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We are looking forward to once again serving your family this summer at YMCA Camp Gorham. Please contact us at 315-357-6401 or campgorham@rochesterymca.org for any assistance.

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CAMP GORHAM: THE CAMP FOR YOU!

At Camp Gorham we focus on ensuring that every camper feels welcomed to camp. 

Overnight Camp Pricing and Session Dates

Two-Week Sessions:

SESSION DATES
Session 1 July 7-20
Session 2 July 21-August 3
Session 3 August 4-17

 

One -Week Sessions:

SESSION DATES
Session 1 July 7-13
Session 2 July 14-20
Session 3 July 21-27
Session 4 July 28-August 3
Session 5 August 4-10
Session 6 August 11-17

 

Session Rates:

SESSION LENGTH RATES
2 Week Session $2,000
1 Week Session $1,050
Non-Member Rate $105

 

TEEN PROGRAMS

Teen Adirondack Guides

SESSION DATES
TAG 1 July 7-20
TAG 2 July 21-August 3
TAG 3 August 4-17

Cost: $1,965 per session

Counselor in Training

SESSION DATES
CIT July 7-27

Cost: $2,000 per session

 

Cabin Life at Camp Gorham
  • Family: Our cabins are home base for campers, both in terms of space but more importantly in terms of people. After each day, campers always come back together in their cabin and participate in Evening Embers, a chance to share their thoughts, feelings and experiences. Cabin life is designed to build new friendships in a caring supportive environment. Campers are active participants in the Camp Community taking responsibility for the cleanliness of their cabins; keeping track of their personal belongings; putting away equipment after activities; and clearing tables after meals in the dining hall. Camp will honor one reciprocal roommate request. Each cabin is staffed with two Cabin Counselors who live in the cabin with their campers. Parents can meet their child’s counselors at check-in and again during pick up at the end of your camper’s session.
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  • Neighborhood: Cabins also make up different villages at Camp Gorham. Our Villages give campers something to be part of and proud of within the overall Gorham community. Campers are assigned a village based on age and gender. Each has a distinct identity. Throughout the summer, campers have many shared experiences within their village but also aim to be the loudest and proudest within camp! Campers are encouraged to bring clothing in their village color to exhibit their pride. Staff create a dynamic environment focused on five key elements: Safety, Friendship, Adirondack Experiences, Character Development and Fun! Adirondack Village: Girls ages 7-12 (Village Color: Green), Big Moose: Boys ages 7-12 (Village Color: Red), Frontier: Girls ages 13-16 (Village Color: Yellow), Lumberjack: Boys ages 13-16 (Village Color: Blue)
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  • Two campers, left camper in all red with red face paint, right camper in all yellow with yellow face paint
  • Meal Time: All meals at Camp are served family style in our dining hall; a cereal bar is available in the morning and a salad bar is available at lunch and dinner. Campers who require special diets for medical reasons can be accommodated with advance notice. Fruit is always available for campers and mealtimes and for snacks throughout the day. Cabins take turns being table setters for each meal to help set up the dining hall. Prior to the meal camper’s gather together in the game zone in front of the dining hall enjoying gaga ball; basketball; carpet ball and the jumping pillow. Just prior to the meal, campers line up in cabin groups and are called up to the dining hall one group at a time. This line up time includes our lost and found game as well as some cheers; songs; and quick role-playing games! The fun continues in the dining hall with spontaneous songs and cheers throughout the meal.
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  • Cabin Placement: Camp Gorham's Cabins are gender specific, which means:
  • • Girl+ Cabins are a space for girls, trans and non-binary campers who feel  most comfortable living with girls
    • Boy+ Cabins are a space for boys, trans and non-binary campers who feel most comfortable living with boys 
  • For any questions regarding our cabin placement or inclusion policies, please reach out to our Camp Director, Paul, at Paul.Davidson@RochesterYMCA.org. 
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YMCA Camp Gorham Traditions

Closing Banquet and Campfire: On the last day of each session, campers gather in the dining hall for a spectacular meal prepared by our professional chef. Staff all dress for the occasion and campers are encouraged to bring a nice outfit to wear to dinner that night. The banquet sets the stage for our closing campfire with wood chip ceremony. Campers receive a bracelet at closing campfire symbolizing their specific year at camp. The Adirondacks have long been a destination for friends and families where historically people would “dress” for dinner and gather in large dining halls for family style meals. Gorham celebrates the past of the Adirondacks with our closing banquet tradition as well as celebrating and giving thanks for the new friendships and experiences enjoyed during your camper’s session.

Golden Horseshoe: Our wonderful team of horses are expertly taken care of by our Equestrian staff but they always welcome extra help. Each morning campers can help to bring the horses in from the pasture and get them fed and ready for the day. The dedicated volunteer campers who join the equestrian staff every day are awarded the Golden Horseshoe in recognition of their efforts.

One counselor and two campers walking with brown horse

Polar Bear: Each morning, with the mist in the air and Darts Lake smooth as glass, the bravest campers and cabins head down to the waterfront to participate in what Gorham Campers have been doing since 1963, the polar bear plunge! Campers who plunge into the lake every morning are awarded the polar bear award at closing campfire but even if you only do it once, one thing is for sure, no Gorham experience is complete without the polar bear plunge!

 

 

 

Camp Corral

Camp Corral, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt, non-profit corporation, is a free, one-of-a-kind summer camp for children of wounded, disabled or fallen military service members. Camp Corral is proudly sponsored by its founding sponsor, Golden Corral Corporation, and other generous donors. YMCA Camp Gorham is one of 17 sites in the nation selected to host Camp Corral. Registration now open. Enrollment space is limited so apply early! Providing positive, recreational experiences in the outdoors helps foster resilience, and Camp Corral has proven to be a ‘week of a lifetime.’ The week also encourages the campers to create friendships and bond with other kids who share similar family situations. Your camper will spend the week outdoors enjoying the many traditional overnight camp activities Camp Gorham has to offer: swimming, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boards, mountain biking, fishing, archery, high ropes, zip line, hiking, wilderness, and more!

  • Who can attend? Any child, ages 8-15 of a military family may attend. However, registration priority is given to children of wounded, injured, ill, or fallen military service members.
  • How does my camper apply? The camper’s parent or legal guardian must complete their camper’s Camp Corral application online on the Camp Corral website.
  • What happens after I apply? YMCA Camp Gorham will review applications to ensure your camper meets the established guidelines. Once accepted you will be sent instructions on parent/medical forms, what to bring to camp, and arrival and departure times. 
Specialty Programs

Teen Leadership Programs: We’re proud to offer programs for our campers age 14-16.

Camper waterskiing, sticking leg out

Teen Adirondack Guides (TAG): Our Teen Adirondack Guide program aims at developing campers into leaders both within camp and in their community while providing them with tangible camping skills. The goal of the program is to provide a powerful and meaningful experience for participants. TAG campers are housed in lumberjack and frontier villages. Program highlights include: Two-night camping trip where participants plan and navigate through the experience, Raft building experience, Extensive team building and leadership training,  and have a prominent role in all-camp activities. The TAG Village Color is Tie-Dye and campers will be given a white shirt to tie-dye while at camp.

Waterski Programs, age 10 and up: Whether you are looking to try waterskiing for the first time or to enhance your skills further, there is no better location for your child to waterski than on our beautiful 400-acre private lake. Our experienced instructors will tailor their approach to the level of your camper ensuring they get a memorable and meaningful waterski experience. Campers taking waterski lessons must be able to pass our swim test.

Group of Campers riding horses

Horseback Riding: With 1,500 acres of property, Camp Gorham offers the chance to experience any number of horse trails. Camp Gorham is accredited by the Certified Horsemanship Association. The CHA provides the accepted Standards for Equestrian Programs. CHA requires accredited members meet standards for safety, education and animal welfare through a detailed process which examines the site, program content, staff qualifications and equine management. Campers who register to take horseback riding as one of their three electives will begin with riding lessons, building to a trail ride. Campers are grouped by ability level with lessons being tailored to maximize the experience for each camper. Campers not in this elective may still be able to experience the horses either by assisting with barn care or may take part in a scheduled cabin ring ride in our arena. Helmets are provided; campers registering for this program must bring riding boots/shoes with pronounced heel and long pants that come to the ankle for riding. Lessons are with equestrian staff. After assessments, riders are grouped into beginner, intermediate and advanced classes.

Camp Gorham Activities

Our specialty tracks are categorized as being Land, Water, and Creative activities.

LAND

a camper at camp gorham with a bow and arrow at the archery range

Archery

Campers can learn or improve the skills necessary for shooting a bow and arrow. Throughout the week, campers will learn the different parts of a bow as well as the proper firing technique. Campers will be able to use their skills with a few unique challenges that take place on our main archery range as well as our field archery range. New this year! Campers will be able to put their skills to the test and compete in the archery challenge to win the coveted golden arrow!

Sports and Games

If you like being active and having a chance to compete at the same time, then Sports and Games are for you! In the Sports and Games track, campers will have the chance to play a number of different athletic games. Campers will begin each session with a group stretch to warm up and then put their athletic skills to use. This year, campers will play games such as kickball, ultimate frisbee, World Cup soccer, and pickleball. While this activity does focus on competitive games, campers are still reminded each day to practice good sportsmanship and focus on the fun.

Mountain Biking

Hit the trails with us in the Mountain Biking specialty track. Throughout the week, campers will learn the basics of mountain biking by learning the different parts of the bike, practicing bike control, and learning about riding safety. Day One will have campers practicing on a small obstacle course that will help improve riding control and by Day Five, campers will be testing their skills through time trials out on the trails.

Rock Climbing

Rock Climbing is an exciting activity that provides campers with the opportunity to push themselves to new heights. Goal setting is highly encouraged with our campers in this activity and our trained staff will help campers achieve or even surpass them. The week starts off with learning about the equipment that is used for rock climbing and how it keeps us safe. Each day, campers will have the chance to scale our rock wall, climb the cargo net, soar on the flying squirrel, and coast down our zipline. This is the perfect activity for those looking to step outside of their comfort zone. Remember, closed-toe, sturdy shoes are required for this specialty track.

ADK Life

Here at Camp Gorham, we like to put an emphasis on enjoying the outdoors and our ADK Life specialty track is the perfect activity to do so. In this activity, campers will have the chance to explore different parts of camp while learning some essential skills that can be used in the wilderness. Campers will hike to Lunar Falls, learn how to build a fire, build their own survival shelter, and play fun wilderness games like camouflage. Be sure to bring your hiking boots!

WATER

a group of campers in kayaks on Darts Lake at Camp Gorham

Boating

Darts Lake at Camp Gorham is the perfect place to get out and enjoy the water. In boating, campers will have the chance to explore parts of our 400-acre private lake. Whether you are an experienced paddler or have never been in a boat before, this activity is a fun way to be on the water. At the beginning of the week, campers will start with the basics by learning the different parts of the boats and paddling techniques. Campers will later get to paddle the lake via canoe or kayak and even practice the safety skills of what to do if your boat capsizes. If you want the full Adirondack experience, then boating should be on your schedule.

Fishing

Nothing beats relaxing with friends and casting a line into Darts Lake. In the fishing specialty track, campers will learn about our aquatic wildlife, learn how to string a fishing pole and bait their own hook. Our fishing is on a catch-and-release basis with an emphasis on the importance of respecting wildlife. This year, campers will have the opportunity to try fishing at different locations on camp to see where the best fishing can be done here at Gorham.

Stand Up Paddleboarding

Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) is a favorite amongst campers here at Gorham. If you have never tried a SUP, then we highly recommend this activity. It’s like surfing but without the waves and you use a paddle to propel yourself. Campers will start the week by learning the basics of paddling and how to gain balance on the SUP. As the week progresses, campers will practice paddling out on the lake while playing some fun games. New this year! Campers will have the chance to try our new Corcls! These are floating disks that work similarly to a SUP and provide a fun challenge.

Splash-a-palooza

Splash-a-palooza is for campers who want to spend extra time playing in Darts Lake! Campers in this activity will enjoy our water inflatables, play plenty of games in the swimming area, lounge on water floats, and see how long they can last with log rolling. For safety purposes, campers must pass our swim test to participate in the swimming specialty track. Please feel free to contact us with any questions on the swim test.

Waterskiing
At additional charge

Whether you are looking to try waterskiing for the first time or to enhance your skills further, there is no better location for your child to waterski than on our beautiful private lake. Our experienced instructors will tailor their approach to the level of your camper ensuring they get a memorable and meaningful waterski experience. Campers taking waterski lessons must be able to pass our swim test and be at least 10 years old.

CREATIVE

Arts and Crafts

Arts and crafts are a great way to put your creativity on display! Campers will participate in several fun and creative craft projects. Campers who participate in this activity can expect to make tie-dye clothing, practice wood burning, and make their own candle. Tie-dye shirts are provided to campers. Campers will be able to bring their crafts home at the end of the week so they can be displayed for all to see!

The Dart

New in 2024, The Dart specialty track is for writers and creators who want to share their love of Camp Gorham with the outside world! Every two weeks, we’ll publish an issue of The Dart and share it with families, friends, and the world! Choose this specialty track if you like to write, draw, take photos, and want to learn a little bit about assembling media!

Fort Building

Fort Building is a deep dive into the science and art of creating wilderness structures! Choose this specialty track if you’d like to learn building techniques for fairy houses, forts, and shelters created from natural materials.

STEM

Put your science, technology, engineering, and math skills to work in our tinkering lab! Each day will bring a new STEM challenge for participants in this specialty track.

Outdoor Cooking

Everything tastes better when cooked over a fire! In Outdoor Cooking, campers will learn a series of simple and delicious recipes that can be cooked over a campfire. The week will start with demonstrating how to build a campfire that can be used for cooking. Throughout the week, campers will make dishes such as freshly popped popcorn, cobbler, brown bears, quesadillas, and banana boats. Campers will also learn how cast-iron pots and pans can be helpful with campfire meals and practice proper care of the cast-iron equipment.

Traditional Camp Schedule
Time Activity
7 am Reveille: Early Morning Swim and Feed the Horses
7:20 am Cabin Cleaning
7:40 am Flag Raising
8 am Breakfast
8:30 am Morning Announcements
9 am Camper Elective Period 1
10:15 am Camper Elective Period 2
11:30 am Camper Elective Period 3
12:30 pm Games at Dining Hall
1 pm Lunch
1:30 pm Rest Hour
2:30 pm Waterfront Activities
4 pm Cabin Activities
5 pm Flag Lowering
5:30 pm Dinner
6 pm Evening Announcements
7 pm All Camp Game
8:30 pm Evening Embers

 

Board of Managers

Board of Managers:

Name City
Duane Basch Rochester, NY
Dana Consler Rochester, NY
Larry Davis, III Rochester, NY
Andrew Ashworth Rochester, NY
Nathan Basch Rochester, NY
Tiffany Meyer Rochester, NY
Jody Collins Skinner Winchester, MA
William Sauers Rochester, NY
Neil Proudman Manchester, NH
Judy Merzbach Walnut Creek, CA
Tom Richenderfer Rochester, NY

 

Honorary Camp Gorham Board:

Name City
Ralph Merzbach Rochester, NY
Bob Metcalf Hartford, CT
Ron Rauscher Canandaigua, NY

LEADERSHIP STAFF

Camp Gorham Director of Administration Heather

Heather Dickerson - Director of Administration

Heather started working at Camp Gorham in 2023 but has been in the world of camping since 2004. Heather earned a BS in Art Education from SUNY Buffalo State and a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh. Heather brings her experience as a librarian to her role as Director of Administration, where she is dedicated to helping families in the enrollment process and sharing information about Camp Gorham. Heather lives at Camp Gorham with her husband Paul, son Arlo, and dog Rooney.

Camp Gorham Summer Camp Director Paul

Paul Davidson – Summer Camp Director

Paul joined the Gorham team in 2023 as the Summer Camp Director, bringing twenty years of experience in outdoor recreation and summer camp. Paul got his start at Y camps as a sailing and rock climbing instructor at Camp Chingachgook on Lake George. Most recently, he led YMCA Camp Child in Elliston, Montana. He believes strongly in the transformative power of the overnight camp experience to help campers become confident in who they are. Paul lives at Camp Gorham with his wife Heather, son Arlo, and dog Rooney.

Camp Gorham Camp Ranger Ryan

Ryan Lukaszek – Camp Ranger

Ryan Lukaszek joined the Gorham team in May of 2022 bringing 10 years of experience in the maintenance/facilities field. Ryan grew up in the Adirondacks and loves fishing, and outdoor activities. Ryan loves camp and making sure everyone is comfortable at Gorham during their stay.

Camp Gorham Building and Grounds Supervisor Pete

Pete Meneilly - Buildings and Grounds Supervisor

While new to the role, Pete is no stranger to Camp Gorham, having joined our family here in 1984. After a short retirement, Pete’s been working part-time with us since 2018. We’re thrilled that he’s back full time! He takes great pride in caring for the property and is at his best when he’s fixing, building, and creating. Pete has been instrumental in the preservation and recreation of Camp Gorham facilities, notably Dart’s Cabin, Oak Hall, and the Wilderness Lakes Lodge.

Camp Gorham Head Chef Jahangir Qazi

Jahangir Qazi - Head Chef

Chef Qazi has worked for the YMCA of Greater Rochester in various capacities over the last few years, most notably serving as Head Chef at Camp Gorham in the summer of 2021. Jahangir earned a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Management from SUNY Brockport in 2012 and has over 20 years of food service experience, including owning and operating his own food truck. He currently is an Assistant Manager for Pittsford Central School District’s Food Service department. Chef Qazi loves the ADK and he is truly passionate about the culinary arts. He firmly believes that he has a responsibility to the youth of the community to design and implement a nutritional and memorable dining experience during their time at Camp Gorham. Jahangir lives in Rochester with his wife, Katie, and their daughter, Helena.