YMCA Camp Wakonda

With over 100 years of providing campers, going into third grade through senior year of high school, with "The Best Week of Their Year," Camp Wakonda helps campers grow in confidence and self-esteem while building relationships that will last a lifetime!

Our cabins sleep 6 to 7 campers and 1 or more counselors. Each cabin has electricity, a fan at each bunk, and air conditioning. The Wakonda Shower House is just a short walk away, and features a modern restroom and shower facilities. Three hearty, balanced meals are served each day with vegetarian and 'picky eater' options. All meals are served family style in our historic dining hall and campers also prepare their own dinner on their overnight.

All of our facilities meet or exceed OSHA and MO State inspection standards.

New in 2021 we are offering a Mini-Camp 2-Night Experience for kids entering second grade.  

Making Lifelong Friendships

The heart of the Camp Wakonda experience is a close knit group of campers led by mature, caring counselors who share a variety of fun, exciting and safe activities. Your child's day is filled with challenges and adventures that afford unique opportunities for campers to learn new life skills and grow in self-confidence and esteem.

Campers are grouped by age and are offered activities appropriate to their development level. Each day campers will participate in three skill clinics of their choice in the morning and then undertake adventures with their cabin group after lunch and rest hour. The day wouldn't be complete without a refreshing dip in the crystal clear water of our pool. 

Older campers participate in special evening sessions, led by our senior staff, dealing with challenging issues your camper faces. Evenings include all camp special events, campfires, sleep-outs and night hikes. They will always remember closing campfire on the last night, bringing closure to the best week of their year.

Learning Skills

Campers choose their three favorite activities which they will attend Monday through Friday. Our well-trained staff will help your camper progress through the activity based on his or her skill level. Campers grow in self-esteem and confidence as they see the progress they make each day. Learning new skills is one of the best ways to impact your camper while they are here. The skills learned there at camp will be with them for the rest of their lives.

Campers may learn map and compass skills, fire building, archery, arts and crafts, rock climbing, knots and belay techniques, nature identification, camp crafts, outdoor cooking, fishing, teambuilding and low ropes initiatives.


We couldn't possibly list all the activities you can choose from to fill your day, but here are a few:

  • Archery

  • Arts & crafts

  • Basketball

  • Campfires

  • Campout night

  • Canoeing

  • Chapel Rock

  • Cheer and dance

  • Climbing wall

  • Country hoe down

  • Creek hike

  • Drama/skits

  • Field games

  • Frisbee golf course

  • Frozen (yes, we have created an exciting game based on the popular film)

  • Gold Rush

  • Ga-ga (an amazingly popular international camp game)

  • High and low ropes course

  • Initiative games

  • Luau

  • Mini farm (The goats can't wait for the campers to be BAAaaack)

  • Nature center with live animals

  • ​Soccer

  • Swimming pool

  • Tetherball

  • Tie dye

  • Trading post

  • Volleyball

  • 300-foot zip line

Counselor in Training Program

Sometimes referred to as Campers in Transition, the 'CIT' program is designed for teens in grades 11 and 12. This program assists these young adults in their growth and development of leadership, communication, cooperation, compromise and problem solving skills. All of which are important abilities for their futures here at camp, and also in all other aspects of their lives.


CITs will be assigned to observe and assist with a cabin of younger campers, under the observation of the two cabin counselors. CITs will also observe counseling and teaching styles as they shadow morning clinics during their week.

Guest speakers will lead discussions on a variety of topics, including leadership and effective communication. Living in a cabin with 10 younger campers and 2 college-age counselors allows CITs to begin the transition from camper to staff.


We are offering 2 CIT weeks this year:

Session 3: June 20-June 25

Session 5: July 11-July 16

June 6 - June 11
SESSION 1:  Pirate

All you Scalawags get ready for a week of fun and frolic.  Leave the real swords at home but be prepared for pool noodle sword play and plenty of time on the water.  Eye patches, peg legs and parrots are the order of the day with a final pirate feast to round out the week, utensils optional.

Session 1: Pirate June 6-11

July 11 - July 16
SESSION 5: Night at the Oscars

Session 5: Night at the Oscars July 11-16

Stars & Paparazzi are all over camp as we prepare for our ‘Live Performance First Screening’ of Cabin Skits.  We roll out the red carpet for our Friday Night Theme dinner where we all get to preview the new film stars on the BIG screen.  Gowns and tuxes can be sent along with campers, but don’t send anything you don’t expect to get dirty and wrinkled.

June 13 - June 18
SESSION 2: Super Hero

Masks & Capes abound as all super heroes unite here at Camp Wakonda!  Marvel, DC, Powder Puff and even Kim Possible have all been seen doing amazing feats of Caring, Honesty, Respect, Responsibility, Faith & Friendship.  No costumes required, cabins have a blast making their own.

Session 2: Super Hero June 13-18

July 18 - July 23
SESSION 6: Christmas in July

Session 6: Christmas in July  18-23

Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and O Holy Night will be heard at Flag Raising and Lowering as campers decorate their cabin and themselves in an effort to be the most festive on Camp.  Send along the Santa hat and the jingle bells if you’ve got them.

June 20 - June 25
SESSION 3: Country Hoe Down

Com’ on Down for a week of Farmer Jeans & Flannel!  Campers always enjoy the Gold Rush, Country Courier and of course the Country Hoe Down Dance!

Session 3: Country Hoe Down June 20-25

July 25 -July 30
SESSION 7: Color Extravaganza

Session 7: Color Extravaganza July 25- July 30

The entire Camp is placed onto teams of Red, Green, Blue and Yellow to compete in a multitude of zany games throughout the week.  The team who accrues the most points at the end of the week earns the title of Extravaganza Champion but with so much fun occurrence, everyone is a winner.  If you can, send a white T-shirt for tye-dyeing.

July 4 - July 9
SESSION 4: Red, White, & Blue

‘It’s time to show off your Patriotic Spirit as we celebrate America in all its Glory!  Patriotic songs and a Red White & Blue Parade are all part of the festivities!  (Campers can find great deals on all of the left over 4th of July decorations on July 5-8).’

Session 4: Red, White & Blue July 4 - July 9

July 4 - July 6

This mini-camp is a perfect 2-night experience for our younger campers.  Program is designed specifically to meet the needs of kids entering 2nd grade to have their first positive camping experience.

MINI-CAMP SESSION 1: July 4 - July 6

August 1 -August 6
SESSION 8: Magical Summer

Any and All Magic from Disney to Hogwarts will fill the air at Camp!  The Magic of Camp is felt by all as we play Quidditch, Broomstick Races and enjoy a Magical Feast at our Theme Dinner.

Session 8: Magical Summer Aug 1-6

July 7 - July 9

This mini-camp is a perfect 2-night experience for our younger campers.  Program is designed specifically to meet the needs of kids entering 2nd grade to have their first positive camping experience.

MINI-CAMP SESSION 2: July 7 - July 9




Rate for weeks 1 & 2 (June 6-11 and June 13-18)

ONLY: $350

Tier A: $575

This rate reflects the full cost of attending camp. Up to 50% financial assistance available.

Tier B: $475

Thanks to the efforts of our hard-working volunteers and in-kind donors, we are able to offer this rate for those families where the cost of camp would be out of reach. No financial assistance available. 


This mini-camp is a perfect 2-night experience for our younger campers.  Program is designed specifically to meet the needs of kids entering 2nd grade to have their first positive camping experience.


July 4 - 6

July 7 - 9


We offer financial assistance to those who qualify. For more information on financial assistance contact campwakonda@orymca.org

Welcome Parents

Each week begins with check in from 2-4 pm on Sunday afternoon. Parents should plan on the check in process taking about one hour from start to finish.

Pick up at the end of the week is between 2-4 pm on Friday.

Campers are placed into cabin groups by grade level. Cabin mate requests are honored whenever possible, taking into account camper age.

We will be posting photos from each day on the Camp Wakonda Facebook page as time permits. Please ‘like’ the page to receive updates and new information.
Camp Wakonda is partnering with Pack For Camp, a national vendor who can help you shop for camp right from your computer. They have matched our packing list with items for you to choose. Camp Wakonda will receive a portion of the proceeds from each order to support Financial Assistance for our campers.

For your reference, our Parent Handbook is available any time. You can also pay any portion of your camp balance here. 

Mail and E-Mail to Campers


Please allow five business days for mail to reach camp. Campers LOVE to receive mail! Please write to your child at least once before their camp session begins. This will ensure the camper will receive at least one letter from home while at camp. We deliver mail each day. Make sure your letters are cheerful and enthusiastic, while focusing on camp events and involvement – not what is happening back home. This will help to prevent homesickness. Parents can drop off mail during check in to ensure your camper receives a letter right away.

Mail letters to:

Camper's Full Name and Session #

Camper's Cabin Name*

YMCA Camp Wakonda

22237 Lawrence 2080

Ash Grove, Mo 65604

You may also send electronic messages to your camper. Just fill out the form below, or send an email with your camper's name and cabin name in the subject line to camper@orymca.org.We ask that you limit messages to one per day. They will be printed each morning before 7:00 am. Any messages received after that time will be delivered the following day. We will stop accepting messages on Thursday at Noon (CST)
Typical Schedule
Medication Times

Medications are regularly given at the following times. If you need medication to be given at a different time, please inform the nurse.


Camp Wakonda is just 30 minutes west of Springfield. 


From Springfield: Take I-44 west to exit 58. Go south over I-44 and turn right on Highway O heading South for 2.5 miles to Lawrence 2080. Turn right. Camp is 1.25 miles from the intersection on the left side of Lawrence 2080.


From Joplin: Take I-44 east to exit 58. Turn right on Highway O heading South for 2.5 miles to Lawrence 2080. Turn right. Camp is 1.25 miles from the intersection on the left side of Lawrence 2080.

Our Counselors Change the World

Often camp is a place where lifelong friendships begin. Our college-age counselors receive extensive training on how to create opportunities to foster these friendships. Campers grow in self-awareness and an understanding of their natural world through the guidance and leadership of their counselors.

All counselors are trained in CPR and First Aid through the American Red Cross and have passed a National Background Check.