Tuesday, February 12, 2019


Each week at Camp offers a different experience for teens at YMCA Camp Potawotami. Each of our programs has a different focus, but each play a vital role into transforming these teens into young adults through teamwork, leadership, character development, volunteer opportunities, and bonding with their peers in nature. Whether they wish to be future leaders in their community or a future leader at Camp and be a counselor one day, each teen can choose a program that interests them and fits their Camp journey.

Teen Adventure Program (14-16)
Our Teen Adventure Camp (Voyagers) is packed with action, opportunities to make new friends and a new adventure each day. Voyagers will travel to Van Buren State Park in Michigan for an overnight camping trip lead by professional YMCA staff. This trip allows the teens to put their camp acquired skills to good use as they plan meals, inspect and pack their gear and participate in outdoor activities while on the trip. It's sure to be one of the best summer experiences ever.

IMPACT (14-16)
IMPACT: Inspiring others Makes Positive Active Change Together. IMPACT is a teen program designed for teens wanting to make a positive impact in the community. Each day at Camp, IMPACT campers will travel to counties surrounding Camp Potawotami to give back and make a difference in the community. Teens will learn about the organizations' mission and programs well as complete a project at each one. Teens will also participate in typical summer camp activities such as cabin activities, water free time, one night of camping and cooking out, and evening programs.

Teen Wrangler (14-16)
The Teen Wranglers program is for teens 14-16 and builds off of our Ranch Camp program, ages 12-14. Teen Wranglers can build on their ground and riding skills and work with the horses as well as assist the Ranch Supervisor with lessons for younger campers. This program is offered Session 4: June 30-July 5.

Teen Leadership Program (Entering Junior Year)
This two-week Teen Leadership Camp (Clippers) program is designed for teens transitioning from camper to counselor. Through this program your teen learns how to become a counselor and camp leader while mentoring younger campers and being a positive role model. Clippers will go on an out-of-camp trip as well as participate in camp service projects and develop new skills, all while enjoying the excitement of summer camp. During their second week at camp, Clippers will be placed in a cabin to shadow a counselor and have hands on experience as a leader. *All Clippers go home on Friday at regular camp check-out time and return on Sunday.

Counselor-in-Training Program (Entering Senior Year)
The CIT program is designed for teens who desire to be counselors at YMCA Camp Potawotami. This up to three-week volunteer program is a hands-on introduction to life as a counselor and allows participants to go through training and then assist counselors in programming for campers. CIT applicants must apply a letter of interest to the Summer Camp Program Director.

Monday, December 3, 2018

3 Benefits of Summer Camp

“Camp Potawotami allows my child to learn valuable skills and develop relationships with people who have diverse backgrounds and it builds my son’s self-confidence. He loved the experience.” –Parent of a Youth Camper

Summer Camp keeps campers growing, exploring and learning all summer.  When a session of camp ends parents want their children to say it was the best week ever and parents want to see how camp has impacted their children. To help make that happen Camp Potawotami focuses on the ABCs of camp, Accomplishment, Belonging, and Character. The staff strives to offer programs that are fun and meaningful experiences with an opportunity to try new things, spend time in the outdoors, connect with other people, and make lifelong memories. There are three top reasons why children and teens should attend summer camp:

 3.Accomplishment: Campers gain a sense of accomplishment by trying activities and developing new skills. For many campers, being away from home for a week is an important accomplishment in itself. We hope these real world accomplishments will raise the self-confidence and self- esteem of each camper.
 2.Belonging: Making new friends and being a good friend helps campers learn about a sense of belonging. Living in a cabin with other children and counselors gives each camper a lesson in friendship building and teamwork. Each person has responsibilities and is a valued part of the YMCA Camp Potawotami community.
 1.Character: We discuss character traits and values in many ways during the week and place an emphasis on learning, growing and doing your best. Our core values are Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility. Our unique Wampum Bead program also encourages campers to choose a character trait to work on during camp and the entire year.
 Wampum Bead Characteristics: 
RED (FRIENDSHIP): To build on strong friendships by learning and growing as a person.

GREEN (ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP): To be a steward to the environment by being responsible and conscious about minimizing my waste and caring for the natural environment.

BLUE (HONESTY/INTEGRITY): To be trustworthy and honest with every person I meet.

CREAM (INITIATIVE): To take initiative and do what needs to be done without being asked, because that is what I expect from others.

PURPLE (CHALLENGE): To challenge my life head-on by trying my best at everything I set out to do, because that is the best I can do.

LIGHT BROWN (KINDNESS): To be good hearted and always offer others in need a helping hand by letting them feel my happiness.

YELLOW (SPIRITUALITY): To look into myself and search for what I truly believe, and to stand by my beliefs.

DARK BROWN (HUMILITY): To admit my faults and look to others for help in improving them, so that I can become a better person.

LIGHT GREEN (Patience): To accept trouble, or delay without getting angry or upset.

Monday, August 20, 2018

IMPACT: Inspiring others Makes Positive Active Change Together

IMPACT: Inspiring others Makes Positive Active Change Together

For the Summer of 2018 we launched a new teen program for campers 14-16 years old. In addition to our Teen Adventure (Voyager) program which is also for 14-16 year olds, the IMPACT program is designed for teens wanting to make a positive impact at Camp and in our community. Each morning IMPACT campers traveled to counties surrounding Camp Potawotami to give back and make a difference in the community. They learned about the organizations’ mission and programs well as completed a project at each one. In addition to volunteering, IMPACT campers participated in traditional summer camp activities such as cabin activities, water free time, one night of cooking their dinner out and evening programs like campfire, all-camp games, and our Wampum ceremony. The purpose of this program is to develop skills in our teens, giving the opportunities to learn about what local organizations do, and open their eyes about how their few hours of hard work and giving back and positively influence the people living in the surrounding counties. We are hoping this program grows in the future and more young leaders will strengthen the bonds between YMCA Camp Potawotami and the surrounding organizations in our community.

On Monday, IMPACT campers traveled to the Cole YMCA to work with 150 young day campers and lead camp programming for them. Our teens were able to collaborate with the YMCA staff at their facility to lead activities including lake study, arts and crafts, camp songs, an obstacle course, and some popular camp games. Our teens were able to collaborate with the YMCA staff at their facility. 

Tuesday, they traveled to Black Pine Animal Sanctuary where they were able to learn about the the animals they serve as well as clean up the trails to make them safer for visiting guests.

Wednesday, IMPACT campers went to the Gene Stratton-Porter Society in Rome City, Indiana. There they were able to tend to the acre garden that is on site, as well a tour the historic house and learn about Gene and how she used the grounds while she was a writer.

Thursday, they gave back to Camp Potawotami by coating our colorful adirondack chairs with a fresh coat of paint. The teens were able to give back to a place they have loved attending for so many years and see their younger peers enjoy the result of their hard work.

Friday, the teens traveled to the Kendallville Humane Society to interact with the cats and dogs that were in their care. IMPACT campers helped tidy living quarters, take dogs for walks, and play with the cats who are all up for adoption. Thank you, IMPACT campers, for all of the hard work that you did for Camp and for our community during the Summer of 2018!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Waterfront Safety at Camp Potawotami

At the waterfront we offer canoeing, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, corcles, pedal boating, swimming, aqua jump, and a pontoon ride. All the activities available at the waterfront are supervised by our lifeguards. Our lifeguards are certified through the American Red Cross. They are trained on performing saves and are always scanning the water to make sure the children remain safe. Not only are they certified through the American Red Cross, but our lifeguards are required to attend a monthly in-service where they practice their skills and prepare them for any situation that might occur at the waterfront. Before the children begin any of the activities at the water front they must complete a swim test. Each child is tested and given a red, yellow, or green band depending on how they do during the swim test. Each band has areas of the water where they are allowed to go. Some bands are restricted from some areas of the water do to their swimming ability. Anyone that chooses boating is required to wear a life jacket. All life jackets are checked by one of our staff members before any child can take a boat out on the lake. A lifeguard is always stationed with the boaters to make sure that all children remain safe on their excursion. Children are also required to wear a life jacket when using the aqua jump. Two lifeguards are stationed at the aqua jump to make sure that all the campers remain safe. The waterfront is our most popular places at camp and we do everything we can to keep it safe for everyone.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Potawotami Post Online

Hello Camp Friends!
To help keep everyone up to date on what is going on at camp we have decided to take the Potawotami Post online.  Our posts will include updates at camp, upcoming events, and meeting the staff.  

It is hard to believe that Camp has been around to close to 100 years old.  We are currently working on building our alumni base by collecting information from past staff and campers.  To be part of our alumni list please email Katie at katie_taylor@fwymca.org with your contact information. 

We would also like to invite all friends of Camp to join on Sunday Sept 23rd for an afternoon of fun at Camp Potawotami. We will kickoff the afternoon with a picnic lunch and then have a variety of activities open, tours of camp, and a silent auction. We hope you will be able to join us. For any questions please email katie_taylor@fwymca.org.
Thank you


TEEN PROGRAMS OFFERED AT YMCA CAMP POTAWOTAMI Each week at Camp offers a different experience for teens at YMCA Camp Potawotami. Each of...