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Camping became a cornerstone of Y programming in 1885 with the aim to provide children with a positive developmental experience through making new friends, building confidence and growing in self-reliance. Those goals still hold true today.

Our History

In 1921 the land for YMCA Camp Duncan was purchased by Joseph Duncan, the inventor of the addressograph.  His goal was to give boys from Chicago the opportunity to experience nature through swimming, boating, nature studies, and exercise.  Boys came by train to Camp Duncan in the summer.  They would spend part of their day working for local farmers in order to pay for their camp experience.  The rest of their day was spent swimming, canoeing, hiking, and learning new skills.  In the mid 1960's Camp Duncan opened their program for girls. 

Throughout the past 90 years Camp Duncan has grown from simply being a summer camp for boys to a year round operation that provides programs for boys and girls of all ages.