2019 summer camps to be announced in February.

YMCA Camp Elks provides campers with a traditional outdoor day camp experience. Nestled in the heart of Boulder, Camp Elks is an outdoor, nature-based program where campers will have the opportunity to make new friends through adventure, challenge and exploration. Each day at camp begins with an opening ceremony where stories, music and funny anecdotes get us ready for the day’s events. Campers will enjoy day trips to some of Colorado’s most beautiful hiking destinations. Campers will also spend their summer days in camp shooting archery, cooling off at our on-site pool and expressing their creative side through arts and crafts, drama, sports and fun games. 

Each camp day ends with a closing campfire (symbolic) where campers and counselors come together to share stories, recognize each other through the Bead Ceremony (character values) and reflect on their time at camp.

2018 Camps

Campers Are Divided By Appropriate Age Groups:

  • Trailblazers (Entering 1st-2nd grade)
  • Pioneers (Entering 3rd-4th grade)
  • Adventurers (Entering 5th-6th grade)


  • Pre-Camp Care: 7:30am-9:00am
  • Camp Activities & Excursions: 9:00am-4:00pm
  • Post-Camp Care: 4:00pm-6:00pm

Camp is officially 9:00am-4:00pm. However, we offer pre- and post-camp options for families that need additional child care before and/or after camp. Pre- and post-camp is optional, and there is no additional cost.


Boulder Elks Club, 3975 28th St, Boulder

Optional drop-off and pick-up service available at the Arapahoe YMCA in Lafayette (sessions 1-11 only). Drop off is 7:30-8:30am and pick-up is 4:45-5:30pm. You must register for this separately. Space is limited.

Weekly Fees

Full-time (4-5 days a week)

  • Member: $295
  • Non-member: $345

Part-time (1-3 days a week)
You must confirm your part-time days with your camp director.

  • Member: $250
  • Non-member: $290

Horseback Riding Fee: $65 per week (optional). You must register for this separately. Not available during Session 12.

Session Dates

  • Session 1 May 29-June 1
    No camp May 28.
  • Session 2 June 4-8
  • Session 3 June 11-15
  • Session 4 June 18-22
  • Session 5 June 25-29
  • Session 6 July 2-6
    No camp July 4.
  • Session 7 July 9-13
  • Session 8 July 16-20
  • Session 9 July 23-27
  • Session 10 July 30-Aug 32
  • Session 11 Aug 6-10
  • Session 12 Aug 13-14 (No bus service. No horseback riding.)


Add horseback riding and/or bus service to camp. You must register for these options separately from Camp Elks.

Horseback Riding

Add horseback riding to camp! Available for Sessions 1-11. Add horseback riding in the registration checkout process.

Bus Drop-off & Pick-up

Optional drop-off and pick-up service available at the Arapahoe YMCA in Lafayette for Sessions 1-11. Drop off is 7:30-8:30am and pick-up is 4:45-5:30pm. You must register for this separately. Space is limited. Add bus transportation in the registration checkout process.

5 Ways Summer Camp Benefits Your Kids

May 12, 2015, 17:00 PM by Emily Sampl

Each and every summer, hundreds of kids trek off to one of the YMCA of Boulder Valley’s sports camps, day camps or overnight camps. Besides simply getting kids out of the house and into a safe, supervised environment as well as keeping them active during the summer months, YMCA camps also provide kids the opportunity to learn lifelong lessons and interact with different groups of kids than they might see at school. Our YMCA Camp Santa Maria staff see five major benefits for kids involved in these camps:

  1. Developing self-efficacy.

At camp, we can allow kids to try new things and build their skills based on real feedback and personal choices. We try to give descriptive praise rather than evaluative praise, so the kids can see and hear praise based on what they did rather than simply "good job." Campers see that they will be recognized for their actual skills, not just blanket comments that cover everyone. Self-efficacy is more important than self-esteem, which often relies on external praise for a child's development.


  1. Risk-taking in a safe environment.

We allow kids to take some risks at camp; it could be trying rock climbing, dance, art, canoeing or singing in front of the whole camp. The staff is there to keep the kids safe, emotionally and physically, and to allow the kids to experience failure. When the kids do experience failure, we want to see that failure as a step to skill development and potential mastery.

  1. Making and building friendships.

We focus on getting kids to meet new people who might not be in their normal social circles and have conversations with kids about important things. Conversations, like what it means to be a friend and what it means to be caring or respectful. Each small group of kids gets the chance to interact with other people face-to-face. Many times, friendships formed at camp can last a lifetime.

  1. Learning new skills.

At Camp Santa Maria, kids have the opportunity to make choices about what they want to try, and they can do it once or multiple times each day. The kids are not locked into the roles they usually are in at school, and many activities are things they can't do at home or school like art, archery, canoeing, kayaking, sling-shots, dance or exploring nature.

  1. FUN! Or FUNN – Functional Understanding Not Necessary.

Sometimes we do things just for fun. Playing for the sake of playing.

Emily Sampl is a YMCA of Boulder Valley aquatics staff member and freelance writer. 

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