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-In and Check-Out

Camp Drop-Off Time

Sunday | 3:00 PM – 5:00 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 to all Session 2/3 Main Camp campers. If your camper comes for a one or two week session, please send enough clothes for their entire stay.

Meals/Dining Hall

We prepare appealing and nutritious meals under the careful supervision of our trained dietary staff. A registered dietitian approves all camp meals. 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.


Health Center

We staff our on-site health center with physicians, nurse practitioners and registered nurses, 24 hours a day. Physicians and Nurse Practitioners live on-site during their assigned sessions. Our head nurse oversees our medical protocols. Our health center administrator supervises and schedules our medical team while managing logistics and all parent communication. If further medical services are needed, an Urgent Care Center 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 directly by a parent or legal guardian on opening day. They should be blister packed (preferably) or in the original packaging showing dosage instructions by the physician who prescribed the medication. Unless your child needs a daily dosage of an over the counter medication it is not necessary to bring them to camp.



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

Talk with your camper to fill out land activity preference forms at least two weeks before arriving at camp. Preference forms will be completed using Y Camp Life, which you can access using your YMCA of Greater Charlotte member account credentials, which you used to register for camp (give us a call if you are having trouble logging in).

Camp Photos

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

Communicating with Campers

Send Mail 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 in Spring of 2019.

You may send mail and packages to:

Camper Name and Cabin #
c/o YMCA Camp Thunderbird
One 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 Package

YMCA Camp Thunderbird offers a variety of care packages and options. Care packages are available from our online camp store or from our camp store during drop off. You may also bring a care package to drop off or send your own care package via US Mail. Be sure to time your delivery before your camper is scheduled to leave.

Paying for Camp

Payment Options

At the time of registration you will be required to pay a $200 deposit, which is applied to the total fee. You may also choose to pay the full remaining balance at registration, or take advantage of our payment plan for the remaining balance. Those installments will be drafted to your credit card on file in five payments, beginning in February.


Payment Plan20% Balance Due Date
Payment 1February 1
Payment 2March 1
Payment 3April 1
Payment 4May 1
Payment 5June 1


If you register after the start of the payment plan, you pay a $200 deposit; plus all 20% payments due before your registration date.


  • Register on February 2 = $200 deposit + February 1 20% payment.
  • Register on March 2 = $200 deposit + February 1 20% payment + March 1 20% payment. 



We offer add-ons to give your camper more in-depth focus on some traditional camp activities or unique, stand-alone programs. Add-ons include: Advanced Wakesports, Horseback Riding, Tennis Clinic, Paintball, Junior Lifeguarding, Atlanta Bus Transportation Home and Change Over.

When you choose add-ons through our payment program at registration, it is a different product purchase and drafts as an individual item for each session.



All balances for summer sessions must be paid by June 1. We refund 100% of paid fees when cancellation is requested in writing prior to December 31. Written cancellations after December 31 and at least 2 weeks before the registered session start date will forfeit $200 per session/per camper.

Cancellations made less than two weeks before the first day of camp will forfeit all fees. Cancellations will not be accepted via telephone.

Please e-mail cancellation requests to: campthunderbird@ymcacharlotte.org or fax to: 704-716-4101  ATTN: CANCELLATION.


Spending Money

Campers need no money at camp. Our camp store is open on Opening and Closing days of camp and parents are welcome to make purchases then.