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YMCA Camp Edwards




N8901 Army Lake Rd,
East Troy, WI 53120
All bookings are free!
Camp Price 2019:
$1396
/ per session
Camp Category: ACA Accredited, Adventure, Arts&Crafts, Basketball, Canoening, Coed, Field Hockey, Fishing, GaGa, Games, Golf, Kayaking, Lake, Rock Climbing, Ropes Course, Swimming, Traditional, Voleyball, Water Polo
Camp Prices 2020
Session dates and prices will be annonced closer to the start of new season.

Want to be notified? Fill out the form!

About Camp Edwards

Edwards YMCA Camp & Retreat Center on the shores of Lake Beulah, offers the serenity of a quiet rural place amidst 132 acres of marshlands, pine forest, prairies, and wooded dells. Edwards, established in 1929, is a branch of the Golden Corridor Family YMCA. Located in East Troy, Wisconsin, Edwards is within easy traveling distance of Chicago, Milwaukee, Rockford and the Madison metropolitan areas.

Edwards offers a variety of exceptional camping opportunities at our year-round facility. Call for more information to see if Edwards is the place for you!
Camp Overview
In 1928, the Elgin (IL) YMCA embarked on the monumental task of finding the ideal property for a summer camp for boys. A committee was formed, and they set out to look throughout Northern Illinois, Northern Indian, Western Michigan, and Southern Wisconsin for the future camp. After traveling hundreds of miles, the committee could not decide on the same piece of land but knew it had to have a great lake for recreation.

At the last location they were to visit, they parked their cars in an open area in the woods, well away from the traffic and neighbors. As the men walked through the heavy woods and over a hill, they found themselves looking over the pristine waters of Lake Beulah. Isolated from any buildings, except for a few lake homes hidden in the woods across from where they were standing, the men became acutely aware of the sounds of nature all around them. It was at this time the countless days and hundreds of miles of traveling came to an end as the committee finally, and unanimously, agreed that they found the spot for the camp.

A.D. Edwards, a long time philanthropic Elgin citizen and Foundry owner, challenged the YMCA to match his $16,000 donation to purchase and build the camp. It was almost unbelievable that within a week, the matching funds were raised and the Elgin YMCA had $40,000 in hand to purchase and build the camp.

Throughout 1928 and 1929, contractors, board members, and volunteers constructed 10 cabins and Totem Lodge (later renamed Micklewright Lodge), drilled wells, laid plumbing and established telephone and electrical lines, and in June 1929, the camp saw their first campers.

The camp was named Camp Edwards in honor of Mr. & Mrs. A.D. Edwards, not only for their initial gift, but their continuous support in bringing camp into reality.

This is not a complete history of the camp, as history is being made every day.
Programs
Waterfront
From our beginning we have been considered a waterfront camp due to our location on beautiful Lake Beulah.

  • Five Butterfly sailboats and one 17' C-Scow*
  • Chaparral and Caravelle Speedboats used for tubing*
  • 24' Weeres Pontoon boat*
  • Extensive collection of recreational, touring, and performance kayaks*
  • 14 canoes
  • Row boats
  • Large swimming area*
  • Jungle Joe water inflatable*
  • Kayak polo*
  • Fishing equipment
  • Snorkeling equipment*
*Open Memorial Day till Labor Day.

Adventure
35' climbing tower Two vertical playgrounds Three element high ropes course 800' zip line Two low ropes courses Two group initiatives courses Sports and Athletics

  • Cooper Recreation Center – Indoor
  • Basketball / Volleyball Court
  • Two basketball courts
  • Sand volleyball court
  • Two Ga-Ga
  • Dodgeball arenas
  • Kickball field
  • Soccer field
  • Frisbee golf course
  • Street hockey
  • Four 4-square courts
  • Arts and Crafts Center
  • In Cooper Recreation Center
    Camp Edwards Difference
    We understand that sending your child to summer camp takes a tremendous amount of faith. At Camp Edwards, we take the responsibility very seriously and work to maintain a camp experience free from negativity, promoting respect for all, fostering positive values, and encouraging the campers to learn about themselves. We consider ourselves the real Social Network made up of real people to interact with, learn about, and appreciate.
    A day at Camp Edwards
    No two days are exactly the same at camp. On the first day, Youth and Trekker campers will choose "skills" which they will attend for an hour each day, building on what they learned the day before to become proficient in their skill choices. Skills include, but are not limited to:

    • Archery
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Canoeing
    • Fishing
    • H2Awesome*
    • High Adventure*
    • Kayaking*
    • Kayak Polo*
    • Land Sports
    • Nature Sailing*
    • Snorkeling*
    • Swimming
    • Wilderness Survival
    *Some skills require a certain swim level or age to participate in.

    Each day also contains two periods of structured free time. These include General Swim (G-Swim) and Camper's Choice. During these times, scheduled activities are available and campers can choose where they wish to spend their time. If they choose not to swim or participate in a particular activity, they have the option of visiting the Trading Post or to just hang out with their new friends. All areas are properly supervised by camp staff.
    All Youth and Trekker campers will also participate in a "Pack Out." During their pack out, they will trek into the woods to cook their dinner over a campfire, and maybe even camp out if the weather permits!

    Each day culminates with an all-camp activity! This varies each day depending on the theme and can include Capture the Flag, a Lip Sync Contest, Dutch Auction, Alpha Wolf, or the always popular "All-Camp-Dance!"

    A typical day looks like this:

    7:00 Wake Up!
    7:15 Road Runners & Morning Dip
    7:50 Flag Raising
    8:00 Breakfast
    8:45 Cabin Clean Up
    9:00 Skill 1
    10:00 Skill 2
    11:00 Cabin Activity Time
    11:45 Cabin Roll Call
    12:00 Lunch
    12:45 Siesta (Trekker Time)
    2:00 Skill 3
    3:00 Skill 4
    4:00 G-Swim
    5:15 Flag Lowering
    5:30 Dinner
    6:15 Camper's Choice
    7:15 Evening Program
    8:30 Vespers/ Shower Time
    9:00 Devotions
    9:30 Lights Out (Youth Camp)
    10:00 Lights Out (Trekkers)
      Packing List
      Outdoor Education Suggested Packing Items
      • Everyday Clothing: Most of the activities at camp are going to happen outdoors, so please do not send new clothing. Everything that comes to camp has the chance to get wet or dirty. Because of the amount of walking that the students will be doing, their shoes should be well fitting, and sandals and flip flops are not recommended. You do not need to purchase any clothing for camp.
      • Lodging Items: Camp Edwards will provide cabins/lodges with heat and comfortable beds for your student's stay with us. They should bring their own bedding for the trip, either sleeping bag or sheets and blankets, and a pillow. They should also bring any toiletries that they will need for the trip (Towel, soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.)
      • Miscellaneous Items: There are many other items that you could send with the students that can enrich their trip, but none are necessary. Check with the teachers from the school in order to know the specifics, but some usual items are a journal, pencils, disposable camera, book, flashlight, etc.
      • Spending Money: We do have a trading post on site that some of our school groups choose to visit. Most items in the trading post are $30 or less. Check with your school to see if the students will be visiting the trading post.
      • Luggage: The students will be carrying their luggage to their lodging so they should try to keep their luggage to one container (suitcase, duffle bag, hiking backpack) for their clothing and toiletries and one container for their bedding. Garbage bags are great because for the most part, they are waterproof.
      • Rainy Day Clothing: Here at Camp Edwards we do most of our activities rain or shine, and being prepared for changes in the weather is important. Water-proof/resistant outer clothing, hats, and shoes are a great addition to their suitcases.
      • Cold Weather Clothing: Just like for rain, outdoor activities are usually not cancelled for cold weather. The weather can change quickly here, so it is important to be prepared just in case. Clothing that can be layered is great for those cold days. Gloves and warm hats are a must have for those cold months.
      What to Bring
      • Sheets and blankets or sleeping bag
      • Pillow
      • 2 pairs of old tennis shoes
      • 4 shirts
      • 6 pairs of socks
      • 4 pairs of underclothes
      • 2 pairs of jeans/pants
      • Warm jacket
      • Rain jacket/poncho
      • Flashlight
      • Washcloth/towel
      • Toothbrush/toothpaste
      • Deodorant
      • Soap/shampoo
      • Water bottle
      • Backpack (optional)
      • Camera (optional)
      • Laundry bag for wet/dirty clothes (a trash bag will work just fine)
      Activities
      Waterfront
      From our beginning we have been considered a waterfront camp due to our location on beautiful Lake Beulah.

      • Five Butterfly sailboats and one 17' C-Scow*
      • Chaparral and Caravelle Speedboats used for tubing*
      • 24' Weeres Pontoon boat*
      • Extensive collection of recreational, touring, and performance kayaks*
      • 14 canoes
      • Row boats
      • Large swimming area*
      • Jungle Joe water inflatable*
      • Kayak polo*
      • Fishing equipment
      • Snorkeling equipment*
      *Open Memorial Day till Labor Day.


      Adventure
      • 35' climbing tower
      • Two vertical playgrounds
      • Three element high ropes course
      • 800' zip line
      • Two low ropes courses
      • Two group initiatives courses

      Sports and Athletics

      • Cooper Recreation Center – Indoor
      • Basketball / Volleyball Court
      • Two basketball courts
      • Sand volleyball court
      • Two Ga-Ga
      • Dodgeball arenas
      • Kickball field
      • Soccer field
      • Frisbee golf courseStreet hockey
      • Four 4-square courts
      • Arts and Crafts Center
      • In Cooper Recreation Center
      Accommodation
      Camp Edwards offers 12 comfortable, heated cabins for your convenience. Each cabin can hold up to 12 people and comes with 6 twin-sized bunk beds. All cabins are equipped with electricity as well. In addition to our cabins, there are 7 standard showers and one handicap shower available for our guests.
      Safety
      There's a saying at camp; "Safety First, Fun 1A." We are fully prepared, and continually train staff in the unlikely event an emergency arises. Lost campers/ swimmers, weather emergencies, and unannounced visitors are just a few of the things our staff prepares for.

      All staff are American Red Cross certified in First Aid, CPR, and AED administration, and swim bands are worn by all campers and seasonal staff for safety. A Red Cross Lifeguard supervises all waterfront activities, and all campers participating in boating activities must wear US Coast Guard approved personal floatation devices. Camp is staffed with a 24-hour Medical Coordinator to administer medication, tend to bumps and bruises, and provide care when your child isn't feeling 100%
      Food & Nutrition
      The term "camp food" can carry a negative connotation of substandard food quality. Small portions of gray meat, slimy vegetables, and bug juice made from real bugs. However, at Camp Edwards we take our camper nutrition seriously and know that a well fueled body makes a happy camper. Therefore, we provide nutritious and healthy meals for our campers, guests, and staff to enjoy. Fresh fruit daily, a large salad bar option at dinner, and home-cooked meals are prepared three times daily for our campers to enjoy.
      Below is sample of our daily food options to our campers. Some meals are altered for special groups and not listed below.

      We are able to accommodate some Gluten free requests, and always provide a hot vegetarian option for our non-meat eaters. We are a nut free kitchen and a simple call to our Food Service Director can assist in preparing campers that are allergic to different ingredients present in certain foods.
      Staff
      Every summer, Camp Edwards hires approximately 60 summer staff members to provide a safe, unique, and fun experience to the 1250 summer resident campers and 200 day campers. With an average camper return rate of 67%, it is no wonder we are able to grow our own staff. Approximately 75% of our summer staff have been campers and have graduated through our leadership programs. This provides us with an amazing group of young adults that we have literally seen grow up before our eyes and provides program continuity and tradition preservation.

      We also hire several international staff from English speaking countries to provide a new and fun experience for the campers. Although the campers reap the benefits of being with these great people, the International Staff also benefit from the relationships they build with the campers and each develops a new appreciation for the cultural differences and likenesses found within each other.
      Directions
      From Illinois via Highway 12
      Take Highway 12 North to I-43 North
      Follow I-43 North to Highway 20 West
      Turn left and go to stoplight
      Turn right on ES (at stoplight)
      Go about 1.2 miles to Army Lake Road (just past Sawyers)
      Turn Left and go about 1/2 mile to camp drive on left

      From Illinois via I-94
      Take I-94 North towards Milwaukee
      Exit Highway 20 West (toward Waterford)
      Follow Hwy 20 thru Waterford (approx 10 miles from Waterford)
      At intersection of Hwy 83 and 20, keep left on 20 to East Troy (approx 11 miles)
      Turn right on ES (at stoplight)
      Go about 1.2 miles on ES to Army Lake Road
      Turn Left and go about 1/2 mile to camp drive on left

      From Beloit
      Take I-43 North to Highway 20 West (East Troy Exit)
      Turn left and go to stoplight
      Turn right on ES (at stoplight)
      Go about 1.2 miles to Army Lake Road (just past Sawyers)
      Turn Left and go about 1/2 mile to camp drive on left

      From Madison
      Take I-94 East to Hwy 83 South
      (Hartland/Wales Exit)
      Follow Hwy 83 to Mukwonago
      At third Stoplight follow ES to the right
      Follow ES to Army Lake Road
      (second right past Elegant Farmer)
      Go about 1/2 mile to camp drive on right

      From Milwaukee
      Take I-43 South to Highway 20 West (East Troy Exit)
      Turn right on Hwy 20 and go to stoplight
      Turn right on ES (at stoplight)
      Go about 1.2 miles to Army Lake Road (just past Sawyers)
      Turn Left and go about 1/2 mile to camp drive on left
      FAQ
      Can my son/daughter bring a cell phone, iPod, or other electronics?
      We work hard to guarantee that a wide variety of activities are offered every moment your child is at camp, and there is enough physical and mental stimulation here to render electronic devices unnecessary. This is a great time for your students to disconnect from the digital world and enjoy the moments here at camp.

      School policies may vary as to whether the students can bring these items to camp. Many schools will let students travel on the bus with these items, however, it is the school's discretion on the use of mobile devices. If the school allows mobile devices, we recommend providing a Ziploc bag with your child's name on it that will fit all of these items. Camp Edwards allows cameras in public areas but check with your school for their policies.

      My child takes medications. How will these be dispensed?
      It will depend on the age and current setup at school. Your school will usually select someone to dispense medications (usually at mealtimes or at snack just before heading back to the cabins for the evening). We will provide a place to secure the medications and refrigerate them if necessary. Any emergency medication, like inhalers, epinephrine, or similar items should have one that stays with the student and another that is with the rest of the medications.

      What sort of food is available at Camp Edwards? Is it good?

      The food served will depend on the amount of time that the students are at camp and what meals that the teachers have chosen. We have a full service kitchen staffed with professionals that are dedicated to making great tasting homemade food.

      Each meal has a hot option available from the kitchen as well as additional options available in order to make sure that everyone has enough to eat. During breakfast we have oatmeal, cereal, and fruit available. Lunch has soup and fruit available as an option and during dinner there is always a salad bar option.

      We can accommodate most dietary restrictions as long as we have enough notice, however, we are unable to accommodate a vegan diet. Please let your teachers know if you have dietary restrictions and see below about allergies.

      What if my son/daughter has food allergies?

      We are a peanut/tree nut free kitchen. Our kitchen staff will be happy to help with any food allergies that you may have. Please call or e-mail us about the menus and details if your student has any allergies.

      Can I call my child while they are at Camp Edwards?
      We strongly discourage calling your child to just chat. We have found that these types of calls can cause students to become "homesick" or disconnected from the goals of the program. Part of the focus here is to create some independence for the students, even if it is just one or two nights. Away-from-home experiences foster growth, independence, and self-reliance. If parents call to "check-in" with their children every night, this growth will not occur. Sometimes this growth occurs in the parents as well. However, if you NEED to contact your camper, please call us, and let us know your concerns. We will get you in contact with the lead teacher or school administrator.

      We are always available throughout the day, and there is also phone coverage all night. If you have an emergency, please feel free to call anytime. Use the camp number that was provided 262-624-7466. We will also contact you if your child is not feeling well or an emergency here at camp occurs. We will usually have a teacher or administrator from the school contact you since this relationship already exists.

      What are the living arrangements for my child?
      We have two main lodging areas here at camp. Our cabins host 10 beds and are located just a short walk away from our central bathhouse. Hoffer and Runge Lodge contain more modern accommodations with 8 bedrooms in each lodge that host 4 beds. The lodges each have attached bathrooms, great rooms, and kitchenettes for the schools to use.

      Who decides where the students sleep?
      After coordinating the trip with a representative from Camp Edwards, a specific area of camp is assigned and the Lead Teacher will assign students to their cabins.

      My child has a physical disability/injury, can he/she still participate?

      Obviously, parents and students probably know best for this situation. It is our intent to assist the students so the whole class can share the experience together. Please call us to assist you in creating a great experience for your child. We will be able to give you honest and supportive answers to see if we can accommodate your student and assist him/her in participating with the rest of the class.

      What if there is an incident/accident? Where is the hospital?


      If there is any sort of incident concerning your child, we will contact you as soon as possible. We have a well-stocked infirmary to handle most cuts, bumps, bruises, stings, and other emergencies. Although we do not have a nurse staffed in the infirmary during the school group season, all of the Camp Edwards staff members are trained in first aid/CPR.

      There are two AEDs on site, and in case of an emergency requiring advanced medical treatment, the East Troy rescue squad is 1.5 miles down the road and the emergency rooms are 20 minutes to the north and south.

      What happens if it rains?
      Almost all Camp Edwards' classes occur outside, rain or shine! It is important that students be prepared and pack accordingly. At the first sign of hazardous weather, we move students to safety. Safety has to be our top priority!

      How is Lost and Found Handled?
      Lost and Found is collected and presented daily to children. Remaining items are washed and bagged up by week. If not claimed one month after the camp session, items are then donated to a charity. Camp has limited space to warehouse lost and found.

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