We would like to welcome you to the YMCA Camp Cherokee family! Being a part of Camp Cherokee should be an exciting and enjoyable experience for you and your child! We realize that you are giving us the opportunity to have your most prized possession with us this summer. We do not take this responsibility lightly. Our purpose at Camp Cherokee is to provide a positive experience where each individual will feel comfortable and loved. We also hope they will gain a sense of independence and self-confidence. Please let us know if we can assist you in any way or answer any questions you may have that will help you get ready for the Camp Cherokee experience. We look forward to seeing you this summer!
Here is some information that you may find helpful:
How long has Cherokee been in business?
Camp Cherokee has been operating continuously as a summer camp since 1945.
Are you accredited by the American Camp Association?
Yes, Cherokee meets or exceeds the standards set by the ACA. These standards cover all aspects of the camp including: staffing, health, waterfront safety and more.
Where do you get your staff?
Many of our staff have ‘come up through the ranks’ from camper to Leader-In-Training to counselors to Upper Staff. About 85 percent of our staff are returning, however we do welcome new staff members each year. We ensure that all of our staff have the necessary qualifications to instruct the activities they will be teaching and most importantly, a desire to work and care for our campers. All of our counselors must submit to a SLED background check and drug test before they are hired.
How do I register?
Our camp registration is done through Campminder! Parents are able to create an account and then register their child for camp! Find that page here.
Does YMCA Camp Cherokee offer financial assistance?
Yes. Financial assistance is available through the Upper Palmetto YMCA on a first-come first-serve basis. A copy of your current tax return (1040, 1040A or 1040EZ) is required to process the financial assistance application. Those who wish to contribute to our financial assistance program may do so by donating online.
Camp Cherokee is very fortunate to have a wide diversity of campers and staff from all over the USA and beyond! While approximately 80 percent of our children are from Rock Hill, SC, we have had campers come from over 9 states and numerous cities from across the Southeast! Over the past 3 years, 14 states and 5 countries have been represented!
My children are different ages. Can they be in the same cabin?
If two campers are within one year of each other’s age and are of the same gender, they can request to be placed in the same cabin. Typically, if the campers are not the same age, the older camper will be placed in the younger cabin. To encourage campers to meet new friends, we encourage only one to two “Cabinmate Preferences” per camper. Therefore, both campers must have the other listed as their “Cabinmate Preference” on their application to ensure the pairing is made.
When Camp is Near
Where is Camp Cherokee?
Camp Cherokee is located in Kings Mountain State Park in Blacksburg, SC right off SC Hwy 161. 30 minutes from Charlotte, 1 hour from Greenville, 1 ½ hours from Columbia.View detailed directions on our Directions page.
When are my child’s camp fees due?
All camp payments are due on or before April 15th. Your credit card information is stored privately online, meaning we can only see the last four digits. When you register you have three options for payment: pay in full, monthly drafts on the 15th of each month (final payment on April 15th), or pay a deposit and have the remaining balance processed April 15th. Please contact Amy Counterman if you have any questions about payment.
My child was a camper last year. Do I still need to submit all of the forms?
Yes. We need new versions of every form!
What if I need to cancel or change a session?
All changes and cancellations must be made in writing either though the mail, fax (Attn. Amy Counterman), or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. A session may be cancelled at any time, but the deposit is non-refundable after May 1st, without a note from a doctor.
It’s Time for Camp!
Can my child bring their Cell Phone?
No! No! No! Absolutely not! Please do not encourage or allow your child to bring their cell phone to camp. If a situation were to arise in which you would need to speak with your child, you will be contacted by Camp Cherokee Staff. If you need to speak with your child or need information relayed to them about any topic such as pick-up time, ride home, etc., please contact the Camp Director!
What time is Check-in/Check-out?
Check-in for all sessions is from 1:30pm-3:00pm on the opening day of each session. If you cannot get to camp during those times, please let the camp director know so that arrangements can be made to make your arrival as easy as possible. Check-out for all sessions except First-Timers is from 10:00am to 11:00am on the last day of the session. First –Timers check-out is at 7:00pm on Sunday.
At Camp Cherokee there is no need for campers to bring money to camp. However there are occasional opportunities or outings a camper may wish some of their own spending money. All meals & beverages are provided while at camp and on trips, but campers may choose to buy additional items. Please do not send more than $20 with your child.
How is the food at Camp?
We know from 64 years of camp experiences what food campers enjoy. Our menus balance children’s likes with nutritious foods, which include lots of salads and fresh fruits. We believe that delicious, nutritious food is the cornerstone of a happy camp. There are three main meals at camp along with a visit to the Canteen. All meals are served buffet style with the exception of our Banquet Dinner on Fridays. Campers still may have as much food as they would like, but the staff will be there servers! Breakfast is served beginning at 8:30 am. Breakfasts include assorted cereals, toast, fruit, yogurt, pancakes, biscuits, juices, eggs, sausage, hash browns, etc. Lunch is served daily at 12:30 pm. Our lunch menus include hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled cheese, chicken nuggets, BBQ, cheese burgers, tacos, deli sandwiches, pastas, French fries, soups, assorted salads etc.. Dinner is served at 6:30 pm. Our dinner is themed regularly including Mexican, American, & Italian and camp favorites include macaroni & cheese, pot roast, pizza, lasagna, and fried chicken. Water, sweet tea, and juice are always available. At every lunch we offer an extensive salad bar. We will work with you to accommodate the needs of anyone on a special or particular diet and even those children who may be “picky” eaters.
How does the camp handle food allergies?
Information regarding food allergies should be included on the health form. Our Food Services Director will monitor and make adjustments for these diets at each meal. Campers should also accept responsibility for adhering to their specific diets.
What happens if my child gets sick or injured?
The health and well being of our campers and staff have the highest priorities at Cherokee. To ensure a high standard of medical attention, we have a registered nurse on site every day. Our four-bed infirmary is the center of our health care. The infirmary is open 24 hours a day for campers to receive treatment. In the event of an emergency, further medical attention is available 15 minutes away at Kings Mountain Hospital, or at Piedmont West Urgent Care Facility in York. The health and safety of your child, receive our greatest focus of attention. We will notify and work closely with you on any matters of significant concern or special needs. Please thoroughly complete the Health Forms, which must be completed and brought to camp on opening day. There are copies of the medical forms on Campminder.
In the event that your child is injured or runs a fever of 101 of higher, you will be immediately notified. If you have any other questions/concerns, contact us directly by phone or email and we’ll be happy to help!
What if my child gets homesick at camp?
A few campers experience some homesickness as they adjust to living in a new environment. This is normal and our counselors are trained how to support campers as they make this transition. Most homesickness is generally brief and occurs during quiet times the first few days of a session. If your child is experiencing an extreme case of homesickness, the camp director will call the parent to discuss a plan to help them adjust to camp.
What is your mail and parcel policy?
Parents are encouraged to write their children as much as possible. There is nothing more exciting for a camper than to receive letters from their parents, friends and relatives. You may send a letter through Camp Stamps by clicking here. The volume of parcels we are receiving daily has drastically increased the past few years, resulting in an increase of different delivery company trucks to our main camp road. Please consider sending letters, rather than packages. Please do not send food or candy!
What happens when it rains?
Camp Cherokee is blessed to be set in a magnificent natural setting where which we implement our programs. When Mother Nature replenishes our camp with rain, our day proceeds as usual. Campers do get wet and sometimes muddy on rainy days. If the rain is accompanied by thunder, usual programming ends, and all campers and staff are brought to covered areas.
What are your Visitor policies?
Camp Cherokee does not allow visitors. All visits must be approved by the Camp Director in advance of your arrival!