YMCA Camp Kern is owned and operated by the YMCA of Greater Dayton, and is located on 485 beautiful acres in the Little Miami River Valley of Southwestern Ohio. A year-round facility offering: Outdoor Education, Conference and Retreats, Team Building, Summer Camp, Family Camp, Horse Camps, and the Ozone Zipline Adventures. 35,000 Guests a year enjoy a tradition of excellence at YMCA Camp Kern.

Give your kid a summer to remember!

With a focus on friendships, campers spend the week participating in activities they choose, with amazing counselors from all over the world.  Each program is designed with specific age groups in mind, and counselors are trained to not only build campers up, but to encourage and empower them to become more.



YMCA Camp Kern is proud to be accredited by the American Camp Association. Developed exclusively for camps, this nationally recognized association focuses on program quality, and health and safety issues. ACA requires us to review every facet of our operation. Camp Kern has voluntarily submitted to this independent appraisal done by camp experts and has earned its mark of distinction.


Summer Camp at YMCA Camp Kern is the most adventurous fun kids can have during a week in the summer!  
With a focus on friendships, campers spend the week participating in activities they choose, with amazing counselors from all over the world.  Each program is designed with specific age groups in mind, and counselors are trained to not only build campers up, but to encourage and empower them to become more.


Campers can spend as little as one week, and as long as eight weeks at Camp Kern each summer.  There are programs for campers ages 5 to 16 years old, filled to the brim with activity and programming specifically designed for them.  Camp Kern is known for a dedication to Kids First programming, and for innovative and engaging camps which truly make each week unique. 


Along with our many specialty programs, Camp Kern offers four main “Core” programs:

  • Main Camp – Main Camp is made up of four different Villages (Frontier, Explorer, Adventure and Pioneer).  Campers choose their own activities from a long list of options, including Swimming, Nature, Archery, Rock Climbing, Waterfront, Target Sports, Arts and Crafts, and more!  This program also features the “Big Game”, a themed all-camp game on Wednesday evening which truly embodies the word “magical”. 
    Camp Kern Kids


  • Taste of Kern and First Camp – Technically two programs, but these two introduction-to-camp programs are the best option for your young first-time camper.  Learn about YMCA values with a specially chosen staff who works to build friendships and confidence in new campers.  Day camp days are followed by overnight experiences, and every day is filled with great age-appropriate activities.  Arts and Crafts, Swimming, Sports, Nature Hikes and more fill all day long.


  • Teen Programs – The opportunity for Teens at Camp Kern is unlimited!  Kern Challenge is filled with canoe trips, lazer kraze and Ozone Zipline Adventures.  Ultimate Survivor is tribes squaring off in all-day challenges in search of a victory at Tribal Council.  The Leaders in Training and Counselors in Training programs prepare campers to step up into roles of leadership both at camp and in real world.


  • Horse Camp – Whether you are an accomplished rider, or you are just interested in starting out in the Equestrian world, Ranch Camp is the place to be!  Spend all week riding in various formats and programs, doing ring riding and lessons along with long trail rides all over Camp Kern’s 485 acres.  Get to know your one assigned horse, and learn how to ride on many others!


So take a look through the program options on Camp Kern's Full Website to get you started. If you have any questions, we would love to talk with you at 513-932-3756 or to meet you at one of our Open House dates each spring.


Frequently Asked Questions


The YMCA of Greater Dayton is a charitable, not-for-profit, health and human services organization committed to helping people reach their full potential in spirit, mind and body.

Through generous donations from members and your community, the YMCA is proud to offer Our Extra Hands Program. This provides financial assistance to those in need.

Follow the following steps to apply for our Child Care Scholarships:
Step 1:  Apply for PFCC (If you are denied, you can proceed with the YMCA Extra Hands Application. You will need to provide a copy of your denial letter from your county.) If you are approved for PFCC, a YMCA Scholarship would not be applicable. 
Step 2: Fill out our Extra Hands Application (YMCA Scholarship)
Step 3: Provide us with 1 Month of Pay Stubs for all adults in your household.
Step 4: Provide your previous year's tax filing (Ex. Federal 1040 with W-2's)
Step 5: Provide a personal letter (written or typed) to the Scholarship Committee. This letter should explain your current situation and express your need for financial assistance. 

Once all 5 of these components are provided to the YMCA Child Care Director, the completed Scholarship Application will be reviewed at the Monthly Child Care Scholarship Committee Meeting. Following this meeting, results are mailed to inform you of the status of your application. 

*YMCA Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.


The YMCA accepts publicly funded child care through the State of Ohio.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) helps parent(s) who are working or in school pay for child care through the Publicly Funded Child Care (PFCC) program. 

You may be required to pay for part of your child care in the form of a copayment as determined by ODJFS. The amount you pay is based on your gross income and family size.

Please visit the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services website for more information or to apply for Child Care Assistance in your county.


The YMCA reserves the right to adjust rates as needed and will communicate any changes necessary in advance.


YMCA reserves the right to add holiday closure dates as needed. The YMCA will attempt to communicate at least 2 weeks in advance for any closures.


In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at: here, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410

(833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442


This institution is an equal opportunity provider.