Ask Us Anything About Camp

How do I know if my child is ready to stay overnight?

Children are ready to attend overnight camp at different ages. A great resource for parents is the American Camp Association website. Our Summer Program Director will be happy to speak with you about whether YMCA Camp Collins’ summer programs will be a good fit for your child. To discuss this further, contact us at 503.405.1435.

What is your cancellation policy?

A nonrefundable $50 deposit is required per camper/per session at the time of registration. The remaining balance of the camp fee is due in full no later than June 1, 2020. A space will not be held past June 1st without full payment. If registered after June 1st, full payment is required to complete your camper’s registration. After June 1st, 50% of the total camp fee is refundable 3 weeks prior to the start of your child’s session.

Transferring your child to another session of camp is allowed provided space is available and a written request is received at least 3 weeks prior to the start of their original session.

No refunds are given if a child leaves camp early for any reason, drops within 3 weeks of their session start date, or does not show up on the first day of camp.

How long does my child stay at camp?

Overnight campers arrive on Sunday afternoon and leave on Saturday morning. There are half-week overnight sessions, Sunday–Wednesday or Wednesday–Saturday, available for campers entering second–fourth grade during Session three and seven.

Day campers arrive at camp each morning and leave each afternoon, Monday–Friday.

Teen campers stay for two weeks during their session and CIT's stay for two or three weeks depending on the session. 

How old does my child need to be to attend camp?

Day Campers must be entering grade one to participate. Overnight Campers must be entering grade two.

May I tour the site before sending my child to summer camp?

We strongly encourage your family to visit our site before your child’s camp session. We host Open Houses for families to meet camp staff and take a tour. Checkout our Facebook Page for event details. We are able to give tours during office hours on the weekdays, please call ahead at 503.663.5813 to make tour arrangements.

Do YMCA members get a discount?

No, we try to keep our prices affordable for both members and non-members by offering a three-tier rate structure. This option allows families to choose the rate that best fits into their budget.

What is the ratio of staff to campers?

In the cabins there are 10 campers and 2 staff (a 5:1 ratio). During the day, cabin groups travel together to activity areas with their cabin or day camp counselor where one or more program staff will also be present.

What kind of experience does the summer staff have working with children?

Many of YMCA Camp Collins’ staff members are graduates of our Counselor In Training program, have experience working outdoor school programs, or have worked at other camps or childcare sites. At the beginning of each summer, staff members attend a week-long intensive training and orientation that covers such topics as child abuse prevention, bullying, program safety and risk management.

 All of our staff members go through a comprehensive hiring process that includes a multi-state background check.

Is YMCA Camp Collins prepared to give attention to my child who has special needs?

We strive to be inclusive; however, our program may not be right for all campers. To speak in depth about whether our summer programs will be a good fit for your child’s specific needs, please call 503.405.1435 and speak to our Summer Program Director.

What does my child need to bring to camp?

Once your child is registered for camp, your family will receive a link to our Parent Handbooks. It includes ideas of how to help them be successful, what to pack, and other useful information. Please view a copies of our Parent Handbooks for more information.

Day Camp Parent Handbook

Overnight Camp Parent Handbook 

Teen Camps Parent Handbook

Can my child and their best friend be put in the same cabin?

We do our best to honor “cabin mate requests” however, they are not guaranteed. We have learned from experience that placing three or more requested campers together tends to negatively impact cabin dynamics. Therefore, campers may mutually request one person only, within one year of the camper’s age, on their registration forms. 

What are the sleeping arrangements at Camp?

Pioneer campers, Explorer campers and Questor campers each have their own Village that contain cabins for the campers to sleep in. The Pioneer Unit stays in Adventure Village, Explorer Unit in Rotary Village and the Questor Unit in Treetops Village.

To make camp accessible to more campers we also utilize yurts, which are round canvas living spaces, in the Rotary Village (Explorers) and Treetops Village (Questors). Cabin placement is on a first come first serve basis and placement in a cabin in not guaranteed. 

Teen campers live in rustic, platform, canvas tents in River Village.

Counselors in Training campers live in rustic, platform canvas tents near the Health House. 

Is there transportation to and from camp?

For Overnight, Teen and CIT campers there is no transportation provided to and from camp.

For our Day Campers, transportation is available every morning and every evening from one of our designated drop off and pick-up sites in Gresham, Clackamas and NE Portland.

What time do I drop off and pick up my child from Overnight Camp?

Check-in on Sunday is staggered because of limited parking. Drop off times are based on your camper's last name. Please follow the schedule below: 

2 PM A – F
2:20 PM G – L
2:40 PM M – R
3 PM S – Z

Camp can not accept early drop offs before 2 PM on Sunday.

Check out on Saturday is also staggered according to the camper's last name.

9:30 AM S – Z
9:45 AM A – H
10 AM I – R

Check out for all camps is closed at 10:30 AM

For Pioneer Mini campers starting a session on Wednesday (3b and 7b), check in is from 2 PM–2:30 PM.
Pioneer Mini campers end a session on Wednesday (3a and 7a), check out is from 10 AM.

What time do I drop off and pick up my child from Day Camp?

When bringing your Day Camper directly to Camp Collins check in will begin at 8:30 AM and activities will start at 9 AM. Check out from Camp Collins will start at 4:30 PM and supervision at camp will end at 5 PM. When using one of the three transportation sites follow this schedule:

NE Portland–Alameda Elementary
7:30 AM – Supervision begins
8 AM – Departs for camp
5:45 PM – Returns to site
6 PM – Supervision ends

Gresham–East Hill Family Church
7:30 AM – Supervision begins
8:30 AM – Departs for camp
5 PM – Returns to site
6 PM – Supervision ends

Clackamas–Sunnyside Elementary School
7:30 AM – Supervision begins
8 AM – Departs for camp
5 PM – Returns to site
6 PM – Supervision ends

What if my child is taking prescription medicine?

YMCA Camp Collins has a Health Officer in residence that administers medications and provides limited health care to our campers. All of our summer camp staff are also First Aid and CPR certified.

What are the specifics of the CIT sessions?

Three week sessions

CITs spend the first two weeks of camp building a team and working together with experienced camp staff to learn the necessary aspects of camp counseling and youth development. During this time they will take field trips to other camps in the region to gain a broader perspective of camping programs. The three week session also includes an American Red Cross Adult and Child CPR and First Aid course for which CITs will have the chance to receive this two year certification. This is a valuable certification that is required of employees within most youth serving organizations.

The three week session will also feature a lesson planning workshop where CITs will learn how to create camp activity lesson plans to include safety considerations, equipment and age appropriateness. CITs will then practice the art of facilitation and giving clear instructions as they implement their activities with campers.

Two week sessions

CIT's will spend the first week of camp building a team and working together with experienced camp staff to learn the necessary aspects of camp counseling and youth development. 

During the CIT's last week—at both the three week and two week sessions—they have the opportunity to practice their skills in a cabin as an assistant counselor. Beside a senior staff member, CIT's will help lead younger campers through exciting camp activities. They will receive support, coaching and verbal and written feedback through evaluations from camp staff and the CIT Coordinators.

Will my camper have a chance to do laundry?

Only campers participating in our multi-week programs such as Teen Camp and CITs will have an opportunity to do laundry at camp.

What are Questor Specialties?

Questors choose a program area of focus for the week called "specialty." Questors spend 2–3 hours a day in their specialty and the remainder of the week enjoy traditional camp activities. We do our best to assign each Questor their first or second choice specialty.

  • Aquatics—basic lifeguard skills, raft down the Sandy River and enjoy a variety of pool activities.
  • Challenge Course—learn basic knot tying, facilitation and belaying from certified staff. 
  • Horseback Riding—learn basic Western riding skills, tack, grooming and other related equestrian skills. 
  • Mountain Biking—learn basic riding skills, maintenance and bike safety. Led by qualified staff, biking specialty campers explore the trails of Oxbow Regional Park and enjoy a long trail ride off camp.
  • Performing Arts—learn acting techniques, improvisation games and other skills all culminating in a short performance at our Friday night campfire.
Can I email my camper? 

Yes, you can send your camper an email while they are away. The email address is:

Camper emails are printed by the office staff and delivered to the camper during the summer sessions. Emails sent after 11 AM will be delivered the next day. Campers do not have computer access to return emails. Please do not include images in your email.

Everyone is Welcome Here

We offer scholarships to families so they can send their children to camp, regardless of your financial situation. Learn more about our camp scholarships and apply today.

Scholarship Information