Overnight Camp at YMCA Camp Widjiwagan is an experience unlike any other. Nestled on 300 acres on Percy Priest Lake, Widji provides campers ages 6- 17 years old an unmatched opportunity to practice independence and foster friendships. When your camper attends Overnight Camp at Widji, they are encouraged to try new things without fear of failure. They are accepted, loved, and celebrated for who they are. At camp, kids learn to be the best version of themselves.
THE CABIN EXPERIENCE
Incredible Staff, New Best Friends
INSIDE THE CABINS
Our state-of-the-art cabins provide the perfect home away from home for campers. With air-conditioning, attached restrooms and private showers, and plenty of room for making memories and rainy-day games, you’ll camper will be comfortable and cool during their stay. *Yurt Village restrooms and showers are in the close-by Tortuga Lodge
Cabins go far beyond just a building, however. We know how difficult it can be to show up to summer camp without knowing anyone. Our staff is extensively trained to ensure all campers are being included, making friends, and being respected. Whether coming alone or with a friend, your camper will leave Widji with friends for life.
HELPING KIDS GROW
Camp Builds Strong Kids
Camp is the perfect place for campers to practice independence. For many campers, this is the first experience away from parents for an extended period. That can be both exciting and nerve-wracking, and our counselors are there every step of the way, helping guide campers and practice good decision-making skills.
Whether your camper is coming to camp with friends or doesn’t anyone at Widji, campers leave with lifelong memories and new friends for life. Throughout the week, overnight campers have plenty of opportunities to bond as a cabin, from winning the Spirit Stick to Big Game to Cabin Acts, as well as chances to work together and take on challenges as a group.
No phones and electronics at camp is our favorite rule. Each week takes a similar patter, with the earlier days of the week being tough for campers to remember what it’s like to not have a phone in their hand or pocket constantly. But by the middle of the week, campers have adapted and are thriving without electronics. Living in the moment isn’t hard at a place like Widji.
Because campers are on site 24/7, Overnight Camp programming is quite different than Day Camp programming. Activities fall into one of three categories for our Overnight Campers. Each session looks a little different at Overnight Camp, ensuring no matter how many times your camper returns, camp is fun and exciting each time.
These are activities such as ziplining, giant swing or banana boat that each group gets an allotted time for during the week and are scheduled in advance.
CABIN OR VILLAGE ACTS
Typically done during the evening after Day Campers leave for the day, Cabin Acts are activities that the cabin decides on together and change each week. These activities are not scheduled in advance, which allows the counselors to use their creativity and create activities based on what their specific cabin or village is interested in. For example, an Adventure Village favorite is Floats & Goats, where campers do goat yoga at the barn then have Root Beer Floats.
Several times during the week, all Overnight Campers will do activities together. Sometimes these are weekly staples in the schedule, such as Big Game on Wednesday evening or Undersiege on Friday morning. And sometimes, they change from week like Movie Nights or Just Dance Parties. And sometimes, they are specific to that session, like our huge 4th of July Party or that time we threw a Taylor Swift karaoke concert.
Timeline of a Typical Day (and Night)!
|Rise and shine!
|For late drop-offs, stop by the office to check-in
|Held at Front Porch Amphitheater, Overnight Campers start the day together with fun skits and cheers
|Activity Period 1
|Example: Turf or Climbing at Mt. Widji
|Activity Period 2
|Example: Slip ‘n slide or water games
|Activity Period 3
|Example: Giant Swing or Biking
|All allergies and dietary restrictions can be accommodated at camp, just let us know when registering if you camper has special meal needs
|Activity Period 4
|On exceptionally hot days, campers take extended rest hours to remain in air-conditioning during the hottest parts of the day
|Swims alternate between the pool and lake
|Example: Floats & Goats
|Example: Big Game, Moving Nights or Just Dance Parties
|Cabin Time + Shower Time
VILLAGES & AGE GROUPS
Your camper's new best friends!
From Frontier to Pioneer, each of Widji’s Overnight Camp age groups are referred to as "Villages." Each Village is then broken down into cabin groups, who spend the week together and travel as a unit.
7-9 years old. Our youngest overnight campers, Frontier Village is an incredible first overnight camp experience. Caring counselors make sure campers are having fun and go above and beyond to make sure any homesickness is kept at bay. Even the most nervous Frontier campers leave with positive memories and can’t wait to return next year.
9-11 years old. Building on the Frontier experience, Explorer Village start taking on new challenges and making the most of their time at camp. Using the "challenge by choice" method, our staff encourages campers to step out of their comfort zone and try new things while being supportive and respecting boundaries.
11-13 years old. One of our largest Villages, Adventure Village is perfectly named as this age group is ready for adventure. Adventure campers can do every camp activity and get the opportunity to do things like outdoor cooking or climbing the cargo net that younger campers are not old enough to do yet.
13-15 years old. Our oldest traditional overnight campers, Pioneers embody the 4-Core Values and are looked to as role models by younger campers. Pioneers lead by example for all-camp activities like the Big Game and Under Siege.
7-9 years old. For younger campers not quite ready for a full week of camp, Voyager is the perfect program to get a taste of what overnight camp is like without being overwhelming. Voyager campers check-in on Sunday with the rest of Overnight Camp, but check-out on Wednesday afternoon for a half-week of camp programming and fun.
Setting the Industry Standard in Camp Staff
An exceptional camp experience starts with exceptional staff. We know you, as parents and guardians, don’t trust just anyone with your child, and we don’t either. Hiring only the best of the best, Widji ensures each staff member is up the high standards we hold for attitude, safety responsibility, and decision making while delivering a fun, magical experience to each and every camper.
Applying or even previously working at camp doesn’t guarantee a spot on the Widji team. The carefully selected staff are only the best, chosen specifically for their positive attitude, kids first mindset, safety and responsibility priorities, and their ability to create innovative, magical activities each day for campers.
Camp Widji’s staff training is one of the most thorough in the camping industry. In addition to Basic First Aid and CPR certifications, all staff are trained to help campers grow and have the best camp experience possible.
OUTSTANDING ROLE MODELS
Our staff aren’t just great counselors, they’re great people. Widji staff embody the 4-Core Values that we teach at camp everywhere they go, from school to jobs and internships. Our staff are role models both at and away from camp.
SKILL & THEME CAMPS
A Whole New World Awaits
From Jam Camp to Widji Trips, specialty camps have a specific schedule that allows campers to focus on a specific skill area each day. Campers still participate in traditional camp activities such as swim time and the Big Game but have a portion of their schedule dedicated to one area.
Theme Camps allow campers to be fully immersed in a new world. From Harry Potter to Survivor, theme camps aren't just a week at camp, they're a week in another world. From the moment campers arrive, themed programming begins and continues throughout the week.