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August 02, 2018

YMCA Camp Duncan: Where Kids Learn, Grow, and Thrive

For many kids, YMCA Camp Duncan is more than just a summer activity—it’s a second home.

Danielle Green, a summer camp nurse, first arrived at the camp not as a staff member, but as a child excited to make friends and explore the outdoors. “At age 7, my family got offered a two-week scholarship to camp. I fell in love with it. I came back every summer until I was 17.” She joined the staff the following year after encouragement from the camp director. After completing nursing school six years ago, she returned to camp as a nurse, excited to provide kids with the same love and care that she was afforded many years before.

$134,920 in financial assistance was provided to 515 campers in 2017

205 children with diabetes attended Diabetes Camp

80 children who are burn survivors attended Camp I am Me

Sitting on 300 acres in Ingleside, Illinois, a suburb outside Chicago, Camp Duncan is the perfect place for kids to have fun, form lasting friendships, and express themselves in a diverse, welcoming community. Y Camp allows them to choose from a variety of experiences, including swimming, arts and crafts, archery, high ropes course, hiking, fishing, and more! Mastery of different skills can result in a lifelong love of learning, and at Camp Duncan, parents can rest assured that their children are exploring in a safe environment. Health and safety is Camp Duncan’s top priority, so that’s why all camp staff are college-aged or older, with certifications in CPR, First Aid, and water safety, and are overseen by full-time directors and an on-site health officer.

There is no shortage of passion at Camp Duncan. Rona Roffey has been Y Camp Director for more than 27 years, overseeing the Resident camp operations and providing guidance to kids and teens alike. It’s not an easy job, but what makes it endlessly rewarding for her is her “love of teaching kids and being with kids and just the values of the Y.” She adds that the camp is a “place where kids can be kids” and provides a necessary break from a technology-saturated world. At Camp Duncan, children are free to explore, be curious, and connect with other another without the distraction of texting and mobile games. One camper says, “I’m quiet at school, but here I can really be myself.”

Last year, Camp Duncan served more than 24,000 children, families, and groups. The camp provides kids’ camp sessions throughout the summer and teaches teens leadership development through various training programs. Families can bond over the campfire at family camp, where they can enjoy the outdoors without the hassle of cooking or cellphones. Camp Duncan also partners with 17 organizations to host medical specialty camps, which allow youth and adults to experience the fun of camp while learning from healthcare professionals about how to manage their medical conditions.

Whether it’s paddleboarding, archery, or arts and crafts, anyone can find something to love at YMCA Camp Duncan!

Support YMCA Camp Duncan’s financial assistance program by making a gift today at https://donate.ymcachicago.org