Campers at Edwards YMCA Camp in East Troy get ready to ride the zip line during one of the camps this summer. The camp was one of the few in the state that welcomed kids over the summer and will be offering Schools Out Camp this fall for the days the East Troy Community School District is not in session – Sept. 30, Oct. 29 and 30, and Nov. 30.

Camp Edwards to offer fall Schools Out Camps

By Tracy Ouellette

SLN Staff

East Troy’s Edwards YMCA Camp will run day camps this fall when the East Troy schools are on break. The camps will be Sept. 30, Oct. 29 and 30, and Nov. 30.

Camp Edwards was one of the few summer camps that opened this year and while things looked different for the kids and staff, Executive Director Jody Heimos said they had a successful season.

“I think the big thing for us is when everything got shut down in March and everyone was laid off, the two of us who were left had time to plan,” Heimos said. “We talked to the parents and told them our plan of quarantine before and after camp, daily temperature checks and the new rules and they were OK with it.

“When the kids got here, they followed all the rules, they’re basically common sense anyway, and we didn’t have an cases of COVID. The kids and families were great.”

Heimos said he’s received multiple positive emails from parents about the kids’ experience this year.

“Even the parents who didn’t agree with what we were doing, who said they weren’t comfortable sending their kids, said they loved what we were doing. I mean, we had to do something for the kids, I worry about the future mental health crisis with the kids, everybody really, after the virus is gone. At least we were able to give them something close to ‘normal.’”

Swimming was one of the favorite activities for the campers to cool off in the hot weather at Edwards YMCA Camp in East Troy.

With the success of the summer season, Heimos said the camp was looking to continue offering programming in the fall.

“We were going to do the afterschool care for the East Troy School District, but the Mukwonago YMCA said they could handle both school districts, so we decided to offer day camps for when the kids are off school,” Heimos said.

The day camps will have more for the kids than just a safe place to go, with plenty of outdoor activities to keep them busy, Heimos said.

Situated on Lake Beulah, the camps will offer fishing, canoeing, archery, wall climbing, fire building, arts and crafts, dramas, nature walks and activities, land sports, wilderness survival classes, a zip line and more.

“The camps cover the upcoming days when the kids are off and we’re hoping to run our normal winter camp over the Christmas holidays, too,” he said. “If things stay the way they are, we might even extend into spring.”

The day camps run from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. each day and include a hot breakfast, lunch and dinner; two snack times, and five activity periods. The daily rate is $45.

The East Troy School District is not affiliated with, nor provides financial support for these camps.

About Camp Edwards

Edwards YMCA Camp is at N8901 Army Lake Road, East Troy. The camp is open year round.

Amenities at the camp include: 132 acres of marshlands, pine forest, prairies, and wooded dells; Mickleright Lodge (dining hall, kitchen, Lakeside Nature Center); Seigle Welcome Center (administrative Offices and health Lodge); Cooper Recreation Center (gymnasium, arts and crafts center, and meeting space); Hoffer Lodge, 34 beds; Runge Lodge, 32 beds; 13 winterized cabins; Trading Post; Outdoor chapel on Sunset Hill; Two 90-foot tube slides, Lisa’s Leap and Harron’s Run; The Rendezvous Fire Pit; Courts Fire Circle; basketball court; Four Square Courts and Ga-Ga Dodgeball.

For more information or to sign up for the Schools Out Camps, visit or call 262-642-7466.


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