Frequently Asked Questions
If your question is not answered below, please contact us.
How do I register my child?
Online here. If online registration is not a good option, parents can always call our office and register by phone. Our office manager can be reached at (269) 244-5125.
What does a day at camp look like?
A typical day at Overnight Camp:
7:45 Flag Raising
8:00 Breakfast/Cabin Clean-up
9:30 1st Program
10:45 2nd Program
12:00 Lunch/Rest hour
2:00 Open Period
3:15 3rd Program
4:30 4th Program
7:00 Evening Program
10:00 Lights out
When is Overnight Camp Drop Off and Pick Up?
Drop Off Sunday is between 2:00-4:00 PM. To ensure our staff is prepared for your camper's arrival, please do not plan to arrive earlier than 2:00 PM. Remember to bring a picture ID to pick-up your camper. Pick up is on Saturday between 9:30-11:00 AM.
Can I send a care package with snacks?
You may send a care package but we ask that you do not send food or snacks. We have a number of food allergies in camp and work very hard to keep all campers safe and healthy. Additionally, excessive food in cabins can encourage wildlife visitors. Care packages can be dropped off on Sunday.
Do you accommodate Peanut Free Allergy children?
Yes, we are a nut-free facility.
Can LC’s and SIT’s drive themselves to camp?
No. All campers are minors and must be signed in and out by an adult.
Can my family come and tour the camp ground?
We serve guests year-round. Specific to Summer Camp, we host two open houses each year Open Houses. If these dates don’t fit your schedule, please call ahead to discuss a tour.
How does the Thursday Day Camp Overnight work?
Campers (minimum age of 9) stay at camp and take part in an additional afternoon activity, enjoy dinner in our dining hall, participate in an evening program and wrap up their evening with S’mores around the campfire. Campers will sleep in stone cabins, Dave’s House, or Obenchain Lodge dependent upon enrollment. The following morning campers will have breakfast in the dining hall before meeting back up with the returning day campers.
How does 3-Day Try-It Camp work?
The 3 Day Try-It is technically 3 nights and 4 days! This glimpse of camp runs from Sunday afternoon through Wednesday morning with pick up on Wednesday at 5:00 PM. Campers sign up for activities the same as week-long campers and experience all the same open and evening activities. The biggest difference is that 3 Day Try-It campers leave 3 days early. However, if your child is loving camp and would like to extend their week to Saturday, their bunk is reserved for the entire week and we are prepared for them to stay!
What does a day at Ranch Camp look like?
Ranch Camp is all horses all day! Campers will not only advance their riding skills in all areas but also learn how to care for their horse beyond the riding arena including how the farrier, chiropractor, dentist, vet, and our staff work together to maintain a strong, healthy herd. Campers must be a minimum of 9 years old and have had prior riding experience at YMCA Camp Eberhart.
What activities cost an additional fee?
A – There are additional fees for Equestrian, Tower Challenge, High Ropes, and Waterskiing/Wakeboarding.
What does a day at Astro Camp look like?
During the week of Astro Camp, campers get involved in many different and engaging activities, including, but not limited to: going into the planetarium room to learn about the summer constellations.
- learn about different telescopes; such as reflectors and refractors
- learn how to properly clean and care for telescopes
- build their own Galileo telescope
- look at the sun through a special lens on a reflector telescope
- reflect the sun onto a piece of paper
- tell stories about constellations around the campfire
- build their own star wheel
- view the stars at night through several different size telescopes
- learn the different phases of the moon.
- earn awards for star gazing and learning constellations.
Astro Camp is session 3 and includes a $70 fee.
What are LITs and SITs?
Our Leadership Core Program, formerly known as Counselor-In-Training, is for teenagers entering 11th grade and is designed to give them a camp experience tailored to youth in leadership and the opportunity for adventure!
Leadership Core campers will complete an on-site service project, spend a day working with our local Habitat for Humanity, and experience hands-on training in the areas of communication, teen leadership, environmental stewardship, and community service.
The highlight of this amazing two-week program is a 2-night, 3-day canoe trip on one of our most pristine rivers in western Michigan! Space is limited and sessions will fill up!
Our Staff-In-Training (SIT) program is a fantastic opportunity for youth to shoulder responsibility, work with young children, learn leadership, and most importantly: begin their training to become future YMCA Camp Eberhart summer camp counselors! Days spent as an SIT will be packed with an exciting array of activities and unique challenges.
If interested in our Staff-In-Training program be sure to download the application and return to the YMCA Camp Eberhart office via mail or email. Spaces are limited and sessions are sure to fill! Please note, completion of the SIT program does not automatically qualify a camper to on staff the following summer.
How many activities can campers choose?
They can choose 4 activities. These activities are chosen during the registration process.
Do Day Campers choose their own schedules?
Not exactly. To ensure that day campers experience a wide variety of activities, their schedule will be partially completed before their arrival. On the first day of each session, campers will be able to work together to choose activities for the remaining “open” periods. Completed schedules are sent home on Tuesdays.
What is the “Open Period” during Resident Camp?
Open period is the opportunity for campers to try a program area that they had not previously signed up for. Campers are presented with a number of program options at every open period and have free choice to choose which activity they would like to try.
Do Residential Campers progress during their activities? What happens if they stay a 2nd or 3rd session?
Every program area requires a different level of skill and therefore achievement. Our program areas are designed for progression and skill development with multiple layers of programming. Campers that return for multiple weeks and even year after year are continually challenged to take their skill to a subsequent level of mastery while still being fun and engaging!
What happens if a camper does not pass their swim test?
We do offer swim lessons. Sailing & Waterskiing require the highest swim level. If your child does not pass the swim test they will be able to choose alternative activities and program fees will be refunded.
How long are the trail rides?
Trail rides are scheduled to last an hour. However, the first and last 15 minutes are instructional and safety based. The actual ride is 30 minutes long.
Can campers bring fans? Do you have air conditioning?
Only Leighton Lodge has air-conditioning to accommodate the Wellness Center that is located on the lower level of the building. Campers may bring fans but electrical outlets are limited. Counselors will open windows and help facilitate a more comfortable living environment during hot weather.
Can campers roommate together if they are different ages?
Campers can request to roommate with campers that are within 1 year of age of each other. A 12-year-old camper is very different than a 10-year-old camper and we work hard to ensure that cabins keep a tight age range to help facilitate friendships through shared experiences.
Which cabins will our campers be in?
Our youngest male campers stay in Baker/Cooper Lodge (Indoor Plumbing) and our youngest female campers stay in Morris Lodge (Indoor Plumbing). Our oldest male campers stay in the Hill Cabins (Bath House) and our oldest female campers stay in Leighton Lodge (Indoor Plumbing). SIT and LIT stay in our brand new Tree House Village. Our remaining camp population resides in our Traditional Stone Cabins on both the high and low road.
What if my child has a food allerg?
We can accommodate most food allergies including gluten-free. However, we are not able to provide a Celiac safe environment. If your child has a food allergy, please feel free to call us to discuss your concerns in more detail.
When and how can I communicate with my camper?
YMCA Camp Eberhart is an unplugged camp, however, if you have an emergency and need to speak to your camper, please do not hesitate to call the office line and we will connect you to your camper. Our desire is to create a sense of independence and character development among our campers, but we still also firmly believe in working with parents to make sure your child is as comfortable as possible at camp. We also have an email service that allows parents to send daily correspondence to their camper. This service is available for purchase during registration. Emails are delivered to campers daily.
And while it may seem outdated, campers are always excited to receive real mail and we know you want to keep up with all the exciting things your child is experiencing at Camp. Our counselors make a special effort to encourage campers to write home. If you have a younger or first-time camper with us, consider writing often. Help your kids keep in touch by packing pre-addressed and stamped envelopes. But, please don’t worry if your child doesn’t write frequently. Usually, the kids just say, “I was just too busy having fun!”