Campout Information


Your tribe may participate in one of four annual campouts. These are either Tent-Camping or Cabin-Camping. The campouts are the highlight of the Father-Child Program. Tent campsites usually provide water, and fire pit.  Some have electricity, but not all. Cabin campouts are at summer-camp or retreat centers. Sheets and pillows are rarely provided.

Campouts start on Friday evening and end on Sunday morning.  Campout spaces are on a first-come first-serve basis.  Your entire tribe needs to register early to be guaranteed a spot at the campout.  The organizing tribe assigns campsites.

Pay close attention to the campout flyer. It will state which meals (if any) are provided, give directions to the campsite and other details for the event.

Campout Duties

The hosting tribe performs the duties to ensure a great campout for the Nation. Campouts can only function like a well-oiled machine if each tribe pitches in to take on a campout duty.  Duties might include putting organizing athletics, setting up the campfire, or arranging a Nation Hike. Each duty is important to the overall flow of our campout.

Council Fire And Tribe Chant

One of the highlights of the campout is the Saturday evening council fire.  The fire council begins with a nation procession from one end of camp to the council fire ceremony.  Tribes will join the procession by giving their tribe chant to the nation chief when he calls their name.  If the nation chief approves, the tribe may join in the procession towards the council fire ceremony.  Your tribe chant is a chant or song that the kids and dads make up.  Make it as personal as possible by using your tribe name and personality of your tribe.  Also, make it simple and easy to remember.  The ceremony will consist of inspirational words from our longhouse nation officers, stories, and of course a big fire (if the Great Spirit deems us worthy).  These ceremonies will be long remembered by each father and child. Each ceremony ends with each father and child being asked to go into the world to live out the aims of the YMCA Father-Child program. Patches are given to all members who attend.


The schedule at our campouts is very relaxed.  We want you to enjoy your time camping with your child, so only a few events require you to be at a certain place at a certain time.


Your tribe is encouraged to register for each campout as soon as registrations begin.  Campouts fill up fast. Even though we will have enough camp spaces for everyone in our program, we may not have enough at a desired camp on a specific weekend.

Passing The Chief Torch

At the spring campout, it is a tradition that you pass the torch of being tribal chief to another dad in your tribe.  This is done at the beginning of the council fire ceremony.  Your responsibilities as tribe chief will then be transferred to the new chief. It is important that your tribe seriously consider who will be the new chief.  As you will learn, being chief carries some major responsibility.  A non-active chief will result in a non-active tribe.  Please choose the best person for this position.  Not only will this dad remember the good times being chief, but his child will cherish the memories of dad being chief

Individual Awards

1st year          White Feather

2nd year         Green Feather

3rd year         Yellow Feather

4th year          Eagle Feather

5th year          Medallion

6th + years     Additional Recognition


Make Up Policy

Because our program involves so many people and so many different schedules, it is difficult to schedule a make up campout. As I mentioned before, we make reservations for campsites several months in advance. History has shown that rescheduling doesn’t work.


Camping Checklist 

Additional space provided so that you may enter your own items.

Program Related:
o Beads
o The Participants’ Guide
o Drum (Chief)
o Headband
o Indian vest
o Necklaces
o Tribe banner (Chief)
o Headdress (Chief)


Cabin Camping Gear:
o Backpack
o Batteries
o Binoculars
o Small broom
o Canteen or water bottle
o Bug Repellent
o Compass
o Duct tape
o First aid kit
o Flashlights 
o Folding chairs
o Leatherman/knife
o Poncho/raincoat
o Sewing kit
o Sleeping bags


Tent Camping Gear (above +):
o Camp Table
o Matches
o Rope/Twine
o Lantern fuel
o Ground sheet
o Mallet/Hammer
o Small shovel
o Lantern, extra mantels
o Tent and stakes
o Cooking Fuel
o Axe or hatchet

o Air mattress
o Air mattress pump
o Bicycles
o Camera
o Cash money
o Electrical cord
o Fishing rods and gear
o Games & Toys
o Insurance cards
o Licenses/Permits
o Notepad
o Pen/Pencil
o Power strip
o Spare car keys
o Trash bags
o Umbrella


Food Related:
o Aluminum foil
o Can opener
o Charcoal
o Cooking pots
o Cooking utensils
o Cups
o Cutlery
o Dish soap
o Firewood
o Folding table
o Gas stove
o Ice chest
o Napkins
o Oven gloves, pot holders
o Paper plates
o Scrub sponge
o Water jug
o Coffee & coffee pot

o Cap or Hat
o Coat/Jacket
o Flip-flops
o Jeans
o Shirts
o Shorts
o Sleepwear
o Socks
o Spare pair of shoes
o Sunglasses
o Swimsuit
o Underwear


o Body soap
o Chapstick
o Hair brush
o Medications
o Mirror
o Razor blades
o Shampoo
o Shaving Cream
o Sunscreen
o Toothbrush - Dad
o Toothbrush - Child
o Towels
o Tweezers
o Vitamins
o Toothpaste