YMCA Camp Timbers

Camp Timbers @ Home

Introducing Camp Timbers @ Home

At YMCA Camp Timbers, we strive to provide remarkable experiences, meaningful connections, and personal growth to our campers.  For many of us, camp is a place that helps us find happiness, hope, and the best versions of ourselves.  With the uncertainty and stress our community is facing we thought we could all benefit from adding more camp magic at home.

I hope you’ll find the following challenges, contests, activities, and resources to be useful for your family.  Our staff team will continue to update this information in upcoming days and weeks.  If you have any suggestions for ways we can be helpful or resources you’d like to see, please feel free to contact me at BAMiller@SaginawYMCA.org or 989-345-2630.

With encouragement from camp,

Brian Miller, Camp Director



Weekly At-Home Challenges

At Camp Timbers we’re experts at finding fun and creative ways to fill unexpected amounts of free time. We know that without school, our families are trying to keep their children active and engaged through an unpredictable situation.

That’s why we’ve decided to start our first-ever Weekly At-Home Challenge!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Each week we’ll post a challenge to our social media pages (Sunday at 8pm).
  2. Your children (or you, if you want to participate!) have one week to complete the challenge.
  3. Tag us in a picture of your final product on our Facebook or Instagram by the following Sunday at 8pm.
  4. All contestants who tag us in their photo by Sunday at 8pm will be entered into a weekly raffle for a free Camp Timbers’ Hoodie!

Challenge #1: Cardboard Costumes

The first challenge is building a cardboard costume!  Using any cardboard you can get your hands on (paper towel rolls, old boxes, wrapping paper rolls, etc.), construct a costume for someone at your house to wear.

Everyone who shares a picture of their cardboard creation will be entered into the weekly hoodie raffle!

Deadline: Sunday, March 29 at 8pm



Challenge #2: Parent-Child Cooking

The second challenge is parent-child team cooking. You and your parent find a new recipe and cook it together. Then post a picture of it on a plate and share it with us!

Everyone who shares a picture of their delicious and beautiful team-cooked meal will be entered into the weekly hoodie raffle!

Deadline: Sunday, April 5 at 8pm

Challenge #3: Shelter Building

The third challenge is shelter/fort building!  We’ve had campers construct some AMAZING structures at camp through the years, so we’re challenging you to do it at home.  Build your shelter either inside or outside, and use anything you have at home – sticks, pillows, blankets… anything. The crazier, bigger, and more unique the better!

Everyone who shares a picture of their shelter/fort will be entered into the weekly hoodie raffle!

Deadline: Sunday, April 12 at 8pm

Art and Essay Contest

Essay Contest

We hope that every camper leaves camp with an amazing new memory, friend, and/or skill. We always love hearing the impact camp has on campers, which is why we’ve created our essay competition. We invite past campers to share some of their camp experiences by writing a brief essay using one of following prompts:

  • What is the most impactful experience you’ve had at camp?
  • What is your favorite memory of being at camp?
  • Where is your favorite place at camp and why?
  • I love Camp Timbers because…
  • How has Camp Timbers helped you become the person you are today?

Participating in the essay contest will give you a chance to be featured in an upcoming YMCA Camp Timbers’ newsletter and an entry into a raffle for a $100 gift card to camp. Write a response in 1,000 words or less and email it to Timbers@SaginawYMCA.org by April 20th.

Art Contest

We love to embrace everyone’s talents, passions, and hobbies.  That’s why we’re inviting everyone to participate in a camp-themed art contest.

Paint, draw, sketch or use any other art-related method you wish to showcase any of the following:

  • Your favorite place at camp
  • Your favorite memory of camp
  • Your most-impactful moment at camp

Submit your completed artwork by e-mail or mail by April 20th to be entered in a raffle for a $100 gift card to camp.  Send a photo of your artwork to Timbers@SaginawYMCA.org and it will be featured in an upcoming YMCA Camp Timbers’ newsletter.  Mail your artwork to YMCA of Saginaw, ATTN; Camp Timbers, 1915 Fordney Street, Saginaw, MI, 48601 and it will be showcased in our camp lodge for the 2020 season.



What's Camp Doing?

At this time, we’re continuing to plan and prepare for SUMMER 2020 – and we believe it could be our best one yet!  After this time of social distancing, uncertainty, and separation our kids will need summer camp more than ever before.

We are in regular communication with other camp leaders and health care professionals to monitor the situation.  We’re also closely monitoring recommendations of the CDC, American Camp Association, Y-USA, and local health department.

The health and safety of campers and guests is always our top priority.  As a state-licensed and ACA-accredited camp, we are committed to the highest standards of safety, cleanliness, and sanitation.  We already follow recommendations of the local health department and licensing/accreditation requirements.  With recent concerns we have increased precautions to exceed current recommendations.  You can read more using the following link: Camp Timbers – Procedures and Precautions

Our team will continue to monitor the situation and will make additional adjustments as recommended by health officials.  If you have any questions, or would like to discuss the implications for camp in more detail, please contact our camp director, Brian, at BAMiller@SaginawYMCA.org.



Even More Ideas for Experiences, Connections, and Growth at Home!

Links and Apps

Family Conversation Starters – Spark the conversation at a family meal using these conversation starters borrowed from our camp dining hall.

100 Activities To Do At Home During School Closures – An extensive list of fun, creative ideas to entertain the time at home

60 of the Best Learning Games for Kids (Sorted by Age) – Family games nights are a great way to connect and create memories and laughs together.  This list includes some ideas that also relate to learning.

Daily Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems – A daily session with a famous artist, likely to inspire your own artist at home.

Find a Hike with AllTrails – Our camp director loves finding new hikes using the AllTrails app, find a hike near you for fresh air and adventure

Discover Nature with Seek by iNaturalist – An app to learn about the nature all around you and identify what you find


Quick Suggestions

  • Make a batch of slime
  • Create a city out of Legos
  • Build towers out of uncooked spaghetti noodles and marshmallows
  • Create an indoor scavenger hunt for your family
  • Play a board game with your family
  • Write letters to family out of town
  • Make craft projects out of pine cones, leaves, or other nature-based materials
  • Read a new book together
  • Write a short story together
  • Complete a challenging puzzle
  • Learn a new card game
  • Create an indoor maze out of tape on the floor