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

Registration begins February 1 for YMCA members; February 15 for non-members.


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.

Weekly Themes

Week 1: Blast from the Past
Week 2: Beach Boogie
Week 3: Liberty Week
Week 4: Color Wars
Week 5: Year 3000 Future Week
Week 6: Going for Gold Olympic Week
Week 7: Mardi Gras Week
Week 8: Career Week
Week 9: Campology Science Week
Week 10: Jungle Week


Pre-Camp Dates

Tuesday, March 24, 6 – 8 p.m: Camp Thunderbird Tours at Shady Grove
Tuesday, April 7, 6 – 8 p.m: Camp Thunderbird Tours at Tuckahoe
Tuesday, April 14, 6 – 8 p.m: Camp Thunderbird Tours at Midlothian
Tuesday, April 29, 6 – 8 p.m: Camp Thunderbird Tours at Swift Creek
Saturday, May 16, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m: Camp Open House at YMCA Camp Thunderbird

Family Nights and Overnights

June 25: Pool Party
July 10 – 11: Overnight
July 16: Talent Show
July 31: Carnival
August 13: Family Fishing

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 – 7 years (Discovery Unit), Rising 3rd – 5th grade (Explorer Unit)
Times: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dates: 10 one-week sessions** beginning June 15
YMCA members: $231 per week   Non-members: $272 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 diverse abilities 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 beginning June 22 – August 14
YMCA Members: $231 per week   Non-members: $272 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.  For questions or to register, contact the Camp Thunderbird office at:

Phone: 804.748.6714


Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, and Enable. The Camp EDGE program focuses on personal development, goal setting and learning to work as a member of a group. The program prepares campers for leadership roles at camp and in their communities. The campers participate in typical camp activities but will also have supplemental projects focused on service and team-building. Each camper has one field trip and one service task per week.

Ages: Rising 6th – 8th grade
Times: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dates: 10 one-week sessions beginning June 15
YMCA Members: $231 per session   Non-Members: $272 per session

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

Leaders In Training (LIT)

The Leaders in Leadership Training (LIT) 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. Each session contains one association wide meet-up that engages all of our LIT’s from all of our camps into one day of leadership development and fun. While at camp, campers engage in all day camp activities but also get to observe and help counselors, specialists, and leadership staff.  

Ages: Rising 9th – 10th grade
Times: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dates: 4 two-week sessions* beginning June 29
YMCA Members: $184 per week   Non-Members: $206 per week

*Does not include Week 11 or Final Four week.

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

Camp Thunderbird Day Camp - Week 11

Bonus Camp!  Due to the calendar this summer, we get an extra week of Camp Thunderbird!  Enjoy this bonus week of our traditional outdoor summer camp day camp experience!

Theme: Shark Week

Ages: Rising Kindergarten – 2nd grade (Discovery Unit), Rising 3rd – 5th grade (Explorer Unit)
Times: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dates: week of August 24 – 28
YMCA members: $231 per week   Non-members: $272 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 due to staffing during these weeks.
  • Does not include Final Four week (Week 12).  Weeks 1 – 10 require separate registration.
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. Not all activity areas are offered during this week; however, campers can experience a final chance to finish off the summer strong.  Your camper can expect Free Swim at the pool, art, nature, fishing, boating, gaga, special enrichment, unit day, music-dance-and-drama, hikes, and more. Select weeks 1-10 to participate in all of what Camp Thunderbird has to offer! 

Theme: March Madness Final Four

Ages: Rising K – 5th grade
Times: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dates: August 31 – September 3
YMCA Members: $182   Non-Members: $211

*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
K-5/EveryBuddy Camp: Stephanie Schumaker
Teen Director: Claire Smith
Youth Development Admin Contact: Cindy Jennings
Property Director: Andy Moser