People holding tie dye Nawakwa shirts
Feb 12, 2024

Adventure Awaits at YMCA Family Camp Nawakwa!

Adventure awaits in the great outdoors — and here at YMCA Family Camp Nawakwa, we can’t wait to share it with you and your family!  

There’s no place like this home-away-from-home, where people of all ages can enjoy a wide range of programs and activities, from campfires to swimming to kayaking to archery, and so much more. For decades, Camp Nawakwa has been the destination of choice for families, couples, and any other group looking to get away, relax, and create lifelong memories in the beautiful woodlands of Wisconsin. 

Wondering what you can look forward to with the camp experience? Alex Tyms, Executive Director of YMCA Family Camp Nawakwa, has all of the details on what makes Y Family Camp something truly special! 

Q: In three words, describe YMCA Family Camp Nawakwa! 

A: Year-Round family place. 

Q: What makes the camp experience at YMCA Family Camp Nawakwa unique? 

A: The people! Unlike a traditional overnight camp, Nawakwa is for everyone in the family.  (Yes, we consider pets part of the family, and they can attend with you!) While we offer a wide variety of programs, you can do everything, some things, or plan your own camp experience. Some of our campers joke that when they come through the gate, they are officially on “camp time” where they can recharge and reengage with their family. 

Q: What activites do campers participate in during a typical day at YMCA Family Camp Nawakwa? 

A: There is not really a typical day at Camp Nawakwa. The flexibility of our program allows our campers to experience a buffet of program opportunities. But aquatics is really one of the most popular part of the camp experience — swimming at either of our beaches or using the kayaks, canoes, paddle boards, rowboats, and sailboats that are provided at no additional cost. Most of our cabins have their own docks that provide a place to fish or a place to sit, enjoy the sun, and read a book. We also have a small fleet of motorboats that families can rent to explore the majesty of Big Crooked Lake. Visiting with old friends or meeting those who will become friends rounds out the day is also popular. 

Q: What are you most looking forward to this summer? 

A: The summer of 2024 will be Camp Nawakwa’s 100th “Summer Under the Stars.” We have several things that we will be featuring including a new Centennial Trail and a weekly birthday party for camp. Our Biggest Fish Contest will be back again. We’ll also have some other great surprises that our campers will enjoy! 

Q: Is Camp Nawakwa just a summer place? 

A: No! Camp Nawakwa is a year-round family place. All of the seasons at camp are amazing. One of our best kept secrets is the fall leaf season. The vivid colors reflected off the glass-like surface of our lakes will take your breath away. The winter season brings the opportunity to use our snowshoes, skates, and cross country skis, which are included with your cabin rental fee. We have 10 year-round winterized cabins available for rent. We also have an amazing snow tubing hill that is available for our winter guests to use. Camp Nawakwa provides the tubes! Finally, we are near some of the best snowmobile trails in Wisconsin. You can stay at camp and bring your own snowmobiles, or we can put you in touch with a local company who can deliver rentals to your cabin for you. 

Q: What camp experience are you most excited to share with campers? 

A: Camp is a place where a family can disconnect from all the modern -day challenges and enjoy a quality experience with their family in the peaceful and tranquil Northwoods of Wisconsin. 

Q: What’s your favorite camp memory? 

A: Family Camp is a truly multi-generational experience. While we have many first-time campers each year, and we have a significant number of families who can trace their Nawakwa story back 50+ years. Last summer, there was a father sitting on the end of our North Camp swim beach holding his newborn son. It was in the early evening, and they were the only ones there. I found this moment to be symbolic of all that is great about Camp Nawakwa being passed on from one generation to another.  

Q: What piece of advice would you give to new campers? 

A: Come to camp. If you can get to the parking lot, we can help you from there. Take the time to explore the area. Meet your neighbors. Invite a Camp Staff Member to join you for dinner. Breathe in the crisp Northwoods air, and build memories that will be with you and your family for many years 

Discover everything that Camp Nawakwa has to offer with your own eyes, and join us in shaping those unforgettable moments! Registration is open for camp year-round, so grab your family and friends for an adventure to remember. 

Find more information on camp offerings, accomodations, and registration through the YMCA Family Camp Nawakawa webpage