Camp Jewell YMCA


You don’t realize it at the time.

Climbing this wall, crossing this lake, and cleaning this cabin will change you. Cooking dinner over this fire and under these stars will be remembered decades later. The friends you made around that fire will be with you still. This is Camp Jewell.

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Part of what helps keep Camp Jewell YMCA running is the generosity of others. Volunteers give of their time and Annual Campaign supporters give of the financial resources. And there’s another type of donor that often gets less recognition—those are our community partners that give us hand-me-downs of supplies that they are no longer using but that have life still left in them.

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Still going strong at 93!

At 93 years of age Camp Jewell Alumnus Doug “Scoobie” Ahrens who worked at Camp Jewell for 49 summers in a row is still going strong, doing what he loves the most!…/at-93-year…/comment-page-1/

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I have a friend that I grew up with that came to Camp Jewell. She raved about her summer camp experiences at Jewell and I always remember wishing I had that experience as a child. I remember her talking about her days and the activities that she would do and I always thought it was so much cooler and better than what I was doing back at home for the summer-and it really was! So when I finally grew up (if you can even say that?!) and I was able to have a child of my own and summer came around, I remembered my friend again and her summer experience. In 2013 I asked my son if he would want to do the same and he said yes in a heartbeat, and that was the beginning of his summer experience at Jewell. My son is 12 years old and an only child who has always been very independent. I don’t know if that is a feature of being an only child but at Jewell I find he really shines because of his independence and being able to help other kids that might not have that full capability of being independent yet. He’s a caring kid, too. Sure, he has his moments when he acts up, but he’s got a good heart and really does reach out to kids that are struggling and he tries to include everyone. I think only children do that because they are often the only ones around and have to find a way to make it in large groups/be included. They know how it feels to want to be included. So when someone isn’t included, they feel that and reach out to those kids. That’s how my son is with others. I’ve seen a lot of changes in my son since he started going to Camp Jewell. He wants to do more things by himself and on his own, even simple tasks like making dinner for the family. That’s a fabulous trait to see. You want your child to grow up knowing how to cook and provide for himself and others. So the fact that he wanted to cook and make a meal for the family was awesome! It didn’t have to be anything fancy but it was the effort that he took to do that. When he came back from his first summer at camp he was a little more confident and ready for anything. It was great to see such a positive and relaxed attitude in him. He’s always been a very chill kid, but you could just tell he all -around liked being away from his family, knowing that he could function day to day without me and without his stepdad giving all those gentle reminders. That’s a great thing for a kid to know and do. These days, we as parents...

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My Jewell Story

Many of our long-time campers and staff had their first Camp Jewell experience during the “off season”–team building, recreation and outdoor education programs we offer September through early June. Here’s one of these stories, from Shaina Provey, Utopian coordinator.

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Camp Away from Camp

What’s your most meaningful memento from camp? For Abby Weinreb, senior village coordinator it’s her sleeping bag, and here’s why:

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