Life at Camp
A complimentary wheelchair-accessible bus to and from the campsite is provided for all campers from designated sites in Brookline, MA and Worcester, MA. Bus pick-up to go to Camp Casco takes place late morning on Monday, August 21, and returns to the same sites late morning on Saturday, August 26. You are more than welcome to drive your camper to and/or from the campsite if you prefer.
We camp at the YMCA Berkshire Outdoor Center in Becket, Massachusetts. Camp Casco requires no camping experience whatsoever! Our campers enjoy electricity, indoor wheelchair-accessible bathrooms, hot water, and single or bunk beds.
We stay in the Manor Lodge, a large two-story building with wheelchair-accessible entrances to both floors (see right). We share one large common room for cabin time, and a spare bedroom is transformed into our "Med Shed". Campers are assigned to their bedrooms by gender and age, and every bedroom has at least 2 counselors assigned to it. Being housed in one lodge means that lots of helpful adults are always nearby, and that the Med Shed is convenient to everyone.
Our activities are a mix of YMCA-led traditional summer camp activities and unique, one-of-a-kind Camp Casco programming, to give each child a special camp experience every time they attend. YMCA-led activities include swimming, canoeing, indoor rock climbing, archery, and low ropes courses. Camp Casco programming is different each year, and incorporates both our annual camp traditions and our camp theme (see below for more on both, or check out our Previous Camps page to see schedules from past years!) All activities are thoughtfully planned to encourage peer relationship-building and positive, supportive interactions.
There are a few events and activities that we love so much, we just have to include them every year. They include:
- Campfires & S'mores
Every year, we kick off camp on Monday night with our Opening Campfire, where we sing songs, roast marshmallows, and enjoy this classic camp tradition. We can't end camp without our Closing Campfire, taking place Friday night, when cabin groups get to decorate a wish stick and throw it into the campfire to make their shared wish come true.
- Campfire Ashes
To keep our own special campfire burning year after year, early Saturday morning, our camp counselors scoop up small jars of the cooled campfire ashes. Each jar is labeled with the year, and each camper and counselor is given a jar to keep with them throughout the year. Returning campers and counselors are encouraged to bring back their ashes the next year, to throw into the Monday night campfire and keep our everlasting fire burning forever.
- Talent Show
A great opportunity for our incredibly talented campers to show off their skills - past acts have included skits, songs, dances, drawing, and fashion shows!
- Egg Roulette
Arguably one of the most popular (and messiest!) events at camp each year, each camper gets to reach into a mysterious box, filled with a mix of hard boiled and raw eggs. Each camper then selects the counselor of their choice to kneel down and receive the egg smashing of a lifetime!
- Camp Dance
Our camp dance is the perfect time to bust a move!
- Lights Out Lunch
What's better than enjoying your lunch in a dark room filled with glow-in-the-dark paint, glow sticks, light-up balloons and more? Our campers' smiles are so bright that you may not even realize the lights are out!
- Water Fight
Our favorite way to keep cool on a hot summer day? Water balloons!
There's nothing we love more than a good theme, and at Camp Casco, every camp session has its own special one! Not only do we choose one overarching theme for the week, we select specific theme days for every day of the week to make every day special. For example, in 2017, our camp theme will be "Planet Earth". 2017 camp theme days will be Tundra, Jungle, Desert, Savannah, and Aquatic (in no particular order). Campers should expect tons of themed activities each day, a thoroughly decorated cabin, and crazy counselors all dressed up. Without giving too much away, think safaris, jungle fever, and an under-the-sea dance. We hope our campers are ready to go WILD!
Just For Teens
New in 2017 - Campers 14 and up will get the chance to gain leadership experience by providing mentorship, guidance, and support to younger campers, furthering our mission to provide lifelong emotional support between kids who have been diagnosed with cancer. Our campers already demonstrate incredible leadership skills and support to one another, and we can’t wait to encourage them even further through the development of this program. We aim to teach our teen campers leadership skills that will prepare them to be successful in all of their future endeavors, whatever they may be.