Summer Camp FAQ’s

Where is YMCA Camp Chingachgook located?

YMCA Camp Chingachgook is located in the southern Adirondacks on beautiful Lake George.
Chingachgook is located an hour and fifteen minutes north of Albany. Once you take I-87 (Northway) to Queensbury, we are about 25 minutes off of Exit 20.

Click here for directions to camp

 

What are the ages of campers?

Overnight campers are 7-15 years old. Day campers are ages 5-10. Adventure trip campers are 11-17 years old. CITs must be at least 16 years old.

 

Where do Chingachgook campers come from?

While many of our campers come from NY state, we have campers from all across the country & world including France, China, Israel, Spain, and Russia just to name a few.

 

Is Camp Chingachgook accredited?

YMCA Camp Chingachgook is accredited by the American Camping Association and certified by New York State Department of Health meeting the strictest codes of safety and excellence.

 

How much does camp cost?

Click here for our dates and rates.

 

Do you offer financial assistance?

As a charitable, non -profit organization, the Capital District YMCA ensures that no child is denied the life-changing experience of camp because of an inability to pay. To apply for a scholarship made possible through donations to the YMCA’s Annual Campaign complete the scholarship application found on our dates & rates page. Applications are reviewed every two -three weeks and awarded on a sliding scale based on total family income.

 

How do I make payment for summer camp?

During registration, you will select your preferred payment type and if you would like to pay in installments or as a lump sum. A $300 deposit is due at the time of registration, with balances for June and July programs due by May 15th and programs that begin after August programs due by June 15th. In fairness to everyone, we will make substitutions from the waiting list if fees are not received by the applicable due date.

There is a $25 processing fee to cancel, change, or drop sessions after your initial registration. After February 1 deposits become nonrefundable.

There is an additional charge for campers taking waterskiing classes: $77 for two-week sessions and $44 for one week sessions. You will pay this fee on Opening Day.

 

What is the camper to counselor ratio?

In the cabins the camper to counselor ratio on average is 5:1. Overall at camp the camper to staff ratio is 3:1. Our staff have over 200 certifications in courses such as Wilderness First Aid, Lifeguarding, Challenge Course, and CPR. All staff participate in wilderness training and staff orientation week training.

 

Can my child request to bunk with a friend?

During online registration campers have the opportunity request to share a cabin with up to TWO campers. This request must be mutual and the campers must be within 12 months of age. We make every effort to honor cabin requests but they cannot be guaranteed. If there is someone your camper would rather not bunk with please call camp to speak with the camp director.

 

What if my child has dietary restrictions?

Our Food Service team is prepared to handle a variety of dietary restrictions including allergies, gluten free, and vegetarian.  Our priority is that every child enjoys three nutritious meals while at camp. We encourage you to speak with our Food Service Director prior to your child’s arrival so we can be prepared with alternatives as needed.

 

Will I be able to contact my child while at camp?

Your overnight, adventure trips or 46er camper may receive mail or email regularly. A letter from home can do wonders to help a camper who is homesick feel better! Dropping a letter in the mail before your camper is dropped off at camp can ensure it gets to them while they are at Chingachgook. Campers can also receive emails sent to them through your ONLINE PARENT ACCOUNT. These emails are delivered daily prior to dinner time.

Please address your camper’s mail:
Camper’s Name, Cabin Number (if known)
Camp Chingachgook
1872 Pilot Knob Road
Kattskill Bay, NY 12844.

Campers don’t have access to a phone or email while at camp, but they can purchase envelopes, postcards and stamps at the camp store. Sending your camper with pre-addressed envelopes for family and friends can increase chances of letter writing, but camp is a busy time!

You will also have the opportunity to view pictures of your camper on your parent account. Our camp photographer posts over 100 pictures each day of daily activities. We also post updates once a day on the Chingachgook Facebook page.

 

What should we pack for camp?

Check out packing tips and print a suggested packing list here.

 

Are electronics allowed at camp?

We do not allow electronics at camp. No cell phones, Ipods, Ipads, CD players, lap tops, video gaming devices. Camp is a chance to “unplug” and connect to each other and nature.

 

 

What can I do to help prevent homesickness while my child is at camp?

Being in a new environment and amongst new faces while at camp can lead to campers missing home or feeling anxiety. Helping your camper prepare for what they will encounter will help them adjust quicker to their time at camp. Here are some steps to take:

  1. Talk your camper through what camp will be like: walking to the bathroom in the dark, traveling to skill classes, picking outfits for each day, deciding if they want to go swimming during free swim.
  2. Give your child opportunities to spend away from home, such as sleepovers with friends or visiting family members. These can encourage independence and simulate camp life for them.
  3. Remain positive about your camper’s experience. Let a camper know that homesickness is normal and provide coping mechanisms, such as letter writing or sharing feelings with others. Promises to come pick up a child if they are unhappy can stunt camper’s experiences, stopping them from connecting with friends and counselors.
  4. Visit camp during the year! Chingachgook offers a number of opportunities to come out and visit. We hold open house tours every Sunday in the spring and host free family days in the Fall, Winter and Spring.

 

What happens if my camper is homesick while at camp?

The staff here at Camp Chingachgook attend a week long training at the beginning of the summer. This includes training specific to dealing with homesickness. If your camper does encounter homesickness at camp (and studies have shown that most campers do!), their counselors will work with the unit director to help your camper.

Your camper’s unit director will call you if there is any signs of extreme homesickness (trouble sleeping, not eating, or other signs). We do find that most cases of homesickness resolve themselves, but we will follow up with you if the situation continues. Feel free to share any concerns you may have with the Unit Director, either when you’re dropping your camper off, or during your camper’s session.

 

Is there a swim test?

Under supervision of the waterfront staff, all campers attempt a continuous 220-yard (which equals 1/8 mile or nine 75-foot lengths) swim test on Opening Day. Campers must demonstrate two lengths each of front crawl and back crawl, one length breast stroke and may swim at whatever pace is comfortable.

Campers that don’t complete this stroke test will be enrolled in a YMCA Progressive Swimming skill class. Enrollment in sailing, waterskiing, and canoeing is also dependent on completing a swim test of either 220 or 440 yards.

 

 What time is drop off?

All campers should arrive and register in the dining hall on Opening Day (Sunday) at the following times:

 

• Campers ages 7 – 12, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
• Campers ages 13 – 16, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
• Adventure Trippers, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
• All Session 6 campers, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

 

A family or car pool with both junior and senior campers may arrive between 1:00 and 2:30 p.m.
Please do not arrive earlier than these times.

 

What time is pick up?

The last Friday of your session is Closing Day, and it is an event for the whole family! Your family can enjoy swimming, a family cookout and a session slideshow before departing from Chingachgook with your camper.

 

Closing Day Schedule
3:30 – 4:30 p.m. – Beginner’s Bay Open for Swimming
4:30 – 5:30 p.m. – Junior Camper Pick Up (All campers during Session 6)
4:30 – 6:30 p.m. – Camp Store Open
5:00 – 6:00 p.m. – Senior Camper & Adventure Tripper Pick Up
5:00 – 7:00 p.m. – Family Cookout at Lakeside Pavilion
6:00 – 7:00 p.m. – Adventure Trips Slideshow in Rotary Lodge
6:30 – 7:00 p.m. – Summer Camp Slideshow in Rotary Lodge
7:00 – 7:15 p.m. – Departure for families

 

If you need to pick your child up earlier than scheduled on closing day, please be in contact with the office at least 24 hours prior so your camper has adequate time to pack up belongings.

 

My camper is attending two sessions in a row, can they stay at camp the weekend in between?

Campers may remain at camp between two sessions for holdover. During holdover, campers stay with counselors and receive laundry service, a phone call home and enjoy camp activities. Holdover campers enjoy a relaxing day on Saturday before the start of their next camp session.

There is a $100 charge for each camper staying the weekend. A camp director and nurse also provide supervision during hold-over weekends. Space for hold-over is limited, with a typical enrollment capacity of twenty campers.

 

What is in the camp store? Can I or my camper visit it?

The camp store is open on Opening and Closing Days for families to visit. Campers will also have the opportunity to visit it once during the session. Souvenir clothing items, patches, postcards, as well as stamps, pens, flashlights, batteries and toiletries can be purchased. Items in our store range in price from $1 to $50. During two week sessions, campers also have the opportunity to visit the store during excursion prep day for camping mess kits and other excursion materials.

Your camper will make purchases in the store from money in their store account. Parents can open a store account and add money to it through your online parent account prior to Opening Day.