Athens YWCO Camp is located on 150 acres in Clarkesville, GA which is about an hour from both Athens and Atlanta. We are a non-denominational Christian camp for girls age 7 to 15 and are rich in heritage and tradition, running continually since 1925. Camp is structured to offer both one week and two week sessions. Campers stay on camp in one of our eight cabins. The girls are divided by age into cabins with approximately 12 girls in each cabin. Each cabin has at least 2 staff members and a second year Counselor-in-Training who live in the cabin with the girls. There is a wide variety of activities for the girls to choose from with each activity class having a 4 to 1 staff to camper ratio. There are arts and crafts, including pottery, weaving, knitting, etc., outdoor living skills, including hiking and outdoor education, canoeing, sports and games, swimming, camp newspaper, and performing arts such as dance and drama. Also, we have a Horseback specialty program for girls who are interested.
Campers who sign up for Horseback Specialty Camp live in a separate cabin with the other Horseback girls. These campers are responsible for feeding and turning out the horses in the morning. Then they spend the majority of the day at the barn both developing their riding skills and learning proper care of the horses. This time includes instruction as well as more relaxed activities such as trail rides. The girls rejoin general camp for meals, rest time, store, free swim, and night program. HB Specialty Camp is limited to 14 girls per session, so the slots tend to fill quickly. We also offer a Daily Horseback activity for two-week campers where the girls go to the barn for one activity period a day. Two- week or one-week campers can also sign up for a one-time ride where they get to go to the barn once during their session and ride. For all of these Horseback programs, all skill levels are welcome!
Campers can also sign up for off-site trips. We offer an Advanced Outdoor Living Skills camping trip for girls ages 11 and older. For this trip, the Outdoor Living Skills Director takes the girls to a local campsite for a night. The girls get to learn the basics of camping including cooking over a fire, building a fire, and leave-no-trace camping. There is also a Whitewater Rafting trip for campers ages 12 and older (and who weigh a minimum of 60 lbs.). Girls who sign up for the white water trip spend the afternoon traversing the rapids of the Nantahala River in North Carolina. The third off-camp trip we offer is a Theatre Arts trip. Campers who sign up for Theatre Arts go to a playhouse in our area to see a live production.
A typical day starts with the wake-up bell, breakfast, and cabin clean-up time. Campers then have activities until lunch. After lunch, there is time for rest hour, free swim, and camp store followed by more time for camper activities. Each evening after dinner the entire camp gets together for night program. Night programs are anything ranging from cooking by the fire and camping out under the stars to getting together by the campfire for a night of songs to Goofy Olympics which is a bunch of fun relay races to Dinosaur Egg Hunt where campers search for dinosaur eggs (watermelons) all over camp. And of course all day long is filled with many fun camp songs! After night program, the girls retire to their cabins for showers and lights out. At the end of each two week session, camp hosts a banquet for the campers. This tradition-based night starts off with a theme announcement at lunch. The girls spend the afternoon getting their costumes together. For dinner, the dining hall is decorated according to the theme. After dinner, the girls participate in activities. Once activities are through, we do a cabin-walk to the pool where the girls place their bark boats with candles into the pool. We sing as a camp until the last flame goes out, bidding goodbye to another wonderful session!
Another specialty program we offer is our Counselor-in-Training (CIT) leadership program. This is a two-year program offered to girls who have completed the ninth grade. The first year CITs come to camp for four weeks and live together with the CIT Director. They spend their time learning leadership skills that will prepare them to be counselors. CIT1s are also responsible for various jobs around camp which include helping serve meals and doing the dishes after meals, assisting with store time, and helping out in activities. The CITs also complete a service project during their time at camp and plan one of the session-ending banquets. During their second year in the CIT program, the girls live in the cabins with the counselors and take on many of the same responsibilities as a counselor. Once successfully completing the time as CIT2s, they are welcomed on board the following summer as staff members!