“Make Friends, Make Memories and Make a Difference”
Welcome to Camp Gordyland! Our camp directors dedicate year-round planning and collectively have over 100+ years of camp experience. We strive to ensure our campers learn lifelong skills and foster friendships in a safe and welcoming environment. Our outdoor day camp sits on 22 acres where we enjoy an outdoor 50 meter pool, 25 yard indoor pool, pond, mini-golf course, ropes course/climbing wall, 2 ball fields, fishing area, archery range, gaga pits and more!
Save the Date:
Registration for Camp 2023 begins Saturday, October 15th
Choose from the many different camps below.
Gymnastics Camp takes place at the Gymnastics Center – 644 Danbury Road, Wilton CT 06897 203-529-3636
Click here for more information on Gymnastics Camp>
CAMP FORMS & INFORMATION
Our aquatics staff hold current Lifeguard, First Aid and CPR for the Professional Rescuer Certifications.
Campers will participate in water activities to learn water safety and develop stamina/skills. Also, this essential activity helps with the camper’s overall health as the water cools them down in the hot summer temperatures. Camp-To-Come-To and Free-To-Be campers are provided with a combination of general instruction and recreational free swim times throughout the week. On their first day of each session, these campers will be given a swim test. This procedure allows us to place campers into a swimming group appropriate to their abilities. The pond is scheduled for Free-to-Be and Camp To-Come-To every day also. Teen Camp is scheduled to enjoy recreational swim or water polo daily.
A dock test must be passed at the beach in order to swim out to the dock, roughly in the center of the pond. In order to pass the dock test, campers need to be able to swim out to the dock in the deep water area (8 feet deep), tread water for two minutes without holding onto a lifeguard and swim back to the shallow end. If a child does not pass the dock test, they are welcome to try again. Campers that pass the dock test will wear a bracelet to be easily identified.
Swim “buddy checks” are conducted every 7 minutes to be sure all swimmers are accounted for. An air horn will sound in the event of a camper not accounted for at the swimming area or vicinity. The land and water will be searched until the child is located. All emergency procedures will go into effect with coordination of the Camp and Aquatic Staff. Camp Gordyland practices these drills during camp hours. They are better known as “Pond Drills”.
Camp Group Ratios and Training:
To ensure the safety of your child, our staff are required to attend 13 hours of training in Child Abuse Prevention, Camper Behavior Management, Water Front Safety Procedures, Positive Discipline, Inclusion, Risk Prevention and more. First Aid, Ropes, Archery, and Canoeing Staff has further specialized training.
Camp Gordyland maintains a lower maximum amount of campers per group than mandated by the State of Connecticut. Camp Gordyland has a counselor to camper ratio that ranges from 1:6 to 2:14.
**See the bottom of the webpage for a sample of our Employee Code of Conduct and Staff Job Performance Evaluation (Camp Forms & Information).
Medication Policy & Forms:
All medications, including inhalers, must be given to the Camp First Aider for approval either before or on the campers first day of camp. Medications cannot remain with a child at camp; they will be kept in the Camp Office in a locked box. If your camper needs to take medication, either over the counter or prescription, during the camp day, our camp First Aid Staff can dispense medication if the following requirements are met.
1.The medication is in its original, sealed bottle/box with the campers name printed on the prescription.
2. A physician has filled out and signed the Authorization for the Administration of Medications Form and it is on file in the camp office. Forms are available on the website or in the lobby.
3. The medication has not expired.
4. Any remaining medication must be picked up by the parent on the last day of camp. All remaining medications will be destroyed one week after camp ends.
Campers should apply sunscreen or bug repellent before coming to camp each morning. There is also scheduled time for sunscreen to be reapplied in the afternoon. Under camp guidelines, staff cannot apply sunscreen unless it is the spray. If campers need sunscreen reapplied during the day, please show them how and counselors will remind them to do so.
If your child’s physician strongly recommends that he/she needs more sunscreen application, the Authorization for the Administration of Medications form must be completed by the physician. The camper will be taken to the Camp First Aider at the appropriate times for it to be reapplied.
Keeping Hydrated at Camp:
We ask that you provide a full waterbottle for your child each camp day. We will have “Hydration Stations” positioned around our camp grounds so children can refill their waterbottles. Counselors will remind campers to re-hydrate often and we have scheduled water breaks at all the activities.
Campers with peanut/tree nut allergies range in severity. For this reason we are “peanut/treenuts aware” and ask that camp families refrain from bringing peanut/treenuts products as well as “made in a facility that processes peanut/treenuts”. If you are interested in bringing in cupcakes or baked goods for your child’s birthday, please provide ONLY store-bought products that are sealed and contain the ingredients. All products need to be preapproved by a Camp Director before being served to campers to account for any other food allergies in the group.
Camp Gordyland’s Protocol for a “Peanut-Aware” Camp
1. All lunches will be inspected by your child’s Counselor before distributing lunch bags to the group.
2. Any foods that contain peanut/tree nut products or are processed in a plant with peanut products will be discarded. Please inspect your child’s snack ingredients for possible traces of peanuts/treenuts.
3. If your child’s lunch or snacks contain nut processed products, parents will be called first and it will be discarded. We will provide a substitute lunch of a jelly or cheese sandwich. There may be a fee for continual disregard for this policy.
4. Campers are not permitted to share food.
5. Please send in box labels for food that is not sold in individual packages (Costco or BJ’s brands) for quick review by Camp Staff.
Week 1 Blast Off Into Summer
June 20-24 Special Event: Rocket Launch
Week 2 Caribbean Carnival
June 27-July 1 Special Event: Carnival Day- June 29th
Dunk Your Director– Thursday, June 30th during pick-up
Week 3 Heroes of the Heart
July 4-8 Special Event: Visit from local Heroes
No Camp, Monday, July 4th
Week 4 Funkalicious
July 11-15 Special Event: Color Run– July 14th
Week 5 Character Color Games XXX
July 18-22 Special Event: Big Show – Friday, July 22nd
Week 6 Treasure Hunters
July 25-29 Special Events: Gold Rush- All Week!
Director vs. Staff Football Game- TBD
Week 7 Gordyland’s Got Talent
August 1-5 Special Event: Talent Show – Friday, August 5th
Week 8 Gordy’s Safari Adventure
August 8-12 Special Event: Animal Visit & Egg Drop
CF Staff Kickball Game– Wednesday, July 28th @ 6:30pm
Week 9 Nautical Nonsense
August 15-19 Special Event: Inflatable Slip-n-Slide
Q: How does camp ensure my child is protected from the sun?
A: We ask that you apply sunscreen to your child each camp morning. Throughout the day, counselors remind campers to apply sunscreen and we schedule time for sunscreen reapplication after lunch. Under camp guidelines, staff cannot apply sunscreen unless it is the spray. If your child’s physician strongly recommends that he/she needs more sunscreen application, the Authorization for the Administration of Medications form must be completed by the physician. The camper will be taken to the Camp First Aider at the appropriate times for it to be reapplied.
Q: What is summer camp swimming time like?
A: Our priority is to provide a fun and safe atmosphere at our waterfront. In addition to offering an opportunity to cool down from the hot summer sun, our campers develop their stamina in the water as well as learn swim safety and skills. Camp-To-Come-To and Free-To-Be children are provided with a combination of general instruction and recreational free swim times throughout the week. They are tested on their stamina and skills in the water weekly so they are grouped with campers with similar skill-set. Details on our water safety procedures are in our Parent Handbook.
Q: How does camp prepare and manage the large number of cars in the parking lot at camper pick-up/drop off?
A: We understand that our parking lot is smaller and we have made every provision to better serve you at camper pick-up/drop off. Our ‘camp parking team’ is stationed around the parking lot and bridge to help manage congested areas. In addition, we pay the Wilton Police Department every camp day to operate the traffic lights on Route 7 during pick-up/drop off. For your convenience, we offer Express Drop Off Tuesday-Friday from 8:55am-9:20am. Signs for this service will be posted and staff will escort your children to their groups so you are in/out of the Y quickly.
Q: Can I extend my child’s camp day?
A: Yes. AM Care begins at 8:00 a.m. and runs until 9:00 a.m. Drop-off is in the Activity Center. Staff will bring your child to regular camp. PM Care runs until 6 p.m. On-line registration for AM and PM Care MUST be done by the Monday before the week you want so we can staff program accordingly.
Q: What happens if my child loses their favorite towel at camp?
A: Lost and Found is located by our mini-golf course. Please label your child’s items to improve the odds of retrieval.
Q: Does my child need to be potty trained to come to camp?
A: Yes. All campers must be potty trained. If a camper has a bowel-movement bathroom accident, the parent will be called and the camper will go home. The camper may return the next day unless the child’s accident was induced by an illness.
Q: What happens when it rains or really hot on camp day?
A: Camp Gordyland is an outdoor camp. However, if the weather forecast advises extreme heat or lots of rain (a.k.a. liquid sunshine), we modify our activities/schedule to ensure that our campers are safe and happy.
Q: What if I am late to pick my child up?
A: We understand that life happens and you might be late due to traffic or unforeseen circumstances. In that instance, please call the Y at 762-8384, press ‘0’ and speak to a front desk representative. If you are unable to get to camp within 15 minutes of our camp’s end time, please secure an alternate pick-up person and notify us of his/her name to get authorization when they arrive. If lateness is repetitive, a late fee must be charged.
Q: Is it possible to have my child participate in a specialty camp AND traditional camp?
A: Yes. You may register for a “traditional/specialty camp” price for an additional fee. If the specialty camp starts at 9:00am, please drop him/her off at that camp. When the specialty camp day ends, a Camp Director will pick your camper up and bring him/her to their traditional camp group. If the specialty camp starts in the afternoon, a Camp Director will pick your camper up from their traditional camp group and bring them to the Specialty camp. You are responsible for picking your child up from that camp.
We love camp. Plain and simple.
But there is nothing plain or simple about the effort and energy we spend thinking of ways to make Camp better because we firmly believe that what we do here is important.
At Camp Gordyland, we are intentional about how we train, speak, play, and encourage our staff and our children. In addition to learning invaluable skills, we believe that Camp gives each child the courage to be brave, loud, enthusiastic, proud, and most importantly, themselves. Each year our staff spend hours learning and being inspired by our Director team (and believe us, we are inspired by them, too). Our Counselor Development is something that we take seriously and the Directors use the previous summer as a tool to craft the trainings each year. We reinforce our successes and come up with strategies to improve our challenges. We believe that we have the power and responsibility to enhance the “whole child”. We use many teaching tools and techniques and education is always ongoing.
Below we have included a few of these tools for you to take a peek. We want everyone who proudly calls themselves a Gordylander to Make Friends, make Memories, and Make a Difference.
Having a membership will save you $100 a week on camp!
Interested? Join before you register for camp.
1. Log in *If you have difficulty logging in, please contact Christina Foley, Membership Associate at 203-762-8384 x 0.
2. Browse or Type the Camp you are interested in
3. VERY IMPORTANT…you must register your child for the grade they are ENTERING IN THE FALL OF 2022. If your child is registered for the wrong grade, your child’s place in camp cannot be guaranteed.
The Riverbrook Regional YMCA offers camp scholarships to qualifying families. We encourage families in need of assistance to submit applications as soon as camp registration opens to secure a spot in first choice of weeks. Should you be offered assistance, payment plan arrangements can be made through the business office at the time of award acceptance. All camp policies apply to financial assistance awards.
Applications are available on the Riverbrook Regional YMCA web page or at the front desk. Applications must be completed in full and submitted with the required supporting documentation to Molly Blosser. Please do not register before hearing about an offered award as prices will not be discounted on registered weeks. All registrations will be made via the business office. Applications for camp assistance will not be accepted after May 1, 2022.
All camp balances are due by May 4th, 2022. If you register online, the balance will automatically be set to charge on May 4. If you do not want an automatic charge and would prefer a bill be sent, please email Molly Blosser after registration to remove the automatic charge. Any registrations not set to automatically charge will have bills mailed in April. Payment can be made via your online account or sending payment in. A $50 per week late fee will be applied each week payment is late after May 4th, 2022.
Please contact Molly Blosser in the Member Finance Office if you would like to set up a payment plan. Any payment plan set up with payments made via a credit/debit card will be charged an additional 3% processing fee. The last payment plan charge will be July 1st.
While registering, if there are no spaces available in the week you want, you will automatically have the option of being put on a waitlist for that week. If a space should open up, you will be contacted via phone and email by a camp director. You will have 2 business days to respond. If we do not hear from you in that time, we will assume you are not interested in registering for that week and will move onto the next camper on list.
Camp Enhancement Fee
There is a one-time CAMP ENHANCEMENT FEE per child, per year of either $15, $20, or $25+. 100% of monies will go towards enhancing your child’s camp experience through updating existing activities or adding new ones. This summer, we will be purchasing new activities on land and in the water! After your initial registration, if you are adding camp weeks and do not want to be charged the camp enhancement fee again, please contact Mike Kazlauskas @ 203-762-8384 x277.
**Exceptions will be made for COVID-19 related items on a case by case basis**
Important Links for Staff
It’s Not Just a Camp (What the campers will learn while at camp)
Counselor Evaluation (See how Counselors are evaluated)
DLE and the Power of Play (See how Directors keep track of staff encouragement & the playing with the groups)
What role do you want to play at Camp?
Counselor, Specialist, Paraprofessional or Director?
Find out more here Staff Role Description
Our staff are the heart of The Y. We are proud that Camp Gordyland Staff work towards this every day.
Interest in Joining our Camp Staff team?
Learn about the Camp Application Process & Requirements (Must Read before Applying)
A weekly Gordyland newsletter is emailed to all camp parents that reviews the previous week and what to look forward to.
We capture the essence of camp through the lens of one of our staff members. Hundreds of these photos are uploaded on our Wilton Family Y Facebook page on a weekly basis. Check our page to see your child in action.
Keep in touch through our Camp Gordyland Parent Facebook Page. Click here to follow.
Each camp morning and afternoon, over 20 camp directors are stationed at all areas to ensure they are available to connect with you regarding questions, concerns or feedback. Directors are dressed in our signature NEON “Gordy Green” shirts.
Camp Parent Handbook
Our camp policies/procedures are detailed in our Parent Handbook . Please make sure to review it carefully as it pertains directly to your child’s summer camp experience.
Get notifications on your phone to changes in pick-up/drop-off locations and reminders about special camp activities.
Phone or Email
If you have any questions, please contact the Directors of the Individual Camps
Kimberly Fejes @ email@example.com
Chris Foley @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know that Wilton is a no-idling town? Help us keep the air around our children clean and healthy! Whenever possible during drop off/pick up, please do not leave your vehicle idling. See more information from our friends at Wilton Go Green here.
The Wilton branch of the Riverbrook YMCA is dedicated to providing a positive, supportive and welcoming experience focused on each person’s individual needs. Our programs, including our summer camps are structured to accommodate and support all our participants to the best of our abilities. We feel that every person, adults and children should be given the opportunity to participate in all that the YMCA has to offer.
At Camp Gordyland, our campers are fully immersed in their camp group and participate in all the activities of the camp day. At the discretion of the Special Needs Director, campers will be assigned shared paraprofessional support. Support staff will motivate campers to be actively engaged in their group activities and provide modification when needed.
All our programs and camps are open to students who participate in summer school and we will work to accommodate each school districts schedule. The CIT program can be extended to accommodate campers beyond the age of 16 and up to age 21 provided there is availability. All campers (including CIT’s) registered as an extension of a school supported program are required to attend with district support. Individuals registered for all programs may be asked to provide outside support if deemed necessary.
Please see specific camp based on age/grade for fees and times. The Wilton YMCA reserves the right to deem if a camper requires additional support. At this time, the Special Needs Director or Camp Director will contact the family to discuss the proper plan.
You must contact Christina Foley at email@example.com or 203-762-8384 ext. 207 to discuss your child’s needs, to arrange a support staff or to answer any questions. Registration is based on program availability. Once a session is full, your child will be placed on the waitlist.
Campers will experience a day of both traditional and non-traditional activities.
Our program will help campers demonstrate sportsmanship, skill development and fun in a safe environment based on our Five Camp Character Values:
Caring (Red) Respect(Yellow)
Help others Value the worth of every person and myself
Be sensitive of others feelings Treat others as I would have them treat me
Honesty (Blue) Responsibility (Green)
Tell the truth Do what ought to be done
Make sure my actions match my value Be accountable for my behavior
Becoming a whole group
Accept and celebrate diversity
I’m Going to Camp – (Aaron Britton/Bill Zsunkan)
Where you going? I’m going to Camp.
What you gonna do? Gonna swim and dance.
Where you gonna do it? Out in the sun.
What you gonna have? Have lots of fun.
You know I’m never going to leave,
You know I’ll always want to go,
Even when the summer days are done,
Camp will always be my home!
What’d you play? Played ball and tag,
Climbed the wall and captured the flag.
Who did you meet? My best friend,
I never want this summer to end.
You know I’m never going to leave,
You know I’ll always want to go,
Even when the summer days are done,
Camp will always be my home!
This winter came and it started to snow.
Missed going fishing and my archery bow.
Don’t worry Camp’s only ‘round the bend,
I never want this summer to end!
You know I’m never going to leave,
You know I’ll always want to go,
Even when the summer days are done,
Camp will always be my home.
“Character Rock” Tradition:
Our Character Rock is located near our Street Hockey & Beach activities. Each summer, our camp “color teams” earn points when they personify our YMCA’s Character Values of Caring, Honesty, Respect, Responsibility and Unity. The team with the most points at the end of the summer receives the honor of painting the rock their team’s color for all to see until the next summer. There are many layers of color on our precious Character Rock! What color will the Character Rock be at the end of this summer?!
During our annual Color Games Week, our 5 Color Teams: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green and Blue, compete in four categories during our Big Show on the Friday of Color Games. All week long the Color Teams practice for these categories: entrance, mascot, cheer and dance as directed by their Color Team Generals (our camp directors). The Color Team earning the most points overall during the Big Show will earn the Color Belt! Check out a Color Team’s Entrance HERE
During our annual Color Games Week, our 5 Color Teams: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green and Blue, compete all week long to earn points towards the Character Cup. Color team can earn points for winning Opening Ceremonies activities like the frozen T-shirt contest, egg toss, lemon eating and many more favorites. Groups can also earn points at their activities, finding their team’s color chip during “Color Chip Challenge”, guessing director and specialists secret identities and by raising the most money from our Penny Wars this week or by having the most positive points from Penny Wars. The wining Color Team will be presented with the Character Cup at The Big Show!
Gordy’s Golden Ticket:
Legend has it that many years ago, Gordy, the gator lived on the 22 acres that our camp sits on today. The camp grounds looked very different than it does now. The grounds were swampy and inhabited by reptiles and other exotic creatures. When the people built the Riverbrook YMCA, the animals moved to other areas but Gordy stayed because he had a treasure buried somewhere on the YMCA property. This coveted treasure was filled with toys and prizes! Because he loves Camp Gordyland and its campers, he has hidden a Golden Ticket that grants the lucky recipients access to this priceless treasure. Clues to the ticket’s whereabouts are given twice a week to the camp by Gordy himself!
“Heat Wave” Camp Store:
Heat Wave is Camp Gordyland’s store that has theme-based trinkets, toys and gear. Campers can use Britton Bucks to “buy” items. Britton Bucks are rewarded to campers who demonstrate extraordinary acts that personify our YMCA’s Character Values of Caring, Honesty, Respect, Responsibility and Unity.
Hot Dog Wednesdays:
Hot dogs are Gordy, the gator’s favorite food! Every Wednesday, campers have the opportunity to purchase hot dogs. The cost is $3 for 1 hot dog or $5 for 2 hot dogs. We ask that parent provide additional nutritional lunch options to fuel our campers throughout the camp day.
- “The staff always seemed attentive to the health and safety of all.”
- “I was so impressed with how careful everyone was!”
- “My son loved camp this year. It was a great way for him and all kids to have a normal program with new precautions.”
- “We love Camp Gordyland.”
- From a camper, “This was the greatest summer because of camp. You would never know there was a pandemic from his point of view.”
- “It was a great experience especially under the circumstances. Thank you for keeping our kids and families healthy, happy and safe!”
- “Safe, warm, helpful, positive, friendly, organized, well-run, efficient! So grateful we had this option for our son this summer, he loved it.”