• Facebook
YMCA of Greater Charlotte
YMCA of Greater Charlotte
Your browser is currently out of date.
Our website does not support your web browser. This may interrupt your browsing experience.
Please update your browser to one of the recomended browsers below.
Your Current Browser:
This is the notification control


When you give to YMCA Camp Thunderbird, you make our community better through life-changing programs and services focused on:


Camp Scholarships 

All kids deserve the chance to experience camp. That’s why we award YMCA Camp Thunderbird scholarships to families in need, especially those who would not be able to participate otherwise. For many of these kids it’s their first time at camp, meeting diverse friends and engaging with positive role models. Camp gives them an opportunity to build self-reliance and reach their greatest potential. Last summer, we awarded 256 campers with scholarships totaling $253,000
A donation of $925 sends a child to one week of resident camp.

Safety Around Water

Teaching children how to be safe around water is not a luxury; it is a necessity. Safety Around Water is the Y’s on-site water safety program that engages low-income youth living in apartment communities where pools are often without lifeguards. The 8-session course, taught by certified YMCA instructors and lifeguards, teaches children basic water safety and swimming skills that reduce their risk of drowning and give them confidence in and around water. Last summer, YMCA Camp Thunderbird partnered with the Steele Creek YMCA to serve 66 kids at two local apartment communities – at no cost to the participants.

$350 offers five children at greatest risk of drowning the chance to learn the life-saving skill of swimming.

Y-Guides Scholarships

Through the generosity of our donors, we’re able to provide scholarship assistance for families in need to participate in Y-Guides. This support gives kids and dads the chance to spend quality time together, make lasting memories and strengthen their relationship, all while belonging to a tribe committed to teaching kids critical life skills and the importance of serving others. Six families benefited from financial assistance last year totaling nearly $3,000.

$500 gives a child and his father the opportunity to attend two weekends of Y-Guides Longhouse where they can create lifelong memories.
Environmental Education
At the Environmental Education Center, we provide hands-on, sensory learning where students acquire practical knowledge and ecological life skills. We strive for every student to walk away with better appreciation and respect for our physical and social environment. We want students to make their own decisions concerning their role in the environment. Last year, over 1000 Environmental Education students received more than $34,000 in financial assistance.
$111 gives a child the chance to engage Environmental Education programming.
Game Changers
Targeting underserved students in grades 3-5, Game Changers combines camp experiences with structured academic enrichment activities. Program curriculum is built on helping students grow self-confidence and develop the lifelong skills needed to thrive in the 21st century. The program includes seven touches – one day at camp for Environmental Education and one day to engage with staff, four school visits, and a full week of overnight or day camp during the summer. Funded through the generosity of our donors, the program is offered to families at no cost. Last year, YMCA Camp Thunderbird engaged 67 Game Changers students.

$1,485 provides a child with one year of Game Changers to help develop the lifelong skills needed to thrive in the 21st century.
Leadership Development
Leadership development continues beyond traditional camp to our Counselor in Training (CIT) and junior counselor programs. Not only do these experiences give our young staff the tools and confidence they need to deliver the best possible camp experience, they also develop lifelong leadership and values-based skills that carry into adulthood. Last year, we awarded $5,000 in financial assistance for leadership development programming. Another 30 teens also received assistance totaling $4,800 for the Life of Impact Leadership Experience, a high-energy, outdoor adventure weekend designed to help teens navigate challenges and learn to lead healthy, purposeful lives.
$175 sends a high school student to the Life of Impact Leadership Experience.
For more information, contact:
Gwen Tolman, Sr. Financial Development Officer
704 716 4158 | Gwen.Tolman@YMCACharlotte.org