Summer Family Camp

Enjoy the wonders of the wilderness in northern Minnesota this summer at YMCA Family Camp. Create family memories that will last a lifetime while you connect, renew and relax. Whether you're looking for fishing, hiking or total relaxation, we have something for you.

Summer reservations and Lottery

Reservations for summer at Camp Northern Lights are made through a lottery system. All times listed here are Central Time.

  • You must register to participate in the lottery by midnight on Thursday, November 29, 2018.
  • The Lottery happens on Saturday, December 8, 2018—you must be available to answer your phone when we call between 8am and 2pm to register for a site.

Full-week sessions run Sunday to Sunday

  • June 16-23
  • June 23-30
  • July 7-14
  • July 14-21
  • July 21-28
  • August 4-11
  • August 11-18
  • August 18-25

4-day sessions

  • June 12-16 (Wednesday - Sunday)
  • July 3-7 (Wednesday - Sunday)
  • July 31 - August 4 (Wednesday - Sunday)
  • August 25-29 (Sunday - Thursday)
  • August 29 - September 2 (Thursday - Monday)*

*Stay at Camp Northern Lights and take our shuttle to Camp du Nord for the Fest du Nord Family Music Festival.

3-day sessions run Sunday - Wednesday

  • June 9-12
  • June 30-July 3
  • July 28-31


Schedules and activities

Preview the fun your family will have by checking out sample schedules and activities that await at Camp Northern Lights.


Friday includes an all-camp picnic lunch at the beach! Food provided by camp.

Otherwise, you are responsible for your meals during your visit to Camp Northern Lights. There are restaurant and grocery store options in nearby Babbitt and Ely. Plan on bringing food and beverages for your stay:

  • Full-facility cabins include full kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Bungalows include a refrigerator, microwave, picnic table, charcoal grill and access to a shared fire ring.
  • Tent sites include picnic table, food-storage container, fire ring and access to shared refrigeration.
  • Camp Map

Leadership Development program

Teens ages of 15-18 can learn about leadership through training and helping camp counselors facilitate programs. Applications are due Tuesday, January 15, 2019. Cost is $560 for a two-week session (transportation provided for an additional $40). Applicants will be informed by Thursday, January 31, 2019.

Cancellation policy

In the event that your plans change prior to camp we are available to assist you. Requests must be in writing and can be submitted online.

  • Cancellations received on or before May 15, 2019 will be refunded however, the deposit is non-refundable.
  • Cancellations made after May 15, 2019 are non-refundable and non-transferable.
  • Changes to your reservation made within one month of camp will be charged a $25 change fee.