YMCA Camp Kitaki

Summer Camp

Summer Camp

Summer camp is one of the highest positive-impact activities in which a child can participate. So much can happen in a week's time to improve that ever so fragile self-esteem that we all try to instill into our kids.

We believe a summer camp experience is one of the very best investments you can make in your child and we look forward to seeing you at YMCA Camp Kitaki this summer.

Program Details, Prices and Dates

Click the program below for more details, prices and dates.


Age 7-9
1/2 week program to try camp out for our youngest campers.

Age: 7-8
Specially designed for our youngest overnight campers.

Age: 10-17
Spend 1/2 the day taking care of and riding a horse!

Age: 13-15
Trailblazers Camp focuses on individual challenge and growth.

Age: 13-17
Canoe the Niobrara river near Valentine, NE!

Age: 15-17
This capstone experience includes a trip to our camp in northern Minnesota.

Age: 11-13
Adventure is out there!

Discover what life is like at Camp Kitaki

Discover what life is like at Camp Kitaki
Discover what life is like at Camp Kitaki

A Day at KitakiActivitiesAsk a director



The key to any camp experience is the staff.  At Camp Kitaki we pride ourselves on the young men and women we select to be part of our "Super Staff".  In recruiting our staff we look for the best role models that have a passion for working with kids.


At camp, we have a ratio of about 1 staff member for every 4 kids.  This small ratio gives us the chance to get to know campers on an individual level, and allows lots of one on one attention when teaching skills such as canoeing, archery, or horseback riding.


Prior to joining our staff, all candidates go through a thorough process, which includes a detailed application, full interview conducted by Kitaki's directors, at least three checks of references, and a full background screening and sex offender registry check conducted by a third party background check company.  Many of our staff have also "grown up" at Kitaki through being a camper, and a member of our Senior Kitaki Kids program. 


Prior to working with kids our staff attend an intense 10 day training program, including instruction on all the necessary skills for being a camp staff member.  Topics of staff training range from how to lead games, to how to teach children skills, working with campers who are homesick, bullying prevention, child abuse prevention, safety procedures and much much more.  Staff who work in specialized areas have additional trainings or certifications, these include our lifeguards, horse wranglers, and challenge course staff.

Three of Kitaki's full-time directors live on site 24/7. This allows us to provide immediate feeback to our staff, and provides for opportunities to help our staff learn and grow each day.

Health and Safety

Health and Safety
Health and Safety

Safety is #1 at Camp Kitaki

We know that you are trusting us with the most important thing in your world, your child.  We don't take that trust lightly!  Camping programs are ones that do have inherint risks, any time you bring kids to the outdoors and mix in horses, water and more there is a risk involved.  We strongly believe that those risks are worth it, and the outcomes from a week of camp speak for themselves.

Mitigating Risk

Walking down the street has risks, and so does Summer Camp.  However we are successful at mitigating those risks by following industry best guidelines in all of our activities, and hiring great staff who go through intensive training, who will always keep safety in mind.  All staff are CPR and First Aid Certified.

American Camp Association Accreditation

YMCA Camp Kitaki maintains Accreditation through the American Camp Association, the industry standard best practices for summer camps.  This accreditation sets standards that are reviewed by staff annually and by outside visitors on a tri-annual basis.

The ACA-Accreditation Program:

  • Educates camp owners and directors in the administration of key aspects of camp operation, program quality, and the health and safety of campers and staff.
  • Establishes guidelines for needed policies, procedures, and practices for which the camp is responsible for ongoing implementation.

ACA standards help with every aspect of camp management and operation:

  • Site: Fire protection, food service, sleeping quarters, utility and maintenance systems.
  • Transportation: Procedures concerning drivers, vehicles, and traffic on site.
  • Health and Wellness: Staff qualifications, facilities requirements, record keeping, storage and distribution of medicines, contact information, health forms.
  • Operational Management: Safety regulations, emergency communication systems, procedures for intruders, personal property regulations.
  • Human Resources: Staff qualifications, screening and training, supervision ratios, and procedures.
  • Program Activities: Aquatics, adventure/challenge, trips, horseback riding, staff qualifications for special programs.


Training and Decision Matrix

Staff are the key to maintaining a safe environment, and our training focus is on safety, as any of our staff can tell you Safety is #1 at camp.  All staff attend our 10 day training which includes safety procedures, emergency procedures, weather procedures, emergency prevention, and more.  In addition each staff member is trained on the decision matrix, a way to ensure that all decisions made by the staff member are made with safety and the kids experience in mind. 

Why Camp? Outcomes and Benefits

Why Camp? Outcomes and Benefits
Why Camp? Outcomes and Benefits

The camp experience is a vital part of the education and development of children.  As a child development program, Camp is able to focus on the developing of social skills, self esteem and independence.  The time spent at camp with caring adult role models helps build independence, especially when kids are faced with the challenges of learning new skills, meeting new people, and having success at both. 

The purpose of YMCA Camp Kitaki is to build strong kids and adults through programs and services that develop positive identities, values, relationships and skills in a unique natural setting.

Supportive Environment

Camp provides a positive environment where staff and kids work together on daily living tasks, and where challenges are presented to kids to help them grow. 

Educational Approach

We focus on the aspects of education that our schools struggle to fit in with their requirments.  Social learning, hands on interaction, imaginative free play, music and arts play and lots of healthy and fun physical activity makes Camp Kitaki a place of learning that kids love to go to.

Independent Growth

We all know that we as parents won't be able to be there for our kids at every moment of every day.  Science has shown that kids who are given the opportunity to have independent experiences in safe environments like camp, are more likely to succeed when faced with the transition to becoming their own adult.  Camp is a great way to ensure a child has "on their own" experiences, while still being supported and supervised by caring adults.


So many people have grown so much because of camp.  See some of their stories here.