First Time Campers

First Time Campers

A camper's first time overnight camp experience can be filled with a wide variation of mixed emotions for both kids and parents. Both you and your child might feel anxious at the thought of being away from home for the first time or be filled with excitement not knowing what the week will hold.

At YMCA Camp Watia we thrive at making sure that your child has an incredible experience. Our goal is to help teach your camper the following:

  • Lifelong skills
  • Challenge them in a positive and supportive environment
  • Help them expand their comfort zones
  • Create long lasting friendships and unforgettable memories

We are here to help make this the best summer ever for both parents and campers.

Watia Quick Facts:

  • We were founded in 2016.
  • Our cabins have a maximum of 12 campers and at least 2 staff.
  • We maintain no greater than a 1:6 staff to camper ratio.
  • Each session begins on a Sunday and ends on a Friday.
  • We serve campers 7-15 years old and our "Counselors in Training" are 16-17 years old.
  • Cabin Counselors are least 18 years old and high school graduates.
  • Junior Cabin Counselors are 17 years old and must have successfully completed our CIT program.
  • We average 100 campers per session with a maximum capacity of 120.

Tips on how you can help your first time camper:

  • Camp is like a family and campers live and experience Watia through their cabin unit. Cabins are determined by age/gender are are lead by passionate and caring role models.
  • Go over the schedule, packing list and camper forms
  • Reassure them that their nervousness, anxiety and/or excitement is completely normal and that you are proud of them
    • Explain homesickness and reassure them again that things will be okay and that you are proud of them. Homesickness is a normal part of growing up, being away from home, and is common at camp.
    • Our staff are well trained to help support them during the week and help guide them through any tough times.
  • Have them create a list of any questions that will help them understand their experience and feel free to contact us with that list.
  • We also have two summer camp previews where you can take a tour, meet our staff, and even try out some activities.
    • Saturday, April 14, 2018, (1 pm- 4pm)
    • Saturday, May 12, 2018, (1 pm- 4pm)
  • Explaining sleeping and shower arrangements
    • Cabins are bunk bed style and there can be up to 12 kids in cabin.
    • Campers are asked to help with cleaning up the cabin along with making their bed and keeping their belongings organized.
    • Showers and bathroom stalls have privacy changing areas and stall doors . Camper are encouraged to shower daily because of all the fun we have during the day!
  • Write to your camper while at camp
    • You can even bring letters at check-in and mark on the envelope what day you want the letter delivered. 
    • Campers are required to leave their electronic devices at home but can receive one-way emails through our parent email system. 

We want our campers and parents to have an enjoyable and smooth experience with YMCA Camp Watia. If there are any other questions you may have that we haven’t answered, please do not hesitate to contact us via email at [email protected] or by phone at 828-209-9600.