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 Thunderbird

Health Precautions for Summer Camp Programs

Due to the unprecedented nature that this summer holds, we will be changing our usual safety precautions to correspond with recommendations from the CDC and Virginia Department of Health.

  • Daily temperatures checks for children and staff as they arrive.
  • Children will wash hands prior to joining their group at the beginning of each day.
  • We will enforce increased hand-washing and sanitizing throughout the day.
  • Children will be in the same group during the day.
  • We will avoid large group gatherings.
  • Equipment and touch points will be wiped down on a regular basis throughout the day.
  • Working with CDC to follow guidelines for Summer Day Camp/Child Care

For more information regarding how we’re changing our camp procedures, visit our Parents Guide to Camp page.


 

WELCOME

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 Education: outdoor education & survival, hiking, fort building
  • Wellness: 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) or our aqua zip line (all ages)

UNIQUE TO CAMP THUNDERBIRD

Kayaking & Canoeing EveryBuddy Camp* Biking (Camp EDGE) Spirit Competitions
Scavenger Hunts Special Events/Unit Days Interactive Family Nights Alpine Tower**
Phantom Creek Games Dual Zip Lines** Eno Village (Camp EDGE) Golf Ball Trails
*Serving children from age 5 – 15 with special needs
**For campers age 8 and up

 

OTHER ENGAGING OPPORTUNITIES FOR CAMPERS

  • Weekly themes and dress up days
  • Leadership Curriculum and Team-building
  • Character Development Bead Necklace
  • Camper of the Week Awards
  • Spirit Awards
  • Unit Days
  • MUCH MORE!

We Pick Up & Drop Off FREE of Charge!

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.

2020 YMCA Camp Thunderbird Bus Schedule

YMCA Camp Thunderbird provides bus transportation from various locations across the Richmond area.

 

Weekly Themes

Week 1: Blast from the Past
Week 2: Beach Boogie
Week 3: Liberty Week
Week 4: Paint 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

Week 11: Shark Week – *Separate Registration

Week 12: Final Four – *Separate Registration

IMPORTANT DATES

Pre-Camp Dates

We’ll be conducting Facebook live events to show a tour of Camp Thunderbird for several of our YMCA locations.

Saturday, June 6, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m: Drive-thru Camp Open House at YMCA Camp Thunderbird

Family Nights and Overnights (subject to change)

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

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. 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), 8 years old – 5th grade (Explorer Unit)
Times: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dates: 10 one-week sessions** beginning June 15
YMCA members: $235 per week   Non-members: $272 per week

  • A fixed weekly payment will be drafted each Monday, one week prior to the start date.
  • Registration closes Thursday at midnight for the upcoming week. Registrations will not be taken after this time.

*Camp activities and availability may be adjusted for weeks 9 and 10 due to staffing during these weeks.
**Does not include Shark Week (Week 11) or Final Four week (Week 12).

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.

Ages: 7 – 17 years old
Times: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dates: 7 one-week sessions beginning June 22 – August 14
YMCA Members: $250 per week   Non-members: $285 per week

  • A fixed weekly payment will be drafted each Monday, one week prior to the start date.
  • Registration closes Thursday at midnight for the upcoming week. Registrations will not be taken after this time.

For all inquiries for this program, please contact the Thunderbird office. Online registration is not available for EveryBuddy.  For questions or to register, contact the Camp Thunderbird office at:

Email: ctymca@ymcarichmond.org
Phone: 804.748.6714


Camp EDGE (Previously LIT)

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 service task per week. 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), Open Programming, Unit Days, Leadership Curriculum and more.

Ages: Rising 6th – 8th grade
Times: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dates: 10 one-week sessions beginning June 15
YMCA Members: $235 per session   Non-Members: $272 per session

  • A fixed weekly payment will be drafted each Monday, one week prior to the start date.
  • Registration closes Thursday at midnight for the upcoming week. Registrations will not be taken after this time.
Register Online

Leaders In Training (Previously CILT)

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. 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 – August 21
YMCA Members: $187 per session   Non-Members: $206 per session

*Camp activities and availability may be adjusted for weeks 9 and 10 due to staffing during these weeks.

*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.
  • Registration closes Thursday at midnight for the upcoming week. Registrations will not be taken after this time.
Register Online

Camp Thunderbird Day Camp - Week 11

Due to the calendar this summer, we get an extra week of Camp Thunderbird! During this camp week, campers get to participate in general and/or modified camp activities that are enriching and promote the outdoors. 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 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: Shark Week

Ages: Rising Kindergarten – rising 8th grade
Times: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dates: week of August 24 – 28
YMCA members: $235 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.
  • Registration closes Thursday at midnight for the upcoming week. Registrations will not be taken after this time.
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 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 – rising 8th 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, please contact the camp office:

Email: ctymca@ymcarichmond.org
Phone: 804.748.6714

Camp Operations Director: Jason Ching
K-5/EveryBuddy Camp: Stephanie Schumaker
Teen Director: Atarah Sheba-Young
Youth Development Admin Contact: Cindy Jennings
Property Director: Andy Moser