What You Need to Know. And Then Some.

You take a tremendous leap of faith when registering your child for Camp Thunderbird. We do not take our responsibility lightly and want you to feel as comfortable as you can while taking that leap.

Our Parent Resource pages are here to provide information and answer many of your questions. You may also contact our Camp Thunderbird staff to ease any concerns you may have about camp.

Check out this video for answers to frequently asked questions from parents.

Check-In and Check-Out

Camp Drop-Off Time

Sunday | 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

*Drop-off for sessions 2B, 5B and 6B is 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM


Camp Pick-Up Time

Saturday | 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Pack for Camp

Camp provides all the necessary equipment for all activities. Please remember, Camp is not responsible for personal items brought to Camp including recreation equipment. Please make sure you have all your child’s items when you pick them up. All items should be labeled with camper’s name. The number suggested is the minimum needed. Many times an extra pair of shorts or socks is useful. Bring only items that you don’t mind if it gets dirty or lost. Items left after the camper leaves will be donated to charity. Check out our suggested Packing List below.


Laundry Service

Laundry Service is offered for all two-week and four-week sessions.

Meals/Dining Hall

We prepare appealing and nutritious meals under the careful supervision of our trained dietary staff. We strive to meet each child’s dietary needs and successfully accommodate most food allergies. Our Dining Hall does not serve products that contain peanuts or tree nuts.
YMCA Camp Thunderbird’s Dining Hall maintains a Grade “A” rating from the South Carolina Board of Health.

Health & Safety

We take your child's health and safety very seriously and exceed top industry standards in all areas of our camp operation including facilities, dining, staff and programming. YMCA Camp Thunderbird is ACA (American Camping Association) accredited. Our 4:1 camper-to-counselor ratio promotes an environment that helps children grow in spirit, mind and body.

Health & Safety Forms

Complete all medical forms through our partner, CampDoc.com.

Additional health forms are required for the following medical needs and diagnosis; daily preventative over the counter medication, seizures, diabetes, food allergy and anaphylaxis, asthma. These forms can be found in your child’s CampDoc profile as well as in Health Center Parent Guide PDF below.


Health Center

We partner with Atrium Health, who staffs our on-site clinic with a provider for two hours daily, and two RN’s for 7 AM – 11 PM coverage daily. We staff two health center assistants who live on site during the summer and work directly with the Atrium Health team. We are able to provide most services that a walk-in clinic provides, however if further medical services are needed, an urgent care and hospital emergency room are only minutes away.

We partner with CampDoc.com, a web-based health management system that provides our Health Center Team with instant access to camper health information, a key component in providing quality patient care. All medications to be dispensed at camp must be brought in directly by a parent or legal guardian on opening day. We ask that you carefully pack your camper’s medication following the instructions in our parent guide (see PDF below). Unless your child needs a daily dosage of an over-the-counter medication, it is not necessary to bring them to camp. All medications should be blister-packed prior to arrival at camp. If this is not possible, a blister pack will be provided to you to blister pack your child’s medication. All blister packs must be accompanied by a photo of the original prescription label of all medications in the blister pack. Daily preventative OTC’s included in the blister pack require the Daily Preventative Over the Counter Request Form with a physician’s signature to accompany the blister pack.



We hire the most highly qualified, compassionate staff to mentor and lead your children. We screen each applicant with an in-depth interview, multiple reference checks and background checks by state and national authorities. All staff reflect our five key character traits of caring, respect, responsibility, honesty and faith. All staff are certified in CPR and First Aid.


Water & Land Activities

Safety and quality instruction are paramount in all activities. We require campers to wear Coast Guard approved life jackets at all times while participating in lake activities. Campers wear swim bands (denoting their swim ability) throughout their stay at camp.

  • All our waterfront staff are trained in CPR, First Aid and Lifeguarding.
  • Boat drivers are U.S. Coast Guard certified.
  • All our land staff are trained in CPR and First Aid.
  • Land staff also receive training and instructional methods from professional organizations such as the Camp Archery Association, the National Rifle Association, Camp Horseman's Association, Association of Challenge Course Technology and the American Camping Association.
Activity Preferences

This summer, all campers will rotate with their cabins to their land activity preferences.

Camp Photos

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

Communicating with Campers

Send Emails to Your Camper

We invite parents, siblings, friends and family members to email campers while at camp. There is no charge for sending basic camper emails. Instructions for emailing campers will be sent to registered parents.

Snail mail letters can be addressed as following:

Camper First and Last Name

Cabin #

YMCA Camp Thunderbird

1 Thunderbird Lane

Lake Wylie, SC 29710

Campers do not have access to a phone and are not permitted to bring cell phones to camp. Instead, we encourage campers to write home as often as possible. Parents may call their child's head counselor at any time for information or to express concerns.

Care Packages

YMCA Camp Thunderbird offers a variety of care packages. Care packages are available from our online camp store at campthunderbirdstore.org.

Paying for Camp

Cancellation and Refund Policy

All balances for Overnight Camp sessions must be paid by June 1 to avoid cancellation. If camp is notified in writing of cancellation on or before December 1st, all fees paid will be refunded. Cancellations in writing on or after January 1, will forfeit the $400 deposit (per session/per camper). Cancellations within 2 weeks prior to the start date of the camp session will forfeit all fees. Cancellations will not be accepted via telephone. Cancellations in writing can be emailed to the camp.