Prepare for Camp

Going off to day camp brings great excitement and maybe some anxiety for both campers and parents.

We understand that you have many choices when planning your child’s summer. You take a tremendous leap of faith when registering your child for YMCA Camp ThunderDays. We do not take our responsibility lightly and want you to feel as comfortable as you can while taking this leap.

Our Camp Tours, Parent Handbook and Parent Resources page provide a great deal of  information and answer many of your questions. You may also contact our Camp Thunderbird staff to ease any concerns you may have about camp.

Parent Handbook

This is your go-to guide for everything you and your camper need to know to be prepared and have an awesome camp experience! Check out our Parent Handbook.

Arrival & Departure

Camp Address

One Thunderbird Lane, Lake Wylie, SC 29710


Arrival to Camp

  • Please bring your children to camp between 7:30 AM and 8:30 AM for curbside service in cars
  • Opening ceremony begins promptly at 8:30 AM
  • Bus Add On Arrival: Please arrive at New City Church of Charlotte parking lot between 7:15 AM and 7:40 AM. The Bus leaves promptly at 7:45AM.


Departure from Camp

Parents and authorized pick-up individuals will be responsible for providing the correct identification, a Driver’s license, when signing out their camper. To ensure the camper’s safety, YMCA Camp Thunderbird reserves the right not to release a camper to “unauthorized” individuals.

  • Normal daily pick-up time is between 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Bus Add On Pick up: Pick-up time is 5:30 PM - 6:00 PM at New City Church of Charlotte


Early Pick-Up

  • Parents who wish to pick up their camper early may do so at the camp office PRIOR TO 3:30PM
  • The camp property is very large so please send a note with your child in the morning, call ahead or email a Camp Directore, so we may arrange to have your camper waiting for you
  • Please be prepared to wait at least 15 – 25 minutes in order to gather your camper and their belongings for departure


Late Pick-Up

  • Staff are scheduled until 6:00 PM, but staff will not leave a camper unattended.
  • A fee will be charged per for every camper remains after 6:00 PM and payment is expected upon pick-up
  • Chronic late pick-up may be grounds for dismissal from the program
What to Bring/Wear

We suggest packing a backpack for campers to keep personal items together. Label all clothing / swim items plus backpack, water bottles, towel, and sunscreen with camper’s name. 

Pack a swimsuit that is designed for active wear and one that provides complete coverage and fastens securely.

You can also order a Swag Bag that can be delivered to your camper with a couple of Camp Thundrebird merchandise such as a waterbottle, a t-shirt, and/or a hat.


What to Wear

  • Dress for the weather — our programming will continue rain or shine
  • Campers play hard and may get dirty —please choose comfortable appropriate play clothing, free of offensive slogans or symbols. We recommend that you do not wear or bring expenisve/sentimental items to camp
    Make sure your child wears sneakers and socks to camp daily
  • For safety reasons, sandals and Crocs are not permitted during activities (Campers may wear sandals to and from water activities only)
  • Pack a poncho or raincoat in case of rain
  • Swimwear should provide complete coverage, fasten securely and be designed for active wear
  • Two piece suits are allowed if they have one tie, accompanied by another fastener (no triangle bikini tops and bottoms that tie are allowed)


What not to Bring

Counselors will give any of the following items to directors if they are brought to camp. These personal belongings will be returned to campers’ parents during evening pick-up. Please leave these
items at home:

  • Toys, radios, iPods/mp3 players, electronic games, cellular phones, and other electronics do not fit into this setting
  • Firearms, fireworks, knives, matches, lighters, tobacco products and illegal drugs
  • Expensive items, money, and trading cards at home
  • Canned repellent is not allowed at camp (insect repellent must be in the form of lotion or wipes)
  • Aerosol cans become a safety hazard around other children and the campfire.
  • Do not send money to camp
Lunch Information

Campers are very active and will get hungry! Serving a healthy, satisfying lunch every day is an essential part of our camper experience. We can accomodate the majority of dietary restrictions campers may have. Water fountains are located throughout camp to enusre proper hydration throughout the day.


Lunch from Home (if necessary)

  • Since Camp provides lunch for every camper as part of your fee, we recommend that campers not bring their lunch from home unless absolutely neccesary and if camp cannot meet their needs. If you do pack a lunch, we ask that you adhere to the following instructions: All nut products are asked to be left at home as we strive to provide a nut-free facility.
  • Camp does not have refrigeration for lunches (please do not send milk or mayonnaise based products.))
  • A small cooler with the camper’s name works best for packing a lunch.



The Camp Canteen will be offered every afternoon for campers and is included in your Camp fee.

  • Water, chips, pretzels, hummus, cheese sticks, and fruit are some of the snack options for campers
  • Campers are limited to one snack item and one drink per day at the Canteen
  • Camper’s special dietary and food allergy needs will be met when necessary
  • Please be sure to note these on your camper’s health form and confidential form to help your child’s counselor and the Health Center staff know your child’s special needs
Camp Schedule

Our Younger Camp program (ages 6 - 8) has activities that are progressively structured to challenge each child according to their age. The program is planned to give children an introduction to a wide variety of camp activities, along with providing them the opportunity for creative expression.

Campers (ages 9 - 12) participate in the Older Camp program. The program allows for group team building and individual skill development in a variety of fun and motivating activities.

We have an Overnight option on select weeks to spend a Friday night at camp if you are registered for the week. Our current selections are: June 21, July 5, and July 19. 


Day Camp Schedule

7:30 AM - 8:30 AMDrop-off/Curb-side Service in Cars
8:30 AM - 8:55 AMOpening Ceremony and Devotion
8:55 AM - 9:05 AMGroup Time and Attendance
9:15 AM - 10:15 AMLand Activity Period 1 - Archery, Arts & Crafts, Group Games, Sports, Nature, Riflery, Low Ropes, Fishing, Challenge Course (ages 7 - 12), Slingshots (ages 9 - 12)
10:20 AM - 11:20 AMLand Activity Period 2 - Same as Above
11:30 AM - 12:00 PMLunch
12:00 PM - 12:30 PMChange for Water Activities
12:30 PM - 1:30 PMWater Activity Period 1 - Banana Boat, Water Toys, Water Slide, Canoe and Kayak, Free Swim, Sailing (ages 9 - 12), Shore Tours (ages 11 - 12), Stand-up Paddle Boards (ages 9 - 12)
1:35 PM - 2:35 PMWater Activity Period 2 - Same as Above
2:35 PM - 2:45 PMChange for Electives
2:50 PM - 3:10 PMCanteen (Snack)
3:15 PM - 4:10 PMElectives Campers Selected
4:10 PM - 4:25 PMGroup Scoop Group Time for Reflection and Daily Recognition
4:30 PM - 5:00 PMClosing Ceremony
5:00 PM - 6:00 PMCamper Pick-up/Curb-side Service in Cars
Medications/Health Center

The Health Center is staffed and open for urgent medical situations. To ensure good health and ability to enter into normal camp activities, the health history form on must be completed by June 1st. Accident insurance is not included in the camp fee.


Registering with

Details for registering with and completing the necessary medical forms will be available upon registration. Camper parents will receive a welcome email detailing instructions for completing camper health care information at this time.


Prescription Medications

For campers who will take medications during camp, parents are required to provide the medication on Day 1 of the session at drop-off. The medicine must be in an original container with the prescription or in a blister pack with instructions for daily dosage. 

Over the Counter Meds

  • Unless a medication, vitamin, supplement is prescribed by a physician; we ask that campers refrain from taking over the counter substances while at camp
  • Please do not bring OTCs to camp
  • If your camper require an OTC while attending camp, an OTC may be provided at the Health Center and administered by one of the camp nurses

For specific questions please contact our Health Center Administrator at camp.

Swim Assessment

Before swimming at camp, all campers are given a swim assessment in the pool under the direct supervision of certified lifeguards and receives a swim band on the first day of camp that they wear as on their wrist at the pool. This is a safety procedure that helps staff distinguish between swimmers and non-swimmers. YMCA of Greater Charlotte Swim Assessment:  Please make sure that your child wears their swim band to camp every day.

Heat Advisory

The safety and comfort of our campers is always our top priority and we want you to be aware of the changes we will make to our camp schedule on extremely hot days.

Sunscreen Application

Protecting skin from the sun’s damaging rays is important. If you have specific questions about sunscreen application or if you have a child with a sunscreen allergy, please contact your branch camp director.

  • Apply sunscreen to your child before arriving at camp — we can assist in reapplying as needed
  • Send your preferred sunscreen labeled with your child’s name on it
Camp Photos

Log on to our Y Camp Life Portal to check out fun photos of your camper in action!