Explorer Camp

A fun, safe way to explore outdoors and discover what you can achieve.

Explorer Day Camp 2024 Registration is closed due to an extensive waitlist. Please register for the most convenient Discovery Day Camp for your family.

Register for Discovery Camp

The full outdoor summer day camp experience - and then some!

Buncombe County Explorer Camp taps into the landscape of western North Carolina and embraces the diversity of our campers. It's a safe environment to explore outdoors and discover what campers can achieve.

While developing skills in wilderness, gardening, and adventure recreation, campers grow in self-confidence and strengthen the  community. Kids leave every day with dirt on their hands, a smile on their face, and the spirit of camp in their hearts.


  • Archery
  • High and low ropes
  • Gardening
  • Forestry
  • Field trips
  • And more!


In 2024, Explorer Camp runs June 17-Aug. 16.




Explorer Camp takes place at YMCA Youth Services Center at Beaverdam.

Info for parents

As a parent, you need to be comfortable leaving your child in our care. See our Parent Handbook to learn about our protocols and policies. 

Explorer Day Camp FAQ

Financial assistance is available for qualified applicants. Click here to apply.

  • The amount of financial assistance that can be provided will be dependent on income and other factors. Please have financial documents ready before you apply. 
  • You must apply with the DSS’s [Department of Social Services] state subsidy program before you can qualify for financial assistance through the YMCA. Call the DSS at 828-250-5500.

Financial assistance

Explorer Summer Day Camp is for children ages 4-12. 

Age groups are broken into different ranges for different activities that are facilitated by our expert childcare staff. 

Your child will be able to learn, play, and connect with other children their age while they enjoy exploring. 

Explorer Camp starts on a different date every year depending on a variety of factors. In 2024, Explorer Camp begins on June 17.

Daily schedules vary greatly, but a typical day looks like:


Sample Schedule - Field Trip Days



Child drop-off & pre-camp

9:00am Group gathering
9:30am Garden or field time
10am Lounge
11am Lunch
12pm Field Trip
3pm Snack
4-5:30pm Post camp & child pickup


Sample Schedule - Non-field Trip Days  
7:30am Child Drop-off & pre-camp
9am Group gathering
9:30am Garden or field time
10am Lounge
11am Lunch
12pm Activity
1pm Playground
2pm Siesta
3pm Snack
4pm Post camp & child pickup


Parents typically provide lunch, but the Y can provide it if required. Ask the camp director if you would like lunches provided for your child at summer day camp. 

Learn more about our packed-lunch policy and guidelines, click here.

Food from home guidelines


Your child should come to Explorer Camp with: 

  • Backpack
  • Active clothes that are OK to get dirty
  • Active sneakers 
  • Sunblock
  • Brimmed hat
  • Lunch and snacks
  • Water bottle
  • Any medications they will need through the day
  • Allergy medicine, including an EpiPen if prescribed

If your child will need anything besides what is listed here, a YMCA staff member will let you know.

Ready to join?

Signing up is fast and easy. Spots fill up fast, so reserve yours now!