General Questions

Q: How can I stay connected with my kid while they are at camp?

A: As a parent you can log in to our Camp Minder portal to view photos and send emails. For information on how to set up an account click here.

Q: How do I get to camp?

A: For Directions from Colorado Springs, click here.
For Directions from Denver, click here.

Q: Is there cell phone service at camp?

A: There is no cell service at camp, allowing our visitors to truly plug into nature! Camp does have land lines for emergency use. If you need to reach your camper, for other questions or to reach one of our camp staff, please call 303.647.2313.

Q: How much does it cost to rent your facility?

A: Our pricing is based on the programming you request, meal plans you select and your lodging accommodations. We offer day, multi-day and overnight retreat options. Please call our Conference and Retreat Center Director at 303.647.2313 for more information.

Q: Do you provide programming?

A: Yes! Camp Shady Brook offers programming for your retreat, whether it’s outdoor education, leadership programming or facilitating traditional camp activities such as boating, archery, our climbing wall, hiking and more. Please call our Conference and Retreat Center Director at 303.647.2313 to discuss goals of your retreat, and we can help you decide what kind of programming would benefit your group or team.

Q: What dates are available to rent Camp Shady Brook for our retreat?

A: We are open year-round! We have heated facilities for up to 150 and total facilities for up to 300. Please note that we operate weeklong sessions of summer camp for ages 6—17 from June to August, so summer dates are limited. Please contact 303.647.2313 for more information on availability.

Summer Camp

Q: I need to pick my camper up early – is that ok?

A: Absolutely. Please be sure to communicate to the program director what time you would like to pick your camper up prior to your arrival.

Q: What is the food like?

A: We consistently receive rave reviews about our camp food. Many campers request that we send our recipes to their school so that they can eat their favorite camp foods every day! We have fresh fruit available at breakfast, a salad bar at lunch and dinner and, of course, dessert after dinner. We are able to accommodate most dietary restrictions. If you have questions about your child’s dietary restrictions, please call our chef at camp at 303.647.2313.

Q: How many staff are in a cabin at a time?

A: For traditional camp programs, our ratio is 1:7.
For Mini-Aspen camp programs, our ratio is 1:5.

Q: My camper did not spend all of their camp store money. Do you offer refunds?

A: If your camper has less than ten dollars left in their account, you have the opportunity to spend it on checkout day, or donate it to the camper scholarship fund. No refunds under $10 will be processed.

If your camper has more than ten dollars left in their account and you would like a refund, you must submit a written request (email is fine) within two weeks of your camper’s session. After two weeks, it will be donated to the camper scholarship fund.

Q: My child has medications – how is that handled?

A: On check-in day, you will be asked to give your medications to our camp nurse. At that time, you will be able to review with the nurse the information about times/dosages/frequency/etc. Campers are not allowed to carry medication on them except for special circumstances, for example, an inhaler or an Epipen.

Q: Do you have a nurse/EMT on site?

A: Yes, our Camp Health Manager is on site and on call 24 hours a day, and is capable of handling all medications and illnesses.

Q: What if there is an emergency?

A: EMS response time is within 10 minutes, should they be required for an emergency situation. Parents will be notified by the Executive Director of any emergency that involves your camper(s).

Q: Can I contact my camper throughout the week?

A: We encourage parents to write letters to their campers or send a Bunk note (see above). Phone calls may cause homesickness in your camper. If you have an emergency and must reach camp, please call 303.647.2313.

Q: What is Bunk1?

A: Bunk1 is a great way for you to be able to stay in touch with your campers by writing them Bunk notes, which are essentially one-way emails. Bunk notes are printed off each day and distributed to the campers during mail call. Please note, this is a one-way service – campers are not able to respond via email.

Q: What if my camper gets homesick?

A: It is normal for campers to experience some homesickness during their time at camp. During staff orientation, our team participates in a comprehensive homesickness training. In addition to our training, we keep the campers busy with fun activities, so there is little time to become homesick. All parents will be notified if the homesickness lasts beyond the first night of camp, and appears to be affecting the camper’s experience.

Q: How do I sign up for a trail ride?

A: You can do this online when you register, by calling your local YMCA or, if space is available, you can register the day of camp. Please note that to guarantee a spot on a trail ride during your camper’s stay, it is recommended you register in advance. Limit two rides per session.

Q: What is a discovery center?

A: Discovery centers are specific times set aside for your camper to explore the camp activities they’re most interested in. We have three sets of discovery centers designed to allow your camper have the experience they desire. On the first day of camp, your campers will choose which discoveries they would like to attend. Then, from Monday through Thursday, your camper gets to participate in these discovery centers.

Discovery One & Two – This is a chance for you camper to advance their skill set at two chosen activity areas. Campers will participate and progress in these two activities every day from Monday through Thursday.

Discovery Three – This is an opportunity for your camper to select a different activity each day from Monday through Thursday. It’s great for trying out new activities and getting a sample of all camp has to offer.

Q: What activities do you offer?

A: We offer a wide variety of activities including, but not limited to, boating, archery, arts and crafts, swimming, hiking, camping, trail rides, drama, fishing, leadership development, riflery, slingshots, creek stomping, astronomy, basketball, volleyball, Ga-Ga ball, kickball, a ropes course, climbing wall and zip wire, and so much more. Please note that some of these activities have a minimum age requirement.

Q: What is Rest Time?

A: Rest Time is a time during the day that campers spend inside their cabin resting, writing letters home or playing quiet games.

Q: When/how can I pay the rest of my balance due?

A: Your full balance is due two weeks prior to the start of your session date. You can pay your balance due online at any time, or call or walk into a YMCA and a member associate will be happy to assist you.

Q: Where will my camper be living?

A: The lodging will vary slightly depending on your camper’s selected program and age. As they get older, campers will typically progress from modern cabins with attached washrooms to slightly more rustic cabins a short walk from the washrooms to the true camping experience of living in a tent platform!

Q: What do I need to bring to camp?

A: If you are a camper, please see our camper packing list. If you are a parent, please bring your photo ID, any money you want to deposit in your camper’s store account and a camera.

Q: What training does Camp Shady Brook staff go through?

A: All staff go through a comprehensive two-week training which includes behavior management, bullying prevention, child abuse education, homesickness and other camper situation elements, waterfront safety, inclusion and diversity and additional child developmental modules.

Additionally, all staff go through a rigorous interview process with our administrative team, a contact of three references, U.S. and state criminal background checks and fingerprinting. All staff are CPR/First Aid/AED and O2 certified. Waterfront staff have lifeguard certifications, and all other skilled area directors have certifications in their respective areas (riflery, horseback riding, ropes course, etc.).

Family Camp

Q: What do we need to bring?

A: Please click here to view our family camp information page, where you can download a recommended packing list and other information.

Q: What ages is Family Camp suitable for?

A: Family camp is for all ages! There are some activities, such as our high ropes course, that are restricted to ages 12+, but we always offer a variety of activities that provide options for all.

Q: What are the arrival and departure times?

A: Opening day check-in is typically around 4 – 6 p.m., with dinner being served around 6:30 p.m. Closing day departure is usually around 2 p.m. Upon registration, your family will receive a welcome letter that provides all the pertinent information.

Q: What happens while we are there?

A: Our family camp schedule is filled with many activities, such as our climbing wall, boating, archery and arts and crafts. You can customize your time at camp and sign up for activities that suit your family at times that work for you. Click here to see an example of our family camp schedule.*

*Please note that this may differ for upcoming camps.

Q: Where will we stay during Family Camp?

A: Each family will be assigned a cabin and may potentially share this cabin with another family. We will do our best to ensure you are paired with a family who have children of a similar age. Families wishing to share a cabin with a specific family may indicate so during registration. Please note that not all cabins are directly attached to a bathroom, which may be a short walk away.