With over 100 years of providing campers, going into second 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 8 to 10 campers and 2 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.
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 Friday night, bringing closure to the best week of their year.
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:
Arts & crafts
Cheer and dance
Country hoe down
Frisbee golf course
Frozen (yes, we have created an exciting game based on the popular film)
Ga-ga (an amazingly popular international camp game)
High and low ropes course
Mini farm (The goats can't wait for the campers to be BAAaaack)
Nature center with live animals
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 21-June 27
Session 5: July 12-July 18
Weekly Camp Fees:
Rate A: $575 This rate reflects the full cost of attending camp.
Rate 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.
Rate for weeks 1 & 2 (June 7-13 and June 14-20) ONLY: $350
Why three different rates?
We realize families have differing abilities to pay, so we offer a voluntary three-tiered pricing program. The price you choose in no way influences the quality of experience each child receives.
As always, we still offer scholarships to those who qualify to ensure that all children have this wonderful opportunity.
Online registration is easy. Sign up here.
Each week begins with check in from 2pm-4pm 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 9:30am-11am on the following Saturday.
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 email@example.com.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 Fridays at 9:30 am (CST)
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.