To the southeast of Indianapolis, near the suburb of Shelbyville, is one of the coolest summer camps for Indianapolis kids: Flat Rock River YMCA Camp. This camp is one of the eleven branches that make up the Indianapolis YMCA, and it certainly is a unique location among all the branches. The other branches are: YMCA at the Athenaeum, Baxter YMCA, Benjamin Harrison YMCA, Butler Intercollegiate YMCA, Fishers YMCA, Jordan YMCA, Pike YMCA, Ransburg YMCA, Urban Mission YMCA, and West District YMCA.
First opened in 1946, the Flat Rock River YMCA Camp has grown in both land mass and activities throughout its sixty years of existence. The campground has all that you could ever want out of a camping experience, including winterized cabins for snowy camping, a trading post, a boulder wall, three different shooting ranges used for riflery, archery, and BB guns, and, of course, tons of hiking trails. The camp offers two Alpine Towers; the newest one, Alpine Tower II, is a 50-foot adrenaline rush for those campers who are into extreme climbing. Both towers promote teamwork, self-esteem, and physical activity. For those who want to emulate their favorite Indianapolis sports teams like the Indiana Pacers and Indianapolis Colts, there are two-hoop basketball courts to square off on and an athletic field to tackle each other in.
But the Flat Rock River YMCA Camp does much more than throw your kids in to a site full of activities with no direction. There are a variety of different camp programs for every age group and temperament. The main camp puts campers together with seven to nine cabin mates of the same age. Each cabin has two super-cool counselors to act as role models and guides. These counselors are usually former campers themselves, and they work hard to make each kid’s experience the best it can possibly be.
The main camp makes full use of all the facilities at Flat Rock River YMCA Camp; campers participate in several different clinics of their choosing each day. Clinics include building model rockets, canoeing, kayaking, appreciating nature, running the camp radio program, horseback riding, dancing, and many more. It’s not all about activities, though: participants in the main camp will also build lifelong friendships with their cabin mates and experience the beauty of nature. Your kids will come home feeling fulfilled and happy, but probably pretty tired as well.
Aside from the main camp, there are also tons of different programs for all age groups. There are three teen programs to choose from: “Challenger”, a teen adventure that includes rappelling, riflery, and the Alpine Towers; the “Leadership Development Program”, mixing the excitement of regular camp with lessons on leadership; and the “Counselor in Training” program, which trains future Flat Rock River counselors on how to be a good role model, both in and out of the campsite.
There is also a family camp that gives you the opportunity to connect with your kids in their element. At the family camp, you’ll hike by the Flat Rock River, climb the rock quarry, make tie-dye, shoot BB guns and bows, and roast up some old camp favorites: s’mores.
So if you or your kids are looking for a place to escape the bustle of downtown Indianapolis, Flat Rock River YMCA Camp is the place to go. It’s one of many great things to do in Indianapolis and the surrounding area, and it’s definitely worth the trip!
For more information on Flat Rock River YMCA Camp, including rates, specific program information, and directions, please visit the camp’s homepage.
Flat Rock River YMCA Camp
6981 W County Rd 650 N
St. Paul, IN 47272