YMCA Camp Kitaki

Learning and Growing

Learning and Growing

A lot of folks will ask me what I think the most important factor to Camp’s success is.  There are many answers that I can give: camp has amazing full and part time staff, a wonderful location and facility, a rich tradition and so much more.  All of those things are critical, but could be squandered without one driving realization…we can be better.

In my opinion the key to YMCA Camp Kitaki’s success is intentionally recognizing that we can be better, that we don’t know everything, that the world changes and we need to adapt, that what we did last year isn’t good enough, and that each and every kid that comes through our gates is unique and new.  

It isn’t easy.  Here are some things that we do to ensure we are always improving!

  • Mid America Camping Conference – Each January we attend this YMCA regional conference to learn from the best in and outside the field on Youth Development, Staff Training and more.  This year I was honored to be asked to present on Summer Staff Culture, and Nat and I presented on Training Your Staff to Rock at Youth Work and the entire team attended many great sessions and conversations.  Learn More about the MACC!
  • American Camping Association Accreditation and Conference – We maintain accreditation through the American Camp Association and also attend the annual fall conference.  Learn More about ACA Accreditation!
  • Iowa Y Camp Gathering – As the only YMCA resident camp in Nebraska we have been adopted by 4 Y Camps in Iowa, meeting with them annually to discuss local trends and topics related to Camping.  (The great camps we learn with include Des Moines Y Camp, YMCA Camp Abe Lincoln, YMCA Camp Foster, and YMCA Camp Wapsie)
  • Retreats – Each year the full time staff of Kitaki have three different multi-day retreats.  One in winter and one in spring that are planning for the upcoming summer.  The final one is in the fall and is used to evaluate the recently completed summer and set goals for next year.  
  • Committee of Management – We work with a dedicated group of volunteers of past alumni, families, and community leaders who help us to review information, set goals and make decisions as Camp Kitaki’s Committee of Management.  
  • Evaluations – We listen when we get feedback!  Our summer camp evaluations are reviewed by full time staff and volunteers to set goals and learn from each year.  
  • Online Forums – Technology being what it is we are able to take advantage of many online learning opportunities such as Webinars and forums including, Go Camp Pro, and Summer Camp Professionals.  

This is just a small sampling of what we do!  We want to be better.  If you have any feedback for us don’t hesitate to reach out.  We would love to hear from you.

Here’s to Summer 2018.  What, undoubtedly, will be the best summer yet.



Summer Camp Is over 68% Full:  Register Today

Cabin Fever:  February 10-11, Age 7-14

Masterpiece Arts Weekend: February 23-25