For the latest update on the YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island’s response to COVID-19 as it relates to Camp Thunderbird and the Y Outdoor Centre click here.

Welcome to the Camp Thunderbird Summer Camp Community

At Camp Thunderbird Summer Camp, our programs are tied together by use of our natural environment, positive and encouraging relationships and human powered recreation. Summer campers learn about teamwork, independence, making choices, social skills, responsibility, ability to take risks and realize personal limits,  and finding their place in the world. This allows children and youth to belong, grow, thrive and lead. The benefits of this in life are many but most notable are the increased self-esteem, confidence, creativity, self-sufficiency and leadership skills.

What is Summer Camp

At summer camp, children and youth spend time outdoors at our Y Outdoor Centre and on off-site out trips. Our youngest campers come to the Outdoor Centre for Day Camp or week-long overnight camps. As they get older, the length of stay can go up to 9 or 12 days, and youth in Grades 9-10 participate in our Adventure or Leadership Development programs.

While at camp, participants learn outdoor skills such as canoeing, kayaking, orienteering, archery, rock climbing, nature and environmental programming, hiking and camping (not all ages do all activities). They also practice group and community living through games, teambuilding initiatives, high and low ropes courses and creative programming. The experience is rounded out by sharing meal times, singing together at camp fire and practicing the “7 Secrets” of Camp Thunderbird: caring, sharing, teamwork, friendship, responsibility, honesty, respect.

Risk Awareness

The YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island Outdoor Centre and Camp Thunderbird is committed to providing quality outdoor experiences that support healthy growth and development of young people.  We invest significant resources to create programs that provide these benefits to our participants without exposing them to unacceptable hazards.

Participants and their families should be aware of the risks involved in participating in camp programs and accept that by participating they are taking those risks. Please take the time to review this summary of risks and our risk management approach. Risks will vary for each program, so we ask that you also take the time to review the information provided about each program.

YMCA-YWCA Outdoor Centre and Camp Thunderbird Risk Awareness

Camp Commitment

Camp Thunderbird strives to be a fun, safe and nurturing environment where everyone has a chance to be their best.  All camp participants, staff and volunteers pledge to treat each other with dignity and respect.  Behavior that prevents others from enjoying a positive camp experience will not be permitted.  If necessary, parents will be required to collect their camper early. Inappropriate behavior including the use of offensive language, aggression, or use of prohibited items such as but not limited to tobacco, alcohol, non-prescription drugs or offensive materials will not be permitted.

The Camper’s Commitment is a very important aspect of Camp Thunderbird’s philosophy and speaks to our core values of caring, respect, honest and responsibility.  We ask that you take the time to read and discuss the Camper’s Commitment with your child.

Camp Commitment


All-Gendered cabin groups will be available in all of our age groups for 2020 summer programs.

Ever wanted your camper to be in a group with their friends who have a different gender identity than they do or have you found there is not place for your camper in the binary gender offerings at Camp? Now we have space for your camper!

These groups are specifically set up to support and accommodate campers who want to be in a group where gender doesn’t matter. Everyone is welcome to register for these programs. There will not be limits on how many participants from any particular gender register in the groups – it will be a case of first come, first served. As always, we will consider “cabinmate requests”. The activity schedule will be the same as other programs of the same type.



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