Y Camp Safety Guidelines & FAQ’s

Hi Y Campers & Parents,

As we prepare to open YMCA Camp at Horsethief Reservoir for operation this summer, we are committed to ensuring that the safety of all Y campers and staff remains our utmost priority. We take the unique challenge that this year presents seriously and are following all safety guidelines from our government health authorities as a minimum.

As things continue to change, we will keep you updated. In the meantime, we are continuing to diligently implement responsible safety precautions, especially as they pertain to the COVID-19 pandemic, and train our staff with updated sanitation procedures so that we can keep the soul of Y camp intact as we navigate these times.

For your convenience, we have compiled a list of anticipated questions that you may have for us as you prepare your camper for Y camp and provided the answers in the FAQ’s below!

We are committed to making sure that your camper has a fun and safe summer. If you have any other questions not listed below, please do not hesitate to reach out to us by visiting our Contact Page or consult our COVID-19 Safety Updates Page for more information!

Sincerely, 

Lincoln McLain 
Associate Executive Director
208 344 5502 ext 813

Y Camp Safety FAQ's

Y Campers are required to bring masks, but we will try our best to make sure it does not get in the way of our campers having fun at camp. For the duration of your camper’s stay, each cabin group will act as a cohort (or family). When campers are less than 6’ away from anyone outside their cabin group, they will be asked to wear masks. We are coordinating their schedules to minimize these scenarios, but they are unavoidable at camp so campers should plan on having their masks on them at all times. 

Our goal is to have as much fun as possible while keeping campers safe. This means limiting the overlapping times between cabin groups as much as possible. Cabins groups will move individually together through the week and their programs. Anytime we come together as a camp, we’ll spread out our cabin groups so that we can maintain physical distancing. The majority of other changes will happen behind-the-scenes as our staff work diligently to keep our surfaces clean throughout the day and coordinate to spread groups out. 

As we get closer to summer we will no doubt learn more. As we aim to balance both safety and fun, we may need to change our plans. If we find that any significant changes must be made, you will be notified. If you ever have a question, you can always give us call or email! For contact information, visit our Contact Page.

If campers feel ill at camp, our team of nurses and health staff will be vigilant and maintain the same high standard of quality care that we uphold every year at Y camp. Our onsite medical team will carefully assess their symptoms and treat them accordingly so that, whenever possible, they can safely get back out there! If a camper presents symptoms of COVID-19, we will follow all up-to-date protocols so that they may be safely physically distanced from others while we work with you for the best next steps. 

If it is convenient to get a COVID-19 test right before coming to camp, we would greatly appreciate it! We realize, however, that this may not be possible for everyone. If that is not convenient, then we ask that you limit your camper’s potential exposure opportunities for up to 2 weeks before your child comes to camp and monitor your camper’s health during that time. Thank you for doing your part to ensure the safety of all our Y campers and staff! 

GET TO KNOW Y CAMP’S NEW ASSOCIATE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR! A LETTER FROM LINCOLN MCLAIN

Lincoln McClain
Lincoln and Sarah McClain

Hi Y Campers!

As a lifetime lover of the outdoors, I deeply believe that the world would be a better place if we all went to Y Camp.

Empathy does not happen accidentally and camp is the best place to learn about each other’s differences and grow together. As a child, I went camping on the shores of Lake Tahoe where I learned that there is nothing better than waking up to the smell of the pines blowing through my tent flaps. After traveling and college, I discovered that camping could be a career and I haven’t looked back since. Sticking with YMCA Camps, I have made my way across the country developing leadership skills, meeting my wife Sarah, and learning the nuances of the summer camp industry. 

Through my experiences, I have never lost humility to the uniqueness of each moment and place while also bringing knowledge and experience to drive our camp forward. I am passionate about learning reverence for the outdoors, celebrating together, singing camp songs around a campfire, and blossoming our individual character values. Ultimately, making the world a better place through camp.

I look forward to seeing all of you at YMCA Camp at Horsethief Reservoir this Summer as we rediscover the Great Idaho Outdoors together!

Warm Regards,

Lincoln McLain

Associate Executive Director

YMCA CAMP AT HORSETHIEF RESERVOIR | TREASURE VALLEY FAMILY YMCA

To learn more and register for camp TODAY, click the links below!

Summer Camp 2021 Safety Updates

YMCA Camp at Horsethief Reservoir is excited to serve you and your families this summer. After the difficult year that the coronavirus pandemic has dealt us, we recognize that there has never been a greater need for youth to reconnect with nature, one another, and the exemplary role models and mentors that Y Camp has to offer. We believe there is no higher priority than the safety of our campers, families, and guests, and will thus continue to provide the utmost duty of caution and care. 

We have consulted with medical professionals, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and local health department to ensure that our cleaning procedures not only meet expectations but far exceed them. 

Here are some of these changes, all of which are effective immediately. 

As part of our summer camp check-in process, we will be taking the temperature of all campers and staff attending. If any camper or staff member has a temperature above 100.4℉, they will not be allowed to attend Y Camp until they have been fever-free for 24 hours. Group leaders will ask campers who are not feeling well to stay home.

Campers will be greeted by staff wearing facemasks and gloves (when applicable) to help keep both campers and staff safe.

Any campers riding the bus to camp will be asked (provided if needed) a mask to be worn while on the bus.

Dining Hall
We have installed hand sanitizer stations outside the entrance of the dining hall. In addition, hand sanitizer will be used by all campers and staff before entering the buffet line. Cabin groups will eat all meals together. All tables will be spread out 10 feet apart with the additional use of outdoor eating spaces. All tables will be wiped down after each meal with a bleach/water solution.

Cabins & Event Spaces
We will continue our regular cleaning schedule of cabins and event spaces. Every cabin, yurt, and building will also have hand sanitation stations installed at all entrances. All cabins, yurts, and meeting spaces are thoroughly cleaned after each groups’ stay.

Physical distancing in cabins and yurts is being addressed by not filling the spaces to full capacity. We are limiting all cabins and yurts to 10 campers and 2 staff.

Bunk beds in cabins have been placed 6 feet apart and everyone is instructed to sleep head to toe on each separate bunk bed. In the yurts where beds cannot be placed 6 feet apart, a clear partition has been installed floor to ceiling and will be sanitized daily

Activity Areas
Cabin groups will rotate between activity areas as a group. Campers and staff will be asked to use installed handwashing stations before and after each activity. Equipment in high use areas, including lifejackets and archery bows, will be sanitized after each use.

In addition to our cleaning practices around camp, we are following the guidance from the CDC, Y of the USA, and the American Camping Association for physical distancing in cabins, yurts, and meeting spaces.

If your group must cancel an event, we encourage your group to consider rescheduling your event for a date later in the year.

We are excited to continue to serve our guests and prepare for an amazing summer for our campers. With the changes we’ve made, we believe this will be the cleanest, safest, and best summer yet at Y Camp!

Thank you for your support, confidence, and faith. We are all stronger together.

Post updated: 04/19/21

YMCA Camp at Horsethief Reservoir Will Open Camps This Summer

(BOISE, ID) – YMCA Camp at Horsethief Reservoir is planning to host campers this summer with camps running from June 14 to August 7, 2020. Camp leadership has initiated several changes in camp guidelines to increase safety, including cleaning protocols and physical distancing.

As part of our summer camp check-in process, we will be taking the temperature of all campers and staff attending. If any camper or staff member has a temperature above 100.3 they will not be permitted to attend Y Camp. Additional hand sanitation stations will be available for all throughout the facilities. An increased cleaning regimen is in place and high-use areas will be sanitized daily.

“Y Camp counselors are dedicated to making sure camp is a safe and healthy experience for every camper,” said David Duro, Treasure Valley Family YMCA President and CEO. “Now, camp is more important than ever. It teaches self-reliance, a love for nature and the outdoors amidst the fun of campfires, rock climbing, canoeing, archery, and building meaningful relationships.”

To achieve physical distancing guidelines in cabins and yurts, capacity will be limited to 8 campers and 2 staff. Bunk beds have been placed 6 feet apart and everyone is instructed to sleep head to toe. In the yurts where beds cannot be placed 6 feet apart, clear partitions have been installed floor to ceiling and will be sanitized daily.

Y camp is hiring male camp counselors and housekeeping staff. For more information on Y camp registration, safety guidelines, or open positions please visit ycampidaho.org.

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ABOUT THE TREASURE VALLEY FAMILY YMCA

Established in 1891, the Treasure Valley Family YMCA (the Y) is a cause-driven, nonprofit organization that works to strengthen the foundation of our community by developing successful youth, engaging people in healthy living, and instilling a commitment to social responsibility. Annually, it operates over 100 programs that serve 110,000 youth and families throughout its 4 facilities, 440-acre summer camp, and 24 child development sites. The Y believes all people deserve the chance to achieve their highest potential; therefore, it does not turn anyone away due to an inability to pay. The Treasure Valley Family YMCA provides over $4 million in financial assistance every year so all may participate in our life-changing programs and services. www.ymcatvidaho.org

Thirteen-Day Camp

Would you like to extend your camper’s experience? Thirteen-Day Camp will be offered once in 2021!

To take advantage of this opportunity please register for one of the following sessions:

Thirteen-Day July Session:
Dates: July 11–July 23
Price:  Members $1,110 Non-Members $1,220
Grades: 5th-7th

Have a question? We are happy to help!

Happy Girls

NEW Color War Weekend

Would you like to extend your camper’s experience? Extend 6 days of camp to 8 days or 2 weeks!

New this year, Y Camp offers Color War Weekend Sessions to combine two consecutive weeks of camp! Color War Weekend Sessions allow campers to relax and refuel in preparation for their next fun-filled week of Y Camp. During Color War Weekend Sessions, campers stay in cabins with Camp staff and experience unique activities, challenges, and excursions only offered during these special weekends.

Transportation Note: If you elect to extend to an 8-day session you must provide transportation home to your camper. Check out for 8-day session camper will take place Sunday 1–2pm at Y Camp.

To take advantage of this opportunity please register for the consecutive sessions and weekend session in between the two.

Sessions 3-4:
Dates: June 28–June 30
Price: $50
Youth Campers, Ages 10-12

Sessions 6-7:
Dates: July 19–July 21
Price: $50
Youth Campers, Ages 10-12
Teen/ Leadership Campers, Ages 13-15
Teen campers taking part in our Color War Weekend Sessions will transition from our Teen Camp program into either our Aspiring Leaders (AL) or Leaders In Training (LIT) programs. 

Have a question? We are happy to help!

happy campers playing games outdoors