Children learn through play and benefit from exploring new interests, as well as mastering skills. Cabin groups of 5 to 7 campers will be scheduled for small-group high-participation learning in cabin activities. Large-group games and events involving all campers and staff create memorable moments of fun and belonging.
By engaging in both small and larger groups, campers develop personal competencies, as well as invaluable teamwork and communication skills. And our graded program ensures that campers engage in age-appropriate activities and look forward to greater challenge in future summers.
Activities may be added or changed without notice.
Under the direction of our certified Archery Specialist, cabin groups learn and hone archery skills and earn points to reach beginner, intermediate and master level awards.
All cabin groups will have the opportunity to unlock their creativity and produce a one-of-a-kind work of art. Campers are guided through the creative process by our Craft Specialist who helps build their confidence and encourages self-expression. Free time crafts are also offered throughout the session.
Our Chronicles of Narnia themed 18-hole Frisbee Golf Course winds through camp offering cabin groups the opportunity to learn a variety of disc throws while they hike the grounds to their next hole. Campers enjoy friendly competitions or work to beat their personal record.
A favorite of our campers, gaga ball is a fast-paced, high energy game played in an octagonal pit. Dubbed a gentler version of dodgeball, you’ll find campers playing a rousing game all day long.
Pellet rifle safety, handling and Olympic style shooting are taught by our certified Marksmanship Specialist for cabin groups of all ages. Campers will develop skills in the prone, kneeling and standing positions and earn points to reach beginner, intermediate and master level awards.
Nestled by the creek are 10 team-building low ropes elements available to cabin groups of all ages. Supervised by our certified Ropes Course Manager and Backpack Guides, activities such as the Blindman Maze, Spider’s Web, Nitro Crossing and Trust Fall give campers the chance to communicate, collaborate and problem solve in new ways. Cabin groups leave the low ropes course with deepened friendships and memorable experiences.
Campers will learn and practice the fundamentals and rules of competitive play, and engage in matches against other cabin groups. Competitive and just-for-fun matches are also played during free time.
Under the care and supervision of YSSC’s Nature Specialist, cabin groups learn about a wide variety of small mountain critters. Nature hikes and experiments add to their knowledge helping campers safety engage with and more deeply appreciate and respect God’s stunning creation. Nature study is a favorite activity among our younger campers.
Whether campers are new to the sport or arrive as expert skaters, our Skateboard Specialist will coach campers to learn new skills on YSSC’s Half Pipe. As each trick is mastered, new challenges will be presented. Camp provides full safety gear and skateboards, however, campers are welcome to bring their own gear which will held in safekeeping for personal use.
Under the supervision of our Skateboard Specialist, campers cruise YSSC’s hilly terrain on wide-tire MBS Mountainboards complete with back hand brakes. Full safety gear and attentive coaching makes campers more confident amidst the thrills and spills of this activity.
Cooking over the campfire is a milestone for all children. Through the Outdoor Cooking activity cabin groups will learn campfire safety and prepare tasty dishes under the supervision of our Food Handler’s Certified Specialist. Campers love to share their experience and recipes with their families when they return home.
Whether playing water basketball, competing in log rolling, or just cooling off after a warm afternoon of activity, campers always love being in the swimming pool. It is also the site of numerous pool parties and silly, creative competitions. All campers are evaluated for swimming ability to ensure proper supervision is provided and YSSC’s certified life guards are always posted.
Campers, grades 7 and older, will join their cabin groups on YSSC’s high ropes elements. Under the careful supervision of our certified Ropes Course Manager and Backpack Guides, campers dawn helmets, harnesses and are on belay while exercising their trust, courage, teamwork and encouragement skills. Suspended 40 to 60 feet in the air, all high ropes elements are inspected and trained on annually by Challenge Works, Inc.
All cabin groups are excited to scale our 65 ft Climbing Wall and the Tower of Power. Supervised by YSSC’s certified Ropes Course Manager and Backpack Guides, campers climb with helmets and harnesses, setting personal goals for height, pace and level of challenge. Cabin mates celebrates each camper’s individual level of success while courage and confidence grow.
With life jackets and paddles in hand, cabin groups take a short walk along the creek to Willow Cove on Bass Lake to embark of their kayak and canoe adventures. Campers learn the basics small craft maneuvering including loading and unloading, paddling and steering. Two-person kayaks and our 8-person “war canoe” help develop teamwork and collaboration skills.
Among our most popular cabin activities are YSSC’s lake excursions including knee and wake boarding, water skiing and banana boating. Our well-trained and lifeguard certified boat drivers patiently teach beginning skiers and seasoned skiers alike. Cabin mates cheer on each skier who develops persistence as they try, try, try again to get up, cross the wake or stay on their craft. Each summer, the Bass Lake sheriffs count YSSC’s staff among the most conscientious on the water.
YSSC’s double decker pontoon creates a water playground of its own. Supervised by their counselor and a lifeguard certified boat driver, campers jump, flip, splash around or simply lounge in the sun. For campers unfamiliar with the lake setting, this activity builds familiarity and comfort. On occasion, stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is paired up with the pontoon boat experience for the 2-hour, fun-in-the-sun time with your pals.
A favorite activity for all campers is their foray 30 minutes from camp to Soquel Meadows for a day of reimagined Capture the Flag. The boys’ game day is affectionately known as “Outpost” and the girls’ is “Uzemahti”. This day of getting dirty, adventure, strategy, costume and tradition creates some of our campers’ most vivid memories. Outpost and Uzamahti always end with yummy stew and stories around the campfire.
This half-day offsite excursion is a special privilege for middle school aged cabin groups. Just a 30-minute drive from camp, this little-known granite canyon offers an idyllic rock climbing experience for beginner as well as seasoned climbers. Lead by our certified Backpack Guides, The Axle helps campers grow in confidence and courage in a truly natural setting. When the creek levels are right, campers will also be accompanied by a YSSC lifeguard and enjoy a refreshing slide into the creek.
Campers grade 3 to 6 will venture into the magnificent Yosemite Valley via charter bus for a day of hiking and nature exploration. Cabin groups experience the grandeur of the National Park and practice hiking fundamentals such as staying together on the trail, hydration, and “Leave No Trace” on hikes to locations such as Vernal, Yosemite and Hidden Falls and Mirror Lake. Our day in the Valley always ends with a plentiful pizza dinner before heading back to camp for a shower and a good night’s sleep.
A pinnacle experience for campers 7th grade and older is the 3-day backpack trip into stunning Ansel Adams Wilderness of the Sierra National Forest. Hiking distance with packs ranges from 1 to 7 miles depending on the age of the cabin group. Rock climbing, day hikes, reflection time, campfire sharing and incredible star gazing fill in the rest of the campers’ days. Plenty of tasty food is provided. Backpack trips are led by Wilderness First Responder certified backpack guides who receive weeks of training in additional to that of other camp staff. InReach satellite communication devices provide daily check-ins between backpack trips and main camp. The accomplishment, personal growth and bonding that occur on these trips is unmatched by any other single activity at camp.
Several nights each session, all campers and staff gather on a large granite natural amphitheater called Star Rock for a time of singing, laughing and learning more about the God who loves us unconditionally. Our traditional shout down the canyon brings echoes back to delight campers of all ages.
After making s’mores around the campfire with their cabin mates, campers crawl into their sleeping bags and stretch out on Star Rock, a giant granite slab with a panoramic view of camp. Once each session, every cabin group will meet up with another cabin of the same gender for an evening of star gazing, storytelling and a cool night’s sleep supervised by counselors. It’s a favorite memory of our campers.
Youthful imagination abounds on these special days where campers 6th grade and younger have camp all to themselves. Themed days for just the girls and then just the boys offer kids the chance to get to know better campers from other cabins and to embark on an adventure that lasts all day long. Contests, crafts, fun food, epic battles and visits from dinosaurs, mermaids, cowboys or aliens are not unheard of.