Counselor and kid rappelling at camp
Feb 12, 2024

Fun Awaits at YMCA Camp Independence Overnight Camp!

Pack your bags, it’s time for an adventure!  

At YMCA Camp Independence’s Overnight Camps, youth will take on the summer of a lifetime! By creating a supportive and encouraging environment, we empower our campers to strengthen self-reliance, form a love for nature, and develop of healthy practices and meaningful relationships for campers with spina bifida — all amid the fun of activities like campfires, boating, arts and crafts, and swimming.  

Whether you’re interested in connecting with the great outdoors, building lifelong friendships, or creating long-lasting memories, there are endless opportunities for growth and self-discovery.   

Wondering what you can look forward to with the Overnight Camp experience? The Camp Independence team has all of the details on what makes Y Overnight Camp something truly special! 

Q: In three words, describe YMCA Camp Independence! 

A: Growth, fun, supportive. 

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

A: Camp Independence provides a unique summer camp experience by partnering campers with spina bifida one-on-one with our camp counselors. Our campers are able to have a fully-accessible camp experience while surrounded by others who face many of the same experiences in their day-to-day lives. Camp Independence campers have the opportunity to participate in spina bifida education programming, traditional camp programming, and integrated programming with their peers in our Camp Duncan program.    

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

A: Activities at Camp Independence include: kayaking, fishing, swimming in the pool, sports, arts and crafts, sling shot paintball, archery, and the frequent camp talent show! 

Q: How does camp help campers grow as individuals? 

A: Camp Independence helps campers grow by giving them opportunities to try new things, make friendships, and take ownership of their day-to-day care. Additionally, our Camp Independence campers receive outreach from Loyola University to provide individualized goal setting and progress check-ins throughout the week. 

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

A: We always look forward to the opportunities provided to our camper to make a new friend. Often, friendships are built in neighborhoods, schools, sports, etc. Camp give an opportunity to meet people from all over Chicagoland, across the Midwest, and around the world. Campers can leave camp having met and developed friendships with people they will know for the rest of their lives.     

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

A: The first check-in day is tough to beat. You have this perfect level of excitement, nervousness, and joy. Everyone on the camp team just spent two long weeks training and learning how to keep campers safe, ensure they are having fun, and make such an impact that the campers leave as better people than when they arrived. On the first check-in day, you get to see all of that culminate into something that is indescribable. 

Q: What piece of advice would you give to new campers? 
A: Be open to trying something new. You may stink at it. You may be a natural pro. But just be open to trying it with your whole self. Meet all the people you can, even those outside of your cabin group. Be goofy, and don’t worry about what the people around you think. You are here for you, and those that share that mentality will come along with you on your journey. 

Discover everything that Camp Independence has to offer with your own eyes, and join us in shaping those unforgettable moments! Registration is open for Summer 2024, so register now for an adventure to remember. 

Find more information on camp offerings and registration through the YMCA Camp Independence webpage