The camping branch of the YMCA of Silicon Valley
YMCA Camp Campbell

Family Camp FAQs

Serving families has always been at the heart of the Y. We are a place where you can find respite from social, economic and educational challenges, and learn how to overcome them. We have a fundamental desire to provide opportunities for every family to build stronger bonds, achieve greater work/life balance, and become more engaged with your community.

About Family Camps and Parent Child Weekends

What are Family Camps and Parent Child Weekends and how do they differ?

Family Camps and Parent Child Weekends at YMCA Camp Campbell are an opportunity for you to strengthen your family bonds in a natural, outdoor setting. We provide the programming, activities, facilities and food, so that you and your family can enjoy your time together.

Family Camps serve entire families, providing you a fun-filled family getaway without the distractions of daily life. We bring you closer together, as you meet other families and enjoy the outdoor environment. Parent Child Weekends offer more one-on-one time between a parent and a child.

Parent Child Weekends include Mother/Daughter Weekends, Mother/Son Weekends, Father/Child Weekends, and Parent and Child 10 and Up Weekends.

Many activities in both Family Camps and Parent Child Weekends are the same, but some do vary.

Who typically attends Family Camps or Parent Child Weekends?

Families come in all shapes and sizes and from all backgrounds. At the Y, we welcome everyone. Our family programs are open to all ages. For Parent Child Weekends, we recommend that participants be 4 or older. We are happy to have your family join us.

How does supervision of children work at a family camp weekend?

Supervision of children is ultimately the responsibility of the adult guardian. We encourage our families attending camp to take this time to focus on your relationship to one another and spend activity time together around camp. Our activities are designed to engage both children and adults in quality time together.



When should I register?

Registration for year-round Family Camps and Parent Child Weekends opens in November. We recommend registering as early as possible, as many camps fill up quickly.

How do I register?

The easiest way to register is online at www.ymcacampcampbell.org. Click on the Family Camps tab at the top of the page and register there. You can also download the registration form there, complete it, and return it by mail, fax or email.

How will I know when my registration is processed?

Once you register online, you’ll receive an automated email from our online system. This is not a confirmation that your registration is guaranteed. Registrations are processed by time/date stamp in our office. We will send you an official confirmation email within three business days or notify you if the camp is full. We’ll send more details about the camp you registered for via email within one or two weeks prior to the start date.

How do I apply for financial assistance?

At the Y, we believe that everyone—regardless of age, income or background—should have the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. That’s why we offer financial assistance to individuals and families for membership and programs to ensure that no one is turned away due to an inability to pay.

Please note that if you wish to apply for financial assistance for camp, you must register by mail, fax or email. Our online registration system cannot accommodate requests for financial assistance.

To apply for financial assistance, complete a registration form and the financial assistance application from our website. Complete both forms and send to them to YMCA Camp Campbell using one of these methods:

  • By mail - 16275 Highway 9, Boulder Creek, CA 95006
  • By fax – 831-338 -9486
  • By email - redwoods@ymcasv.org

Please allow two weeks for processing. All applications are handled confidentially.

How do you handle cancelations & refunds?

Refunds only are granted with at least 30 days' notice of cancellation prior to the start of camp. Otherwise, refunds only will be granted for medical reasons with a doctor’s note. In lieu of a refund, you can elect to change your week of participation to a future week, depending on availability and within 90 days of your originally scheduled camp.

To cancel a registration please fill out our cancellation form (ADD LINK) and email it to redwoods@ymcasv.org.

General Questions

What are your accommodations like?

At YMCA Camp Campbell all of our cabins have bunk beds with twin sized mattresses, electricity, heating, and bathrooms. We have two villages at camp, Brandenburg Village (formerly Treetop) and 49er Village.

On Memorial and Labor Day Family Camp Weekend we also offer tent cabins as an option for families.

Can I share a cabin with specific friends or another family or ensure that only my family stays in one cabin?

Yes. Please let us know upon registration if you wish to share a cabin with specific friends or another family. Before your arrival, please give us the names of all the people with whom you wish to share a cabin. Please note that we cannot accommodate more people than the available beds in each cabin.

We’ll try our best to accommodate one or two cabin mate requests.

What should I pack?

We’ll send you a recommended packing list via email with additional details prior to your camp. We recommend that you plan to dress in layers because temperatures can vary greatly between day and night. Because we are located among the towering redwoods, please pack clothes and items for possible rain. You’ll also need to bring warm bedding (like sleeping bags and pillows), water bottles, comfortable closed-toe shoes, a flashlight and a positive attitude. Please leave electronics and valuables at home. We also recommend labeling your belongings, as many items can look alike.

How do I get to camp?

Most internet map directions or GPS devices will direct you to use Bear Creek Road. While this route is faster by a few minutes, the road is narrow and winding and is sometimes closed. We recommend using the Highway 17 route for first-time campers and for individuals who experience carsickness. Get directions to camp.

Where do I park when I arrive at YMCA Camp Campbell?

Parking is available in our main parking lot at the entrance of camp, prior to crossing the bridge. We highly encourage families and guests to carpool to save gas and limit the number of cars on site. A speed limit of 5 mph is enforced. There is no availability to drive up to the cabins or around camp. Please only bring what you can carry or transport in a luggage cart.

What time is check-in and check-out?

Depending on the weekend, check-in begins anywhere between 2 - 5 pm on the first day of camp.  Please plan to arrive before 6 pm unless you have informed us of a later arrival. In order for our maintenance staff to clean the cabins for our next group arrival, please plan to have all of your belongings out of your cabin by 10 am on the last day of camp. We cannot accommodate early check-in or late check-out.

What is the menu for the weekend? Do you accommodate special dietary needs?

We offer nutritious, family-friendly meals, served buffet-style at designated times. Please be sure to visit our dining hall during meal times, as we do not serve food at other times. We can accommodate vegetarian/vegan and gluten-free diets; however, we do not have the capacity to prepare special individual meals or take meal requests. Each meal will include a vegetarian option, and lunch and dinner will include a fresh salad bar. If you or your family has any special dietary needs or allergies, please let us know when you register. Our meals are peanut-free, but may contain wheat, soy, egg, dairy or other allergens.

Will my cell phone work at camp? Is there Wi-Fi?

Many, but not all, cell phone carriers work at camp. However, in some areas of camp, including the Tree Top Cabins, some phones may not have adequate reception to work. Our office is open seven days a week from 9 am to 5 pm, and our staff can pass along messages to guests. Wi-Fi is available in some buildings at camp. Please ask a staff member for assistance. To protect your valuables, we do not recommend bringing expensive electronics, and we are not responsible for lost or stolen items. We do recommend taking the opportunity to unplug, disconnect and enjoy the outdoors.

Are medical services available at camp?

Our camp staff members are certified in First Aid and CPR and can assist with minor medical needs. Several medical centers also are within driving distance of camp, including Boulder Creek Family Practice in Boulder Creek, Palo Alto Medical Foundation Urgent Care in Scotts Valley, and Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz. During the weekend, our health cottage is not open or staffed.

What if there is an emergency at camp?

In case of emergency, please be aware of the following procedures:

  1. An alarm will announce the emergency.
  2. When you hear the alert, everyone should go directly to the brick patio Garden Side of the Dining Lodge.
  3. We will direct you in the next steps.

If you have an emergency, please contact a staff member immediately.

What are Quiet Hours?

The Boulder Creek community has mandated quiet hours from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. seven days a week. Observing their guidelines, things like amplified music, drumming and screaming are not permitted during these hours.

Should I bring money?

Money is not required for any activities during camp, with the exception of massages during Women’s Wellness Weekends. However, the camp store is open for you to purchase items at various times throughout the weekend, including camp clothing and souvenirs, as well as a limited selection of toiletries, in case you forget something important. We do not sell food, candy, soda or gum. We accept cash, checks, and debit and credit cards.

What are your YMCA Camp Campbell guidelines?

  • Smoking is only permitted in designated areas of camp and never in cabins.
  • Please do not move furniture from cabins to any other building.
  • Campfires are only permitted in designated areas.
  • Pets, firearms and boats are not permitted at camp.
  • For sanitary reasons, cooking and food storage is not encouraged in the cabins.
  • Alcohol and drugs are prohibited at all YMCA facilities.

Camp Programming & Activities

What programming and activities are available?

YMCA Camp Campbell offers amazing opportunities to reconnect with family and enjoy adventures together. We offer a variety of active, outdoor activities for each camp session, with specific programming changing from weekend to weekend.

Common weekend activities include archery, the mole hole, the nature lab and hikes, the climbing tower, the pool and waterslide, the high ropes course, gaga ball, group games, arts and crafts, tie dye, campfires, night activities and more. While most of our programming is open to all ages, for everyone’s safety, some require minimal ages or sizes to participate.

For all activities, children must be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times. All of our programming is designed for adults and children to participate together. Get ready to have silly fun, laugh out loud, and be creative.

When is the pool open? What is a swim check? When is the waterslide open?

The pool and waterslide will be open during our fall, spring and summer seasons at specific times during camp weekends. Both are closed during the winter. Pool and slide availability varies.

For safety, if a child ages 13 and younger wishes to be in the pool without a parent or guardian within arms reach in the water, he or she will need to take a swim check led by one of our staff. The swim check consists of two parts:

  1. Swimming a stroke for the width of the pool and back without the assistance of flotation devices (for using the shallow end of the pool)
  2. Treading water for one minute (for using the deep end of the pool)

Children who do not pass one part of the swim check cannot be in the pool without their parent in the water within arms reach at all times.

If you, as the parent or guardian, are going to be in the pool with your child at all times, your child does not have to take the swim check.

To use the water slide, campers must be at least 48 inches tall and pass at least the first part of the swim check.

At the Y, safety is our number one priority. Please help us by following our pool guidelines and listening to our lifeguards, who have a serious responsibility to prevent and react to emergencies. We believe in the values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility, so please be considerate of others. Running, diving, horseplay, and inappropriate language or behavior is not acceptable.

What is the high ropes course and when is it available?

Our high ropes course is a series of activities that call for heightened physical challenges while following precise instructions. High ropes activities include the Leap of Faith, Flying Squirrel, Zip Line, and a Challenge Course 35 feet in the air. The high ropes course is open for Family Camp weekends, and on some Parent Child weekends. Because of the physical challenges you may encounter while completing the high ropes course, to participate, you must be at least 11 years old. For everyone’s safety, please help us by following our high ropes course guidelines.

What is the Rags Program and how do we participate?

Through the Rags Program, children and adults set and complete character-based challenges that progressively build upon each other, helping you:

  • Understand your character in terms of spirit, mind and body
  • Take on increasing responsibility
  • Grow to become a better friend, better family member, better leader and better citizen of our community

Each Rag represents a specific challenge and is accompanied by a personal challenge developed by you, with the help of a camp counselor. The Rags Program promotes self-reflection, self-improvement and self-reliance and serves as one of the most effective tools for teaching and instilling leadership skills.

The Rags Program is available for families with youth ages 12 and older. To participate or for more details, please see our staff.


2018 Family Camp Brochure
Family Camp Participant Guide
YMCA Camp Campbell Facility Map
Climbing Wall/Ropes Course Liability Waiver
Liability Waiver Form
Financial Assistance Application
Volunteer Application

YMCA Camp Campbell
16275 Highway 9
Boulder Creek, CA 95006

Bookmark and Share