also encourage parents to send traditional letters. We do not allow cell phones, as in our experience, phone conversations 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 departs Camp at 10:30 a.m., arriving at the Ridgewood YMCA at 12:00 p.m.
The basic idea behind tiered pricing is it gives families the freedom to choose a camp fee that fits their financial situation.
The summer camp experience is the same for every camper, regardless of which price tier is chosen.
Most camps use a three-tier system and the tiers recognize that some families are able to pay the full cost of camp, while others have the freedom to choose a subsidized cost without having to fill out any forms.
The typical explanation goes something like:
Tier 1 (highest price) the full cost of camp
Tier 2 (middle price) partially subsidized fee
Tier 3 (lowest price) fully subsidized fee
The majority of camps, including Camp Bernie, are now receiving significantly less in the form of subsidies. Rather than substantially raise prices on all families, tiered pricing essentially asks families with greater financial means to subsidize those who can’t pay the full cost of camp.
We also offer additional scholarships for campers who need greater financial assistance.
You might think that everyone will choose the lowest tier, but the experience of most camps is that they get a surprising number of families who choose the middle or high tier.
Tiered pricing helps us to respond to changing economic conditions while giving families the chance to pick the option that works for them.
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.
They are eligible for regular horseback riding and dirt biking. They can only register 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 their morning activities, which we refer to as "free choice." These sign-ups take place during orientation on the first day of camp. Afternoon activities are pre-scheduled by our staff and campers rotate through activities with their cabin mates during these blocks.
It is the philosophy of the YMCA for safety purposes that all children should learn how to swim. Within the first 24 hours at camp all campers have a swim check to determine their ability to swim. Campers in grades 2-6 will be placed in an appropriate YMCA swim lesson class. For safety purposes, and in the interest of ensuring a positive teaching environment for all campers, if a camper is uncomfortable in the water or misbehaving they will sit out of the pool on the bench on the pool deck.
Trading Post money can be donated to our scholarship fund. Please contact us for any other arrangements.
We do not give refunds after June 1.
Camp Bernie is developing on-site childcare and remote learning support for local families in response to the new school schedules. Check out our School Programs page for details!
We have implemented COVID-19 procedures into our day camp program in accordance with State, CDC, and YMCA/ACA guidelines. These are available on our Day Camp web page.
Please see our Events page for info on special programs only available this summer: Family Archery, Family Horseback Riding, Weekend Cabin Rentals, and Labor Day Family Camp!