From the Blog

Bernie-Isms: Do You Know Our Camp Language?

If you have never been taught the “language of Bernie”, now is your chance! Below is a glossary of terms to educate any Bernie "novices" about our summer camp lingo.


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  • Waiter - Person who is sent to the dining hall at the beginning of flagpole to set the table for their cabin group.
  • Flagpole - Center of camp where we sing songs and begin activities. Overnight Camp flagpole in in front of the Main House.  Day Camp flagpole is by the basketball court.
  • Free Choice - Camp activity blocks, selected by individual campers.
  • All Camp Day - Themed events on the Saturday of each Overnight Camp session and Wednesday of each Day Camp session.
  • Monday Fun Day - First Monday of each Overnight Camp session, set aside for unit bonding time.
  • Rumination - Each night of Overnight Camp before bed, cabin mates gather to discuss their day.  Each camper has a chance to share what they learned about themselves that day and how they grew as an individual.  This is when campers take their experiences and develop them into something more.  They discover things about themselves: skills they’ve learned, connections they’ve formed.  This is where the real magic of camp happens!
  • Ambassador/ Lantern Program - Campers who refer friends to camp are inducted into the Lantern Circle with a ceremony and small keepsake.
  • Candleboat - On the last night of Overnight Camp, we hold a special campfire to celebrate the end of summer.
  • Escapadé  - The main area of camp is open for a variety of sports and large games, including tetherball, human foosball, gaga, giant Kerplunk, Kan Jam, Cornhole, Slackline, 9 Square in the Air, Pickleball, and more.  Campers move between events at their own pace.
  • Smorgasbord– A wide array of new and unique activities that change every day. Campers choose their own adventure!
  • Holdovers– Campers who choose to stay more than one two-week session can stay for our holdover weekends.  Each holdover includes activities, a day trip, and laundry services. 



  • The Cedars - Benches in shady area by the pool.
  • The Hill - Past the pavilion, these cabins are for the Iroquois and CITs.
  • The Nation -Rustic cabins by the dirtbike field for older male campers.
  • Dr. Lee's Workshop - This is a workshop in the basement of the Dining Hall where Woodworking takes places for Overnight campers ages 13+.
  • Trading Post -Camp store off of the Dining Hall porch which sells snacks and souvenirs.



  • Paddles - Given to campers and staff after 5 years at camp, or 3 years for internationals.  10 year double paddles and 6 year international double paddles are also awarded.
  • “I Am Third” - Passed among the staff, awarded to a staff member who puts a higher power first, others second and themselves third.
  • Golden Broom - Awarded to the cleanest cabins daily.
  • Character Awards - Given at the end of camp sessions for caring, honesty, respect, responsibility and camp spirit.
  • Spirit Points - Awarded to Units for exemplary behavior exhibited by campers.
  • Spirit, Mind & Body Award - Given to one standout CIT at the end of each session.
  • Unit Award - Presented at the end of each session to the most spirited unit, who embody the 4 core values.


Open House Dates

Come visit YMCA Camp Bernie to see where your child can spend their summer!

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Women’s Wellness Weekend

Date: May 1-3, 2020

Ladies, you deserve a reward for all the hard work you do! It's time to take a break from your hectic, everyday…

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