Welcome to Camp Kenan!
Offering overnight, day, and first experience camp options, YMCA Camp Kenan provides children and youth with an opportunity to experience camp life, develop essential skills, and make lifelong friends. Situated on Lake Ontario in Barker, NY, Camp Kenan boasts more than 50 acres of land filled with adventures and scenic beauty for every camper to explore. Whether it’s mastering aim on the archery range, scaling the climbing tower, swimming, being challenged on the high or low ropes courses, hiking down wooded trails, or singing by the campfire, summer at Camp Kenan provides the ideal camp experience.
Hockey & Basketball Courts
Canoeing & Kayaking
Indoor Climbing Wall
Climbing Tower & Zipline
Arts & Crafts Lodge
High & Low Ropes Course
Sand Volleyball Court
Nature Study Lodge
Day Camp Programs
Not quite ready for resident camp? YMCA Camp Kenan offers day camp for kids who want to experience camp without staying overnight. Parents can drop off at Camp Kenan, or take optional bussing from the Lockport Family YMCA.
Traditional Day Camp, Entering grades 1-6
Campers have a terrific time throughout days filled with age-appropriate activities such as instructional and recreational swimming, arts & crafts, sports, games, outdoor activities, archery, rock wall, and more. Campers are divided into small age groups, each with its own staff, promoting individual growth and a sense of belonging.
Teen Day Camp, Entering grades 7+
Campers enjoy all the activities of traditional camp with more focus on team building, high adventure, and leadership development appropriate for campers ages 12-14.
Overnight Camp Programs
For nearly 100 years, YMCA Camp Kenan been a home away from home for thousands of youth. Overnight camp gives children and teens the opportunity to disconnect, build relationships, and have fun. We strive to develop a community where all of our campers feel safe, accepted, and free to try new challenges in the outdoors. Our hope is that each new camper leaves with a new friend, a new skill, and the confidence and caring to make the world a better place.
First Experience Camp, Ages 6-8
A perfect 3-night session for the first-time camper who wants a taste of camp life. Sessions are offered Sunday – Wednesday or Wednesday – Saturday.
Traditional Camp, Ages 7-15
One-week sessions, Sunday to Saturday. Each week follows a different theme. Throughout their week, campers travel through camp as a group experiencing all YMCA resident camp has to offer.
Leader-In-Training (LIT), Ages 15-16
The Leader-In-Training program helps teens begin to take the next step from camper to leader. This program is perfect for teens who love camp and are also interested in developing skills in communication, team building, problem solving, and conflict resolution. Instead of around a table, our leaders learn in the outdoors, around a campfire, playing games, and taking challenges Participants must be age 15 by July 1, and should be available for both weeks of the program, and do go home between sessions.
Counselor-In-Training (CIT), Ages 16-17
The Counselor-In-Training program helps teens put their leadership skills to the test by planning and facilitating camp programs and mentoring youth throughout camp. Upon completion of the CIT program, many participants choose to become staff members to help give younger campers an experience as meaningful as their own. Because of the important work we do with children at camp, we take the training of our young leaders and future counselors very seriously. Participants must be 16 years old by July 1 and should be available for all three weeks of the program, and do go home between sessions.
The health and safety of the children in our care is our top priority. The YMCA is committed to providing a safe and fun experience for your children, while following guidance from the CDC, Department of Health, and New York State Office of Child and Family Services. Children are allowed free time but are always under a counselor’s supervision. YMCA Camp Kenan meets the strictest requirements for YMCA resident camps, maintains accreditation by the American Camping Association (ACA), and is inspected annually by the Niagara County Health Department. A registered nurse lives on site, and our infirmary is equipped to care for temporary illness and accommodate overnight stays if necessary. Hospital facilities in Newfane, NY are less than fifteen minutes away. Camp staff receive training in First Aid and CPR, and many hold additional certifications such as Lifeguarding and Responding to Emergencies to help provide the safest environment possible.
8571 Lower Lake Road
Barker, NY 14012
5833 Snyder Dr.
Lockport, NY 14094
P: (716) 434-8887
F: (716) 434-0227
Camp Kenan History & Tradition
The late philanthropist, inventor, humanitarian, and benefactor of many organizations in Lockport and elsewhere, William R. Kenan made it possible to establish the camp. The suggestion to develop a camp for children from the local area was made by John Tagg, the late general secretary of the Lockport YMCA, to Mr. Kenan.
Seven acres of land along Lake Ontario were acquired by Mr. Kenan in 1924, and the first camping season began. Although the facilities were primitive, it was deemed a huge success and plans were developed to expand operations the following year.
Generous grants were made each year by Mr. Kenan and are still made today by the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust and family to maintain, expand, and improve camp. These donations have made it possible to construct cabins for campers, build housing for staff, provide a dining hall, build a two-story recreation hall, provide program supplies, and recently rock the shoreline for erosion control.
Today YMCA Camp Kenan has over 53 acres and attracts hundreds of campers and their families each year. The Lockport Family YMCA and generations of campers and staff are forever grateful for the commitment the Kenan family has made to preserve and enrich the vision of William R. Kenan Jr.