Welcome to Day Camp at McGrath Family YMCA

boys on the bus at the YMCAWhen school is out, your family can count on McGarth Family YMCA to ensure your child is having fun in a nurturing environment that is friendly and safe. Our single-day and extended-care options provide the flexibility you need.

Since 1882, our camps have inspired kids with countless opportunities to laugh, lead and make lasting friendships. We offer a unique learning environment where youth are introduced to outdoor experiences, can nurture their passions and explore new interests.

Get Ready for the Best Summer Ever!

  • February 29 — Member Priority Registration
  • March 7 — General Registration

Members Save!

YMCA members save up to 15 percent on camp! An active membership is required at the time of the program start date to receive the member discount.

Ways to Register

Browse Summer Camps

Organize Your Summer!

Download the Summer Camp Grid and use the Catalog Tags to jump directly to a short, prefiltered list of camps online.


Spring First!

When school is out, our school break camps and Vacation Fun Days are the perfect solution for you and your family!  Children will engage in traditional camp activities such as games, arts & crafts, science, sports and more!

Check out our school break camps for the 2019/2020 school year below:

Spring Break

  • March 30-April 3
  • April 6-10
  • April 13-17

Browse School Break Camps



Check out the digital edition of our summer day camp guide. View camp descriptions and use the Catalog Tag finder to quickly find and register for camps online.

Camp Locations and Hours of Operation

McGrath Family YMCA
12006 Campo Road, Spring Valley, CA 91978
(619) 462-9622, ext. 13305

Regular Camp Hours

8:30am - 4:00pm
Drop-off: 8:00 - 8:30am
Pick-up: 3:15 - 4:00pm

Extended Day Camp Hours

Only pay for what you need! If you need care outside of the scheduled camp hours, the Y offers an extended care program. Extended care is complimentary in the morning and an afternoon option is available for a weekly cost. More time means more fun, more adventure and more memories!

Morning hours: 7:00am - 8:30am - FREE
Afternoon hours: 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Extended Day for the week - $47  |  $56



Tabatha Valencia
[email protected] | 619.462.9622 ext.13305

Tina Barker
[email protected] | 619.464.9622 ext.12217

McGrath Family YMCA takes pride in hiring the best people to fill our camp staff. Each camp leader was hand-selected through an extensive hiring process to ensure the safest environment for everyone. Staff training includes CPR and First Aid certification, transportation safety, behavior management and bully prevention, child protection and abuse prevention, field trip and off-site safety procedures, risk management/prevention and more.

How to Register for Day Camp

  • Find a Day Camp Program and Register Online
  • By phone: (619) 462-9622
  • In person at the Registration Desk at the McGrath Family YMCA
  • An active membership is required at the time of the program start date to receive the member pricing discount.

At time of registration, you may choose to:

  • Pay in full (includes a $25 non-refundable deposit)
  • Put down a $25 non-refundable deposit at time of registration. Balances will be due the Monday prior to the first day of camp.
  • An additional $25 will be applied to all registrations starting the Tuesday before the camp begins.


If your camper has any special needs, please complete and submit an Inclusion Intake Form to our camp department prior to registration and submit to the camp director via email or drop off at the Welcome Center. Forms are available at our Welcome Center. Due to high demand, please allow a minimum of two weeks for evaluation of registration materials.

Medical Release Form - Required

In order to register, all campers must have a current Medical Release form updated and submitted to the YMCA after January 2020. Medical Release forms can be found at the YMCA Registration Desk or can be downloaded from the form library (see Medical section)

Vendor Waivers

Some specialty camps, particularly those that travel to an off-site location, require an additional vendor waiver. Day Camp programs requiring these forms should have a link available to download the waiver as a PDF on the specific Day Camp page — it may also be included within the form library. If it is not present, please contact us and request a copy of the waiver be sent to you.

Camp Scholarships

Financial assistance is available to families who qualify. Applications are available at the service desk and online. Assistance is based on verified income and completed applications.

Apply for a Program Scholarship

More Policies

For more information about YMCA Day Camp policies, expectations and helpful information, visit our Day Camp Policy page.

Day Camp Categories

Traditional Day Camps

New experiences, skill building, a sense of community, and lasting friendships are all part of Traditional Day Camps. Trained camp leaders focus on caring, honesty, respect and responsibility in all of our activities to maximize fun during the day! Set in the YMCA style of different activities and themes each week, your camper will participate in team building games, arts & crafts, science experiments and more!

Day campers will be divided into small groups by age, and will participate in activities appropriate to the interests and needs of their group.

Find Traditional Day Camps at McGrath

Specialty Day Camps

Our phenomenal specialty day camps combine the traditional fun of YMCA day camps with the more specialized skills and learning of our outside specialty camp providers or YMCA experts. Each specialty day camp has a wide range of subjects to campers to enjoy - from sports-related day camps concentrating on skills and techniques, to creative camps like ceramics that focus on expanding artistic skills and confidence.

Find Specialty Day Camps at McGrath

Teen Camps: Leader in Training

Within this program, teens learn leadership, group management skills, child development basics, and policies and procedures in relation to working with youth. Interacting with campers and representing the Y requires a certain level of maturity. For this reason, the Fieldwork program is selective. Upon completion of the L.I.T. Training Course, teens will be invited to participate in the Fieldwork program. L.I.T.s will be required to follow the Y camp staff dress code: solid, non-denim pants or shorts, unaltered Y L.I.T. t-shirt; tennis shoes. Female L.I.T.s will be required to wear one-piece bathing suits when applicable. Dress code and behavior expectations will be detailed during the training course. The program is designed for campers to enroll in at least one session of Fieldwork upon completion of the Training Course.

Find LIT and CIT Day Camps at McGrath


Only pay for what you need! If you need care outside of the scheduled camp hours, the Y offers an extended care program. Extended care is complimentary in the morning and an afternoon option is available for a weekly cost. More time means more fun, more adventure and more memories!

Morning hours: 7:00am - 8:30am - FREE

Afternoon hours: 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Extended Day for the week - $47  |  $56


What to Expect and Prepare For

Sign In and Sign Out Procedures

In order to ensure the safety of your camper, it is mandatory that each camper be signed in and out daily with a legal signature and time by an authorized adult.

Authorization To Pick Up Camper

Only adults who are authorized in writing by the parent will be allowed to pick up your camper. All adults picking up campers from Camp are required to identify themselves with a photo ID.

Late Arrivals

If campers are late, it will be the responsibility of the parent to ensure that the camper is signed in and arrives safely with his or her designated camp.

Late Pick Ups

Children not picked up at the end of the camp day by 6:00 pm will be charged $1 per minute fee. For example, camp pickup ends at 6:00 pm, and a child is picked up at 6:25 pm. There would be a $25 charge.


Lunches and Snacks

Campers should eat a nutritious breakfast before being dropped off for camp and bring a healthy non-perishable lunch each day. Please note, we do not have the capacity to heat or refrigerate lunch items. In consideration for other campers, Camp McGrath is a NUT FREE ZONE (this includes peanuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews, Nutella, etc.).


Campers are required to wear closed toe shoes and socks daily. Belongings are the responsibility of the camper. A backpack is helpful in keeping your camper’s belongings in a safe place. Please clearly mark your camper’s belongings with his/her name. Field trip T-shirts: On field trip days we request that campers wear a red T-shirt for easy visibility.  If you forget, a red camper T-shirt may be purchased at the Welcome Center in the facility. 

Sun Protection

Parents should apply sunscreen before campers arrive to Day Camp in the morning. We apply sunscreen multiple times throughout the day. If you do not want sunscreen applied to your camper, or would like a special type of sunscreen applied, please send a note to your child’s Camp Unit Leader each Monday and provide them with the special sunscreen.


Please see your camper’s camp calendar for specific swim days. Campers who wish to swim must bring a one-piece swimsuit, towel, sunscreen, and warm change of clothes. All campers are required to take a swim test before swimming in the YMCA pool or beach. Swim tests will be on Mondays. The swim test consists of jumping in deep water, returning to the surface, treading water for 60 seconds and swimming 25 yards (the length of the pool) on the surface with rudimentary side breathing. If a camper is unable to pass this test or if a camper chooses not to take the swim test and cannot stand comfortably in the water (water no higher than the armpits), s/he will wear a life jacket in the pool and will stay in the closely supervised shallow end of the pool. In order to keep your camper safe, all campers take the swim test every day. During beach visits, campers are required to take a swim test daily, if campers pass the test, they are allowed to go in waist deep, if they do not pass, they are allowed to go in ankle-deep.

For your camper’s safety, all campers visiting the beach will be given brightly colored rash guards to wear throughout their visit.

Giving Back

For every session of camp, the Y provides program scholarships for families seeking financial assistance. This is made possible through the generosity of our community. If you wish to help a child go to camp, please see our Camp Director for information.


We love to hear from our campers and parents! Camp leadership teams use your feedback to make positive changes to our program. Please feel free to contact our Camp Director, Tabatha Valencia [email protected], 619.462.9622 ext.13305, with any questions, comments or concerns!