The YMCA values of Caring, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility should guide the actions, language, and topic of conversation of all those at Camp Wiyaka.
The Wiyaka Experience
Since 1921 children and staff have been coming to the shores of Sandy Pond to experience Camp Wiyaka. They tent with nature and learn valuable things about the woods and world around them, and also about themselves. The spirit of Camp Wiyaka, the memories of summer laughter, sports, games and songs sung at campfire with some of the best friends you will ever make, is a spirit that stays with people long after they leave camp.
We are proud of the traditions at camp and proud that as a part of the Athol Area YMCA we are an inclusive organization open to all. We welcome all people regardless of ability, age, background, ethnicity/race, faith, gender identity, or sexual orientation. The Y believes that, in a diverse world, we are stronger when we are inclusive, when our doors are open to all and when everyone has the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive.
The rules and policies of Camp Wiyaka and designed to ensure the safety and well-being of our campers and staff. Please review these rules and policies and talk to your child about them so they understand them as well. We strive to ensure that all campers understand the expectations of camp life. Camp rules will also be discussed as an entire camp and within tent groups. Campers are encouraged to create “house rules” for their tent with their counselor.
Rules and Policies
Camp Wiyaka’s rules and policies are designed to create a safe, supervised and fun environment and are based on the four core values of the Y: Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility.
Camp Wiyaka is a safe place for all children and staff. Anyone endangering the physical or emotional safety of himself/ herself or another person will not be tolerated. This includes but is not limited to verbal and physical harassment, sexual misconduct, theft, fighting and dangerous behaviors. Such behavior may result in dismissal from camp.
As caring and respectful individuals, campers and staff will refrain from using lewd or profane language or discussing topics not appropriate for children.
Camp Wiyaka is an alcohol and drug-free property as well as a weapon-free area. All medications should be brought to the nurse on day of registration. Campers are not permitted knives or weapons of any type on property. Possession of these items may be cause for immediate removal from camp.
Campers are to remain on camp property (with the exception of staff-led trips), be with a group, and have their whereabouts known by a staff member at all times. Leaving the camp property without authorization or supervision may be cause for immediate removal from camp.
Campers must adhere to all rules related to separation of genders during co-ed camping weeks.
If a camper is asked to leave camp due to rule and/or policy violations, no refund will be provided and the cost of getting the camper home including staff time and travel (if required to return camper) will be the responsibility of the sponsoring parent/guardian. Removal of a camper from camp is at the discretion of the Camp Director.
Communication from home is encouraged through emails, letters, and care packages (which can be brought to camp and left with the Camp Director). Although campers are not allowed to call home, we encourage parents to call and speak with one of the directors if they have any concerns. We are happy to give updates on your camper’s progress. You will be called by the Director team for a number of concerns to include forgotten clothing or gear, persistent homesickness, illness (longer than 12 hours), minor injuries requiring a camper to sit out of a program or behavior issues.
Parents/guardians will receive a call in the case of any medical emergency that requires outside medical attention as soon as we are able. If medical attention is needed beyond what we can handle internally at camp, parents may be requested to meet us at the hospital if possible. Local EMS will transport campers to Athol or Brattleboro for local families and all other patients to Keene.
No pets or animals are to be brought onto camp property overnight. Should a pet be brought onto Camp Wiyaka property, the pet must be leashed at all time and waste must be picked up, and the owner of the animal takes full responsibility for the actions of the animal. We strictly require leashes because our neighbors are also dog owners and we had multiple incidents of Wiyaka Family Dogs, running off our property and getting into aggressive situations with the neighbor’s dog on the neighbor’s property. Please help us be considerate neighbors as we have many generous neighbors on Sandy Pond Road who contribute to our camp and also allow us to use their adjacent properties for camp activities.