Camp Thunderbird

Established in 1966, YMCA Camp Thunderbird boasts breathtaking natural beauty while providing a structured camp environment full of all the amenities a camper could ever want. One hundred acres of pristine woods encompass six-acre Lake George and many camp attractions including swimming pools, rustic cabins, trails and more!

Camp registration begins February 1 for YMCA members and February 15 for non-members.

Camp Thunderbird


The YMCA is the nation’s leader in camping, offering outdoor programming for over 100 years. YMCA Camp Thunderbird serves children in day camp programs each summer and we are excited to have your camper experience what we have to offer.

Camp Thunderbird is a place where campers have fun and parents find an environment that will help their children grow in spirit, mind, and body. Our activities are designed to provide campers with an exciting, safe, and enriching summer experience that is appropriate to their age, interests and abilities. DISCOVER YOUR BEST SELF this summer at Camp Thunderbird Day Camp!

A typical day at Camp Thunderbird may include:

  • Camp Arts: creative arts camp songs & skits, music, drama & dance
  • Outdoor Sports: archery (basic and advanced), marksmanship, fishing, sports & field games, canoeing, gaga ball, basketball, biking
  • Outdoor Education: outdoor education & survival, hiking, fort building
  • Wellness: swim lessons, free swim, canoeing, climb the alpine tower (age 8 and older), take a ride on the giant swing (age 8 and older), ride down our zip lines (age 8 and older)


Kayaking & Paddleboats EveryBuddy Camp* Biking Spirit Competitions
Scavenger Hunts Special Events/Unit Days Interactive Family Nights Alpine Tower**
Treasure Pit Dual Zip Lines** Eno Village Maker Space Program
*Serving children from age 5 – 15 with special needs
**For campers age 8 and up



  • Weekly themes and dress up days
  • Leadership Curriculum and Team-building
  • Character Development Bead Necklace
  • Camper of the Week Awards
  • Spirit Awards
  • Unit Days
  • FREE camp t-shirt given to each camper

We Pick Up & Drop Off FREE of Charge!

YMCA Camp Thunderbird provides bus transportation from all around the Richmond area.

YMCA Camp Thunderbird is truly a unique experience and we want to serve as many kids as possible. We provide FREE bus stops throughout the Greater Richmond Community. This year, we have added one stop at Woolridge Elementary, moved the Midlothian Family YMCA stop to The Mill Works, and moved Atlee Station to New Hanover Presbyterian Church.

Camp Thunderbird Day Camp

Camp Thunderbird offers a traditional outdoor summer camp day camp experience! Our trained and certified staff will work with each child in a small group setting. Huddles are divided into two units (Discovery and Explorers) that participate in age appropriate activities across camp! They will build relationships, foster a sense of belonging and create opportunities for each of our campers to achieve and learn. We offer a wide range of engaging specialist activities* including archery, shooting sports, zip line, alpine tower, boating, 30 minutes of reading every day, as well as character development and swim lessons. Every week has a fun and exciting theme with an educational focus and exciting twist. YMCA Camp Thunderbird you belong here!

Ages: Rising Kindergarten – 2nd grade (Discovery Unit), Rising 3rd – 5th grade (Explorer Unit)
Times: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dates: 10 one-week sessions** beginning June 17
YMCA members: $226 per week   Non-members: $262 per week

  • A fixed weekly payment will be drafted each Monday, one week prior to the start date.

*Camp activities and availability may be adjusted for weeks 9 and 10 due to staffing during these weeks.
**Does not include Final Four week (Week 11).

Register Online

Camp Thunderbird Everybuddy Unit

EveryBuddy Unit offers children with special needs a traditional day camp experience while in a breathtaking natural setting. Campers are included within traditional day camp groups and offered a lower staff to child ratio (1:3). The goal is to help campers interact with their peers, learn new skills, and to even prepare them to continue in our traditional day camp program. Campers experience 100 acres filled with an expanse of camping attractions like an alpine tower, pools, kayaking, canoeing, hiking and so much more. Staff regularly communicate and provide updates about their camper’s progress.  Swim lessons are included!

The following guidelines are recommended for participation in Everybuddy camp:

  1. All campers must be potty trained
  2. Campers should be able to stay with a group in an outdoor setting for majority of the camp day.
  3. Campers should be able to follow camp rules, reasonable and understandable staff requests, and guidelines.

Ages: Rising 1st – 10th grade
Times: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dates: 7 one-week sessions- June 24 – August 9
YMCA Members: $226 per week   Non-members: $262 per week

  • A fixed weekly payment will be drafted each Monday, one week prior to the start date.

Online registration is not available for EveryBuddy.  Contact Camp Thunderbird to register.

Phone: 804.748.6714

Camp Thunderbird Leaders In Training (LIT)

The LITs of Camp Thunderbird participate in typical camp activities* but will also have supplemental projects focused on service and team building. The LIT staff use an experiential learning approach to leadership development. Lessons focus on the progression from personal development and exploring many leaderships styles and learning what works for you.

LIT campers get to experience a few more activities than in Discovery or Explorers units.  Campers can expect Biking, Giant Swing, Riflery, Eno Village (Reading and Journaling), Maker Space, Open Programming, Unit Days, Association Meetups and Field Trips, Leadership Curriculum and more.

Ages: Rising 6th – 8th grade
Times: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dates: 10 one-week sessions** beginning June 17
YMCA Members: $226 per week   Non-Members: $262 per week

*Camp activities and availability may be adjusted for weeks 9 and 10 due to staffing during these weeks.
**Does not include Final Four week (Week 11).

  • A fixed weekly payment will be drafted each Monday, one week prior to the start date.
Register Online

Camper in Leadership Training (CILT) at Camp Thunderbird

The Camper in Leadership Training (CILT) program is designed to teach and inspire rising 9th and 10th graders. Hands-on training experiences and professional development workshops provide the foundation of the program. Participants will learn basic safety, group control, games, camp best practices and engage in activities that provide valuable employment skills, healthy relationship and opportunities to lead.

Ages: Rising 9th – 10th grade
Times: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dates: 4 two-week sessions beginning July 1
YMCA Members: $180 per session   Non-Members: $199 per session

  • A fixed weekly payment will be drafted each Monday, one week prior to the start date.
Register Online

Final Four

Final Four is our post-camp experience* that happens the week after camp ends and before school begins. It runs Monday through Thursday at Camp Thunderbird!  We offer bus stops at 3 YMCA locations across the area. Come celebrate the end of summer at Camp Thunderbird with swimming, fishing, gaga, crafts, reading and a few more surprises!

Ages: Rising K – 8th grade
Times: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dates: August 26 – 29
YMCA Members: $180   Non-Members: $209

*Camp activities and availability will be adjusted due to staffing during this week.  

Bus Pick-Ups available at the Shady Grove Family YMCA, Tuckahoe Family YMCA and Millworks Center (across Woolridge Rd from the Midlothian Family YMCA).

Register Online

Camp Forms

Most information is now collected during the registration process.  But for the small number of additional forms needed, you can find them on our Camp and Child Care Forms page.


For more information about summer camp programs, contact the camp office:

Phone: 804.748.6714

Camp Operations Director: Jason Ching