Our Story

Camp Wood YMCA was established 100 years ago by a small visionary group of Kansans. They were farmers and civil servants, businessmen and teachers who were involved with the YMCA movement in their communities. And in 1915, even amid news of war, they believed in the power of summer camp and in its value to the young people of Kansas. That year, they set out to establish the state’s first YMCA residence camp.

Their search for the ideal location led them to the Flint Hills. There, they met Howard Wood, a former YMCA camper, who introduced the group to his grandfather, Stephen. The Wood family believed in the work of the YMCA and generously donated 40 acres of rolling prairie to establish a camp “for the young people of Kansas”. Camp Wood welcomed its first campers just 6 months later on May 30th, 1916 and has been welcoming young people and their families to the Flint Hills ever since.

Nearly 100 years later, Camp Wood YMCA continues to serve youth and families from Kansas and beyond through summer residence camp, year-round outdoor education, and event hosting. We are proud to be a long-standing member of the Y movement and our programs are guided by a commitment to youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. We invite you to visit us in the Flint Hills and explore the wonder and beauty of our setting on 864 acres of scenic tallgrass prairie.