Frequently Asked Questions

(updated 2/2022)

Rates, Dates, and Children Served

What are the session dates, and how much does camp cost?

Information on dates and rates can be found here.


What if my camper is staying for consecutive weeks?

Campers who stay for consecutive weeks will enjoy a day that includes fun activities, some extra rest, and laundry! There is an $50 fee for each Super Stay Over Weekend.


Do you offer a YMCA member rate?

YMCA Camp Watia was developed with affordability in mind to ensure that overnight summer camp could be a reality for all youth in Western North Carolina, therefore we do not offer a member discount. We do offer financial aid, based on eligibility. Please contact download the application, or call the Y Business Center at 828 251 5910 for more information.


What ages are accepted?

We serve campers ages 7–16, and counselors-in-training (CITs) age 17 or rising seniors.


Is YMCA Camp Watia co-ed?

Yes, we serve both boys and girls, ages 7–17. Campers sleep in cabins with other campers of the same gender and similar age.Cabins are group in a village by gender. 


Deposit, Payment, and Other Financial Information

How much is the deposit?

The deposit is $100 per week per camper, and is applied to your total payment. Your camper’s session is not reserved until the deposit is received.


Is my deposit refundable?

No. Deposits are non-refundable, but may be transferred to another YMCA Camp Watia session within the same calendar year.


Does the deposit go toward the cost of camp?

Yes. It is a deposit, not an additional registration fee .


Are camp payments refundable?

There are no refunds of any camp payments due to late arrivals, homesickness, or a child’s removal for disciplinary reasons.


When is the final payment due?

The final payment is due May 18, 2023.


Do you accept credit cards?

Yes, we accept all major credit cards, cash, and checks. Call the Y Business Center at 828 251 5910 for more information. Please note there is a $25 charge for all checks returned to YMCA Camp Watia.


Do campers need extra money?

No. Snacks are available every evening, with a variety of choices, at no additional charge.

The camp store will be open during Sunday check-in and Friday check-out. Store items include T-shirts, hats, water bottles, draw-string bags, etc. No food items are available in the camp store. Feel free to come by and put together a care package for your camper; we are happy to deliver them daily.


Camp and Cabin Information

Do the counselors sleep in the cabins with the campers?

Yes, campers are supervised by our camp staff throughout the day and night. Each cabin sleeps up to 12 campers and 2 counselors.


Are there bathrooms inside the cabins?

A toilet and sink are located in each cabin. Additional toilets and sinks, in addition to showers with private changing stalls, are located in gender-specific shower houses inside each cabin village.


Can my child be assigned the same cabin as his/her friend?

Yes, campers can be in a cabin with a friend as long as they are the same gender and in the same age group. You can request up to 2 cabin-mates on the registration form. We will try our best to accommodate cabin assignment requests, but cannot guarantee them.


How does my child select a bunk?

When campers arrive on Sunday and go to their cabins, they can select a bunk. Cabin counselors reserve the right to change bunk assignments as needed.


Are your counselors background-checked?

Yes. All YMCA employees must pass criminal and sexual offender background checks.


What is the counselor to camper ratio?

The counselor to camper ratio is 1:6.


Is there a nurse on the grounds?

Yes. We have a camp nurse on-site to administer medication and provide first aid. In addition, all YMCA Camp Watia staff are certified in CPR and first aid. An AED, oxygen inhaler, and EpiPen® are kept on hand for emergencies.


Location, Check-In, and Check-Out

Where is YMCA Camp Watia located, and how do I get there?

YMCA Camp Watia is located at 5030 Watia Road, Bryson City, NC 28713.

Driving Directions

  • Follow I-40 West to the Waynesville exit
  • Take 19/23 West past Bryson City
  • Bear right onto 28 North, and stay on it for approximately 1 mile (if you arrive at the Nantahala Outdoor Center, you have gone too far)
  • Cross over the Fontana Lake Bridge
  • Make your first left on to Watia Road
  • Follow Watia Road until it turns to gravel. At this point you are 3 miles from the Welcome Depot, which will be on your right.

Please use caution while on Watia Road. It contains soft shoulders and many sharp turns.


What are the check-in dates and times?

Camp sessions start on Sundays. Camper check-in is 2–3:30pm.


What are the check-out dates and times?

Each camp session ends on Friday. Check-out begins at 7pm immediately following our Family Closing Ceremony (please see below for more information). For the safety of your child, picture identification is required to check out campers.


What is the Family Closing Ceremony?

Camper families are invited to join the YMCA Camp Watia community in celebrating a great camp session. Campers and staff will share highlights of the week and cabins will share songs, skits, and special talents. This is a great opportunity for campers to shine and for parents to see the YMCA Camp Watia experience in action. Families should arrive by 5:45pm and check in at the Glass Lodge. The closing ceremony will start at 6pm.


Can someone other than a parent or guardian pick up a camper at check-out?

Yes. If someone other than a parent or guardian will be picking up a camper, the parent or guardian must have completed and signed the Parent Authorization Form. The person designated on this form must present a valid driver’s license or photo ID to be approved to check out the camper.


Do you have some additional questions? We are here to help! Email us at or call the camp office at 828-209-9600.