“I don’t know what I would do without camp, it has changed my life in such a positive way.”
Camp Bernie Camper
“[My daughter] had a wonderful first time experience and still keeps in touch with her camp friends. This is something that she will cherish for the rest of her life.”
Camp Bernie Camper Parent
YMCA CAMP BERNIEPhone: (908) 832-5315
Fax: (908) 832-9078
Email: Click Here
YMCA Camp Bernie’s Overnight Camp is a traditional, co-ed program for kids entering grades 2-10. Campers are grouped into Units by gender and age, with each Unit divided into cabins composed of 8-10 campers and 2-3 counselors. Our traditions and camp spirit unite our overall camp community as campers are engaged in instructional activities, structured free play and memorable all-camp events each session.
Our overnight camp program is intentionally designed for campers to have fun while realizing their individual and collective potential. An overnight camp experience is a unique opportunity for children to gain a sense of independence with the freedom to be themselves. YMCA Camp Bernie provides an exciting, safe community for campers to enjoy the outdoors and build lifelong memories and friendships. Our incredible variety of activities allows campers to build confidence, try new things and have fun. A combination of personal choice activities and scheduled programming means that campers have the freedom to customize their experience.
Our staff are positive role models who are extensively pre-screened and trained to ensure that all counselors are mature, patient, skilled and responsible.
Activities including swimming, arts and crafts, basketball, archery, climbing tower, volleyball, canoeing, mountain biking and much, much more.
Today’s children face more stressful situations than we can imagine. Kids often react by indulging in unhealthy behaviors. As parents and childcare providers, we feel the need to protect them, but we must remember that our goal is to prepare them to be happy and productive adults. In 2014, YMCA Camp Bernie will be focusing on helping campers to build the 7 C’s: competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping, and control in order to better deal with stressful situations. Together we can raise successful children who will make their unique and substantial contributions to the world.
Dates And Rates
|Sessions||Theme||Dates (2 Weeks)||2015 Rates|
|Sessions||Theme||Dates (1 Weeks)||2015 Rates|
Forms & Downloads
- Overnight Camp Information
- Camper Information Form
- Camper Health History Form
- Horseback Questionnaire
- Minibike Questionnaire
- Packing List
- Participation Form
- Scholarship Letter
- Scholarship Application
"The whole process from camp tours to pick-up on the last day of the session is organized. We were always kept informed which helped me as a camper parent. I especially liked the first 48 hrs update call from camp, it made me feel at ease that my child is settled in and having a blast." — Overnight Camp Parent
"When I pick him up he is usually crying. Not because he is happy he is going home, he is sad that he is leaving all his friends he has made at camp." — Overnight Camp Parent
"My daughter always experiences personal growth at Camp and makes nice connections with other campers. This is a tribute to the Camp Directors and Staff." — Overnight Camp Parent
Frequently Asked Questions
Can my child be grouped with his/her friend?
We accept one request per camper and both children must request each other. With an age gap, the older child must agree to move down to the younger group. We do not allow multiple requests as this can lead to cliques and some kids feeling excluded.
What do you do to make first time campers feel comfortable?
We help the children make new friends through cabin chats and team building exercises. Additionally, we call parents/guardians within 48 hours of a first time overnight camper’s arrival.
What are the qualifications of your staff?
80% of counselors are 18 and up; mostly college students. 17 year old JCs are paired with a Senior Counselor in Overnight Camp, and lead younger groups in Day Camp. Counselors are interviewed, have a minimum of three references checked and clear a Criminal Background Screening. Specialty staff members carry certifications relevant to their program areas. On average, 1/3 of our counselors were campers at YMCA Camp Bernie helping them to relate to the children attending camp.
What is the Trading Post?
This is our camp store with snacks, drinks, clothing items and souvenirs. We carry a supply of toiletry items that campers may have forgotten. Campers visit the Trading Post on a daily basis.
What are your medical procedures?
A licensed RN, LPN or EMT is on property 24/7. There are regular call times and medication is stored and administered by the Nurse. Hackettstown Regional Medical Center is 20 minutes from Camp. Many staff members are certified in Basic First Aid and AED/CPR.
What do you do on rainy days?
If it is moderate, we run our regular program; campers will need rain gear. For heavy rain, we run special, pre-planned indoor activities. During a thunderstorm, all campers and staff will immediately be brought indoors.
How do I contact my child?
Parents can send e-mails via our website; these are delivered to the campers daily. We also encourage parents to send traditional letters. We do not allow cell phones, as in our experience, phone conversations lead to increased homesickness.
What are the bus pick-up and drop-off times/locations?
The Overnight bus from Ridgewood checks in at 12:00 p.m., with a departure of 12:30 p.m. On closing days, the bus departs Camp at 9:30 a.m., arriving at the Ridgewood YMCA at 11 a.m.
Will one week overnight campers be in separate cabins from two week campers?
No, one week campers will be placed with two week campers in the same cabins. They will be starting camp on the same day and time, receiving the same first day orientation as two week campers.
Can one week campers decide to stay for a second week?
Yes! We will be in contact with parents should a one week camper express interest in staying for the full session.
Can one week overnight campers sign up for specialty programs?
They are eligible for regular horseback riding and mini-biking. They can only register for one of these two specialties, however. Advanced horseback riding is only available to two week campers.
Where do campers shower and use the bathroom?
Most campers will stay in cabins with full bathrooms and showers inside the cabin. Older boys, grades 7-10, stay in the rustic Nation area with a central bathhouse serving the entire unit.
Do campers pick their own activities?
Campers sign up for their morning activities, which we refer to as "free choice". These sign-ups take place during orientation on the first day of camp. Afternoon activities are pre-scheduled by our staff and campers rotate through activities with their cabin mates during these blocks.
Swim Lesson Question: If my child doesn’t want to swim how do you handle it?
It is the philosophy of the YMCA for safety purposes that all children should learn how to swim. Within the first 24 hours at camp all campers have a swim check to determine their ability to swim. Campers in grades 2-6 will be placed in an appropriate YMCA swim lesson class. For safety purposes, and in the interest of ensuring a positive teaching environment for all campers, if a camper is uncomfortable in the water or misbehaving they will sit out of the pool on the bench on the pool deck.