Our full-time staff have many years experience running overnight youth camps. Three full-time administrative staff are on site 24 hours a day.
Our staff are college aged role models who have attended at least 10 full days of staff training. Staff are screened and selected through a full interview process. Reference checks are completed on all hired staff and all staff undergo a complete background check annually.
All of our staff are trained in First Aid, CPR, and AED. Staff in specialty activity areas including aquatics activities, horse activities, and challenge course activities undergo additional trainings and certifications and annual skill verifications.
|7:00||Polar Bear Swim (Optional)|
|7:30||Flag Raising, Chapel|
|5:00||Juice Jam and Cabin Meeting|
|6:15||Flag Lowering and Dinner|
|7:00||Camp Store and Downtown Kitaki|
|9:00||Shower, Vespers and Bed|
Can my child choose what activities to participate in?
Camp Kitaki believes in the power of choice and self directed play.
Choice is implemented throughout our program in different age appropriate ways. For example, our younger campers may choose between three options presented at the beginning of an activity hour, while our older campers may choose activities that they will visit multiple times throughout the week.
We even end the camp week with Choose Your Own Adventure time, where campers can get choose more time at the activities they personally connect with the most!
Each of Camp Kitaki's programs follow a unique schedule designed specifically for that age group and experience. As campers age, programs and activities progress with them so each year they come back they will discover something new they can do. Due to our progression, safety procedures, and individual choices made by kids, Campers will not experience all activities.
|Horse Rides||Archery||Swimming Pool||Kayaks|
|Natural Play Area||Makerspace||GaGa||Music Playground|
|Canoeing||Tango Tower||Nature Games||Capture the Flag|
Meals at Camp
All meals at camp are served family style with campers sitting with their cabin group and counselors. Campers are assigned to help set up and clean up after meals by serving as "Tablehoppers" for their cabin. Special meals are served during the week including a cabin cookout, a picnic lunch, and a breakfast served at the cabin!
Meals also include announcements, challenges, and fun visits from the Camp Kitaki Sheriff. Of course, a zany song finishes each meal!
Camp Kitaki serves a menu that appeals to the majority of kids. Meals include camp favorites like pizza, grilled cheese, spaghetti, and tacos. All meals are balanced with fruits and vegetables. We recognize that kids can be picky, so there is always an option of sandwiches (sun butter and jelly or lunch meat) if the main course doesn't appeal to your camper. In addition, a vegetarian option is served at every meal.
Allergies and Restrictions
If your camper has a special diet, restriction, or allergy please make sure to note that on your camp forms, and should you have questions please contact us to discus how to best meet your camper's needs. While it is common for us to have vegetarian staff and campers, some other restrictions might be more rare and require more advanced planning. Parents frequently assist in planning the menu and sending additional items they know suit their camper's needs. Our weekly menu is available upon request should you wish to plan!
Camp Kitaki's kitchen is peanut and treenut safe, we do not serve products that contain these as listed ingredients. However, despite our requests, occasionally campers or parents might bring items into camp that have these ingredients so it is important that we are made aware of any allergies your child may have.
Cabins at Camp Kitaki are modern and include air-conditioning* to keep our campers cool. Each cabin group will consist of 10 kids, 2-3 of our college age staff and 1-2 of our Senior Kitaki Kids - high school age participants in our Job Training program.
*Campers in our Rustic Adventure Camps, Ranger, and Niobrara, stay in tents and a screened in cabin that does not have air conditioning.
Safety and Accreditation
YMCA Camp Kitaki is accredited by the American Camp Association, the standard for operations of overnight camp programs.
All staff are certified in First Aid/CPR/AED
Specialized activities, including our Aquatics, Challenge Course, and Horse activities are supervised by staff with additional training and certifications.
Simply put: Call you. We help children face their fears of independence every day and are experts in how to talk to children about missing home, why they are uncomfortable at camp, and what we can do about it. However YOU are the expert on your child. If campers talk to us about wanting to go home, we chat with them, look for any issues in the camp environment, and get them focused on the positives of camp and what they want to do next. Then we call you and discuss what was said, and what you feel is the best way to move forward in supporting your child. We find that kids often experience some discomfort in the first full day or two of camp, but that quickly goes away as the child warms up to new friends, the staff, and the activities we have at camp.
For more information, the American Camp Association has put together a great article about homesickness.
One aspect that is central to the growth that kids experience at camp is independence. A large part of establishing a feeling of independence comes from limiting the access to technology and communications. This, coupled with the very busy schedule, means that campers don't have time to wait by a phone. However, we do encourage campers to write letters, and parents are encouraged to stay in touch and can send letters and emails to their camper during the week.
The majority of our campers attend Kitaki without knowing anyone ahead of time, and everything we do at camp is designed to help campers make friends. From our cabin structure, to cabin meetings, our staff are trained on how to lead games and activities, and process those games to help break down barriers and build up social skills in kids. Your child will make friends at camp!
Camp Kitaki staff monitor the weather 24 hours a day. We have emergency alert radios in our office and in the three full-time directors' cabins at camp that notify of us impending weather. We also monitor daily conditions, such as heat and humidity, making modifications to the program to ensure that kids will be safe and well hydrated. In the event of a weather emergency, all staff and kids are brought to our shelters in the lower in-ground level of our cabins and dining hall where we sing songs, do skits, and continue to have a blast despite the weather. We will post updates on our Facebook page as conditions develop, but please note that phone calls are difficult to manage during these times.
Medication is collected during check in and a written distribution plan is completed for our health specialists. Medication is then distributed directly to the camper by our health staff. Medication is typically distributed at meals and bed time, but other times are possible if needed. Campers are able to keep fast acting emergency medication, such as an inhaler, on them or with the staff assigned to the camper's group if needed, however ALL medication must be checked in and approved for this purpose. Camp Kitaki maintains a stock of over the counter medication so it is not necessary for you to send medication "just in case".
Yes! Information on our Financial Assistance program and registration policies can be found here.