Summer Day Camp - Join the Fun!


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Welcome to 2019 Summer Day Camp at the Buehler YMCA!
Our day camp programs are new and improved this year! This summer, we're taking a holistic approach to your camper's experience. Camps will be seperated into age-appropriate groups and include a variety of activities every week — games, songs, arts and crafts, team building, fitness and nutrition, sports, character development, fine arts, reading, science, and field trips! We're looking forward to a great summer!

See our helpful links in the upper left of this page, and view our camp brochure and FAQs for more info!

Contact Information

For Day Camp: Stephanie Block at or Elissa Crowley at 

For Preschool/Kindergarten Summer Program: Jenn Stricker at

Buehler YMCA
1400 W. Northwest Hwy.
Palatine IL 60067

Session Dates

We offer a variety of camps to meet your child's individual interests and needs. Please refer to the camp brochure for detailed descriptions of activities, session dates, and fees.

Day Camp activities run 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Extended care hours run 7-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m.

Week Dates Weekly Theme
1 June 3-7 Aloha Week
2 June 10-14 Animal Planet
3 June 17-21 Olympic Mania
4 June 24-28 Mad Scientist Week
5 July 1-3 Party in the USA
6 July 8-12 Out of this World
7 July 15-19 Wet & Wild Week
8 July 22-26 Y's Got Talent
9 July 29-Aug 2 Home Town Heros
10 August 5-9 Magnificently Messy
11* August 12-16 Super Heros

*Week 11 is Sports and Gymnastics only.  There is a 2 day option (M,T) and a 5 day option (M-F) available.  Please check the front desk for 2 day pricing. Limited number of openings.  Camp unavailable for 5 years and under. 

Preschool/Kindergarten Summer Program

Week Dates Theme
1 June 3-7 Camp Rocks
2 June 10-14 Under The Sea
3 June 17-21 Zoo Friends
4 June 24-28 Ooey Gooey
5 July 1-3 Happy Birthday, USA
6 July 8-12 To Infinitey and Beyond
7 July 15-19 Food Frenzy
8 July 22-26 Jurassic Adventures
9 July 29-Aug 2 Down on the Farm

Week 10 Explorers (incoming kindergartners) may join Voyager 1, which is an outside camp.  There will be no camp available for 5 year olds week 11. 


Registration Dates: Member Registration opens January 14, 2019; Non-member Registration opens January 21, 2019

Program Fees: Download here.

Registration Policies

Open House & Info Sessions

Parent Orientation - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.  & Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.

Preschool/Kindergarten Explorer Summer Program Orientation - Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.

This is your opportunity to meet Summer Camp Program Directors and staff, who will be interacting with your camper all summer. We will review the parent handbook and go over camp policies and procedures. We would love to use this time to answer any and all questions you might have.  Regular camp will have an additional parent orientation in July for those parents who may be registered for weeks later in camp or need any clarification.


Preschool/Kindergarten(Explorer) DCFS Licensed Program

Preschool-Kindergarten Summer Program Registration Form Licensed Summer Program Parent Manual
Participant Emergency Information Packet Transfer Permission Form
Authorization for Sunscreen Form Certificate of Child Health Examination
DCFS Summary of Licensing Standards for Day Care Centers  

Regular Day Camp

Day Camp Registration Form Parent Handbook
Participant Emergency Information Packet  

Payment and Financial Assistance


All campers must be registered and paid in full by the Wednesday prior to attending their week of camp. A $30.00 non-refundable deposit is required for each week of camp.

Financial Assistance

What to Bring

Summer Camp FAQs

General Information

Location - Where is the camp located?
Buehler YMCA is located at 1400 W. Northwest Hwy., Palatine, IL 60067.

Hours of Camp - What time does camp start and end each day?
Camp activities run from 9am-4pm Monday -Friday. Extended Care hours are from 7 a.m.-9 a.m. and 4 p.m.-6 p.m. and are included in your cost.

Newsletter - How can I stay updated about upcoming camp activities at the YMCA?
Every Monday a newsletter/schedule for the camp week will be available at the Sign-in/out table. Activities may vary day to day including, but not limited to: sports, character development, arts and crafts, games, skits, songs, sports, swimming, rock climbing, field trips and much more. 

Registration - How do I register for day camp?
All campers must be regsistered for camp prior to attending. Registration begins January 14 for Buehler members and January 21 for non-members. Registration forms are available online or at the Member Service Desk. Online registration is available this year.  All needed forms will be emailed to you after you register.  All information on the forms must be completed prior to your camper attending. 

Refunds - If I cancel a registered week of camp, will I be refunded?
All cancellations and changes must be made 14 days prior. Refunds requested prior to 14 days before the registered week will be refunded less the deposit.  Refunds requested within the 14 days of the registered week will be refunded less the deposit and a 20% administration fee. No refunds will be given after 3 p.m. on the Friday prior to the start of registered camp week. All refund requests must be in writing and received prior to this deadline.  Camp Deposit is non-refundable but transferable within same membership unit, up to 14-days prior to the start of your registered camp week.

Health & Safety


Accreditation - Is YMCA camp accredited?
Yes, our camp is accredited by the American Camping Association (ACA). This is your assurance that our day camps are committed to the highest standards established for the camping industry. Accredited camps have their operations scrutinized and reviewed by camping professionals who know and value quality camping.

Camp Counselors - What are the qualifications of your camp counselors?
Our counselors receive over 40 hours in training prior to the start of camp.  Training includes CPR, First Aid, child abuse prevention, emergency procedures, water safety, and our camp curriculum including songs and games that incorporate values and education.

Illness/Injury - What happens if my camper is sick or gets hurt?
Parents will be notified by camp personnel if their child has not been feeling well for a period of time and does not seem to be getting any better. Moderate injuries will also be communicated to the parent once proper first aid has taken place. Minor injuries will be communicated at Sign Out. In the case of a severe injury needing professional medical attention, the parent or guardian will be contacted immediately.

Inclement Weather - What is the procedure for bad weather?
At the first sign of inclement weather, campers will be brought indoors and into safety. Inclement weather includes lightening and extreme heat.

Medication Administration - What is the procedure for when my child needs to take prescribed medication while at camp?
Parents/Guardians must have a signed medication authorization form on file for day camp staff to administer medication. The Authorization to Administer Medication form can be obtained during registration and a copy is placed in the parent packet you receive upon registration. You can also ask any camp director for a copy during the summer. Medication MUST come in the original pharmacy container. It must list clearly the camper’s name, the doctor’s name, the name of the medication, the correct daily dosage, and the correct time of the day the medication is to be administered. Please indicate whether the medication needs to be taken with or without food and/or water.

Ratios - What is the counselor to camper ratio?
The ACA guidelines for counselors to camper ratios are as follows:1:6 (3 to 5 years of age), 1:8 (6 to 8 years of age), 1:10 (9 to 15 years of age)

Water Safety - Does my camper need to know how to swim?
All campers will be swimming two days a week.  Campers are tested to determine swim ability and if they will be allowed to utilize the deep end of the pool. All lifeguards, both at the pool and at all water parks are certified.

Preparing for Camp

Clothing - What sort of clothes should my camper bring? 
All campers are required to wear their camp t-shirts on field trip days which occur on Wednesdays. Campers should also wear simple, non-restrictive clothing that you do not mind getting dirty, wet, and possibly ruined. Shorts, jeans, and tennis shoes are a good choice. You may want to send along an extra change of clothes, just in case. Only swimwear is allowed in the pools.  Street clothes may not be worn.  Also, flip flops may only be worn on the YMCA’s pool deck and at water parks. Otherwise closed toes shoes are Mandatory.

Items From Home - May campers bring toys and similar items from home to camp?
Campers are not permitted to bring possessions from home (i.e. cell phones, iPods, toys, Gameboys, PSP, action figures, dolls, trading cards, etc). The YMCA is not responsible for any item that is broken, lost, or stolen during camp.

Lunch/Snacks - Does my camper need to bring lunch/snacks to camp?
Each child needs to bring a lunch and a refillable water bottle every day. Lunches cannot be stored in a refrigerator or heated up, so please pack food that will not spoil easily. Freezing juice boxes the night before and using ice packs for children’s lunch is suggested. Please pack a water bottle every day and 2 healthy snacks for morning and afternoon snack time.  Green Leaf Cafe will be providing a paid lunch option again this year.  Order forms for these lunches will be avaible after May 1.  Green Leaf donates a portion of these proceeds toward our camp financial assistance program.

Campers must bring Sunscreen everyday! Please apply sunscreen to your child before coming to camp each day. Throughout the day, your child will have frequent opportunities to reapply sunscreen. 

At Camp

Absences - What should I do if my camper will be absent or late?
Please leave a message for the camp directors at the front desk at 847-359-2400.  Make sure to leave your name and camp you are attending in the message.

Daily Activities - What is a typical day like at camp?
Every week has a weekly theme! Activities, trips and lesson plans are typically tied into that weekly theme. Throughout the day campers will participate in songs, fellowship, arts and crafts, character development, team building, health and nutrition, sports, fine arts, reading, science and much more! Throughout the day there are breaks scheduled for snack time, bathroom time, and sunscreen time!

Field Trips - Does the camp offer field trips as an activity?
Campers will attend a trip weekly. Trips vary from museums, amusement parks, water parks, forest preserves and more. Some weeks the trip may be brought right to the campers onsite at Buehler!

Lost & Found - What if my camper loses an item while at camp?
To minimize the chance of misplaced clothing and other items, PLEASE LABEL ALL CLOTHING AND OTHER PROPERTY CLEARLY.  WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR LOST OR MISSING ITEMS. There will be a lost and found container under the tent. There is also a lost and found at the YMCA’s front desk.

Parent Visits - Are parents allowed to visit our children while they are at camp?
The YMCA has an open door policy for the parents or guardians of all campers.  Please first speak directly with a camp director to let them know you are visiting.  Parents are invited and encouraged to visit the program sites at any time, but must take care to not interfere with or disrupt the on-going activities. Once a child is taken out of camp for that day, they cannot return.

Sign In/Sign Out - What is the procedure for campers checking in and out of camp?
All campers must be signed in and out of camp daily. Parents/Guardians must have a valid ID EVERYDAY at the time of pickup in order for us to release your child to you. Please see the parent handbook for more information.

Licensed Preschool/Kindergarten Summer Program FAQ

What is the different between the regular camp and licensed program? This program is licensed by DCFS and run by our licensed preschool and kindergarten staff that work with these children during the school year. 

What will my child do? The preschoolers will do learning activities as well as games and outside activities based around the weekly themes. The kindergartner explorers will have more of a traditional camp experience joining with regular camp for swimming, some outside activities such as field days.  The Explorer Kindergarten camp is built to be a transition year for campers.

Will there be field trips? Preschoolers will not be going on field trips.  The kindergarten Explorers will go on a weekly field trip.  They will not go with regular camp, but will be on a field trip weekly that will be designed just for this age.

Will my child swim? Kindergarten Explorer camp will swim twice a week for an hour.  The teachers will be in the water with the children.  Each child is swim tested by our aquatics staff before they enter the water.  The preschool children will not swim, however they will have a water play day with sprinklers.

Do I send a lunch/snack with my child? In our licensed program we will provide the snacks and lunches.  We provide a morning snack, lunch and an afternoon snack.  Because of our DCFS licensing we cannot have outside food brought in.

If my child is there all day will they nap? The preschoolers will nap on a daily basis if they are full day.  Nap time is usually 1-2 hours.  If your child does not nap we will try to provide quiet activities for them.  The kindergarten Explorers will not nap.  There may be a quiet time for 15-20 minutes after lunch as they transition to the afternoon activities.

Why are there only 9 weeks instead of 10? We only offer 9 weeks of our licensed program in order for our teachers to have time to go to trainings and prepare for the upcoming school year. We may be able to provide a 10th week of camp for your kindergarten through our Voyager 1 camp if needed.