YMCA Camp Coniston is a co-ed residential camp located on beautiful Lake Coniston and surrounded by 1200 acres of camp-owned forested land. Our camp is the perfect place for your child to make friendships that will last a lifetime, as well as learn about themselves and the world around them.
Each 2-week camping session, Coniston hosts 370 girls and boys ages 8-15. Our cabin camper to staff ratio of 10 to 2 gives your child the attention they need. The Boys and Girls Camps are on separate sides of Lake Coniston, with shared facilities such as the Dining Hall and Program Lodge located between.
As a nonprofit service organization with a focus on youth, YMCA Camp Coniston creates experiences that build spirit, mind, and body for all. Our philosophy is to utilize our numerous programs to provide individual participants with the necessary skills to be vital in a larger community.
Through this group work, campers grow individually in confidence, connectedness, and sense of purpose. Our experience shows this process creates young people with tools capable of managing the numerous risks of adolescence.
YMCA Camp Coniston’s believes that all youth in today’s society, regardless of income, need these connections, and through this we meet our mission. We support and foster the YMCA core values of caring, honesty, responsibility, and respect.
Camper Ages & Divisions
While we firmly believe in younger and older children learning together, our camps are divided into three divisions that help ensure your child’s experience is age appropriate. The camp accepts children ages 8 to 15 years old. Campers must have completed 2nd grade to register, and can continue through 10th grade.
- Junior Division (completed grades 2 - 4)
- Middler Division (completed grades 5 - 7)
- Senior Division (completed grades 8 -10)
See the Rates & Registration page for more information and downloadable application forms.
The camp operates four 2-week sessions each summer, as well as a one-week session at the end of August. Campers can attend one or two sessions. See the Calendar Page for session dates. Adventure trips may be added to two or four weeks of resident camp. See the Adventure Camp area of the site for more information about this option.
A large percentage of our campers come from New Hampshire and Massachusetts, but we also have many campers from across the United States and around the world. Last summer, campers came from Canada, France, Spain, and the Netherlands.
Each session your camper will participate in eight instructional activities. Your camper chooses activities by completing the Camper Activity Form which is used to match each camper with a schedule according to interest and availability. Coniston offers approximately 30 instructional activities each summer. Campers rotate between activities independently and each camper has a custom schedule. Schedule changes are permitted after campers have attended the first day of each session, depending on availability.
In addition to the instructional activities, your camper will participate in activities with their respective Camp (Boys or Girls), with their Division (age group), and with their cabin group. YMCA Camp Coniston offers almost two hours of independent “free time” daily for campers to participate in their favorite activities and socialize with other campers and staff.
Click the Program Areas link to the left for details about the program area activities.
Our staff is comprised of young adults who have completed specialized training as camp counselors. Many were once campers at Coniston themselves. All staff are chosen for their maturity, commitment to children’s growth, and love of the camp community. Each session our staff includes three registered nurses, a minimum of 70 lifeguards, and more than 80 first aid/CPR certified members.
Camp and Social Media
Many camps, schools, and youth agencies have struggled to deal with adolescent behavior on public forums and ‘chat rooms’ on the world wide web, such as Facebook, MySpace, etc. We have found many of our campers registered on these sites ourselves. It is the camp’s position to discourage camper-staff interactions on such sites. If your child speaks to you regarding this issue, please explain that staff members “need their own space” during their time away from camp.
We have set up our own Facebook page and welcome campers to “friend” the camp, however we again recommend they do not “friend” their counselors individually.
Camp Policies & Procedures
See the Camp Policies section for detailed policies and procedures concerning the summer camp.
Explore the Site
Use the links to the left of any page to choose your area of interest and learn more about Camp Coniston’s summer programs!