YMCA of Austin announced the name of the overnight camp it is building on 85 acres along Onion Creek in northern Hays County. It will be called Camp Moody after a $6.25 million gift from the Moody Foundation.
YMCA of Austin also launched a $18.3 million capital campaign, which includes a $500,000 challenge grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation.
The goal of the new camp is to get more kids outdoors and provide more kids in the Austin area a chance to go to an overnight camp.
“Too many of our kids are spending too much time indoors, inactive, and in front of screens,” said Ellie Falcao, Co-Chair of the YMCA’s capital campaign, in a press release. “But YMCA Camp Moody will help get thousands of kids into the outdoors.”
The YMCA of Austin says it has been doing outdoor activities at its day camps since the 1970s, but it has been the largest YMCA in the country without an overnight camp.
The camp, which is expected to open the overnight portion in 2020, will be designed to be accessible for all. The first phase will include a dining hall, treehouse cabins, two bunk cabin villages, a 15,000-square-foot enclosed aquatics center, 700-foot dual zip lines, a climbing wall, archery range, ropes course, entertainment amphitheater, open-air sports space and accessible trails.
The camp is designed to house 240 kids in its overnight program. Most sessions will be a week long, but there might be shorter camps offered for younger kids. The overnight camp will be for kids age 7-17. In addition, kids 4-14 will have day-camp options, and the hope is that the YMCA will be able to provide buses to and from camp.
The aquatics center will support the swimming program for Hays Consolidated Independent School District. The swim center is expected to open in September 2019.
“There is a clear need to preserve more natural spaces in Central Texas where kids can be physically active, connect with nature, and just play and explore in a safe environment,” said James Finck, YMCA of Austin president and CEO, in a press release. “We’re addressing a need to provide an accessible overnight camp experience; one that is closer to the city, affordable to all families, and welcoming to people of all abilities.”
The property already is being being put to use by school groups. This summer, week-long day camps will be offered starting in June for $210 a week for nonmembers and $150 a week for members. Some financial assistance is available.
Here is this summer’s lineup:Week 1: Kids vs Nature, ages 6-8 (June 11-15)Week 2: Kids vs Nature, ages 9-13 (June 18-22)Week 3: Canoe 101, ages 8-13 (June 25-29)Week 4: Canoeing Adventure, ages 8-13 (July 9-13)Week 5: Aim High, ages 8-12 (July 16-20)Week 6: STEAM Camp, ages 8 -12 (July 23-27)
Busing is not available this year. You can register by clicking this link.