Every summer, YMCA Camp Oakes provides the experience of a lifetime for nearly 6,600 campers. Organizations such as scouts, churches, schools, and those with special needs participate in a variety of activities at our year-round camp and conference center. But such services and programs don't just happen. They depend heavily on support and contributions from the community. Without that assistance, there simply is no Camp Oakes.
The Camp Oakes Experience
In keeping with the traditions of the YMCA, campers enjoy the spiritual up-lift that spending time up in the mountains can bring. Daily chapel (non-denominational), as well as nightly devotions, reinforce what it means to "be a good person," campers develop values and character, demonstrate how campers can bring that meaning to their everyday lives, and emphasize the foundations of the YMCA--Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility.
YMCA Camp Oakes makes it a priority to make sure that no camper ever feels left out. All activities are led with respect for all individual beliefs and faiths in mind. Participation is open to everyone without regard to sex, age, race, religion, handicap or national origin.
A number of camp activities are open for participants to enjoy. The swimming pool, lake canoes, archery, fishing, and our 30 foot climbing tower are available as is the Camp observatory for star gazing. Many enthusiasts choose to bring tents, RV's and trailers for their stay. Meals are offered in the dining hall and snacks are available at the Camp Store. At night Bose Hall has white lights for the non-astro-minded who want a place to gather.
YMCA's from all across Southern California use Camp Oakes for their summer camping programs. Since 1958, Oakes has taken generations of children to new heights with new friends at their sides.
Summer week-long sessions begin mid June and run through mid August. Check the main Camp page "Summer Camps" on the left for scheduled branch dates and contact information. Call a branch for availability, registration and pricing.
Oakes is the ultimate summer camp experience. We provide each participant with high quality programs including rifles, archery, canoeing and more. Our staff continuously teach the campers about the science aspect of camp. Campers gain knowledge in plants and animals, pond and lake studies, wilderness survival and a variety of other topics. Our attentive and supportive camp staff is available to provide a truly unique and enriched camp experience!
Some of our summer groups have their campers live in three walled Adirondack Cabins, which comfortably house up to 12 campers. Community bathrooms and shower areas are located in separate buildings. The Adirondack Cabins are located along the perimeter of the built out area of camp. They are rustic, and offer a closeness to nature and a more picturesque view of the surrounding wilderness than any other place at camp. With one wall "missing", it's like having a huge big screen TV tuned to the Nature Channel 24 hours a day! We also have fully enclosed Dorms for year-round housing with all the modern comforts. 10 of the dorms are the new Bixby Village Dorms which were opened in 2019.
Our food service has an excellent reputation. Lunch and dinner include healthy and pleasing main courses, as well as a salad bar.
Breakfast includes a hot entry, in addition to cold and hot cereal, fruit and yogurt.
Health and Safety
Wellness is of primary importance at Camp Oakes. All staff members are Red Cross Certified in CPR/AED and first aid as well as emergency procedures. We have a certified health care coordinator on duty 'round the clock, and Camp Oakes is minutes away from a local doctor and hospital.
Co-ed Camp for Boys & Girls
A Camp Oakes experience is about developing positive values, making new friends, learning new skills and having FUN. Branch campers are placed in small, age appropriate cabin groups under the careful supervision of well-trained leaders. Join your friends at the session sponsored by your YMCA, or just pick the week that's best for you.
A co-ed program for teenagers. Join other teens in this camp based program, which is designed for those who want to develop leadership skills.
The Y believes in growing its leaders. Participants will experience traditional camp activities while learning to become the counselors of the future. Each YMCA Branch develops it own Counselor-In-Training (CIT) program, so offerings and requirements may vary. Participants are generally between the ages of 14-17 years old. Applications and interviews may be required.
Program topics may include: Effective Communication Skills, Trust Yourself & Others, Creating a Safe Environment, CPR & Basic First Aid. Participants will work on skills to help them become role models and child care providers, while gaining hands-on knowledge by assisting counselors with their duties. Each day, time is spent with a cabin group where activities are planned and new skills are developed under the supervision of experienced counselors and CIT directors. For additional information contact your local Y!
Bring your family to this rustic mountain retreat center for three days of fresh air, camaraderie, activities, relaxation, great food, campfires, and more!!
- Lake Canoeing & Swimming(pool)
- Climbing Tower & Archery
- Zip Lining
- High & Low Ropes Courses
- Arts & Crafts
- Hiking & Trail Biking
- Observatory for Star Gazing
Overnight facilities include the Conference Center, Dorms, and three-sided Adirondack Cabins. Limited RV Hook-Ups are available.
A minimum group size of 30 is required and liability insurance for the group is needed. Call for availability.
High Trails Outdoor Science School
We are happy to be hosting the High Trails Science School who are teaching students from various Southern California schools outdoor science education. We normally have 150 students on site Monday through Friday during the school year and they are outside ALL DAY, rain or shine. They learn how to layer their clothing and how to stay safe in various weather conditions, among other things. Here's a link to their website if you'd like more information. High Trails website.
YMCA Camp Oakes and Easter Seals have a long history of working together to provide people with disabilities the same opportunities that their non-disabled peers enjoy.
Campers will enjoy fishing, canoeing, arts and crafts, target sports, personal challenges, high and low ropes courses and more. This camp is staffed entirely by volunteers; many of whom have been coming to camp for over 35 years! For questions, please email or call Amanda Showalter - (951) 264-4855 or visit the Easter Seals website.
Because Easter Seals camp is volunteer driven, the number of campers served is dependent upon the number of counselors recruited. Partial funding through the Inland Regional Center is available for those who have an open case with the regional center. Some limited camperships are available for those who meet income eligibility requirements.
The Oakes camp store is available to each group and offers miscellaneous camp items. Each group decides how and if to use the camp store. Some groups choose not to use the camp store, so contact your group leader for more information.
Camp Oakes provides weekend rentals throughout the year. Your organization can rent our dormitories and cabins for one night or two.
We have housing for large and small groups. In the months of September through May reservations are accepted for organizational groups of 30 to 220 participants. In the summer months we can house as many as 408 people. Exclusive use of the dorms or the entire Camp is available for the larger groups.
We have several activity and meeting areas, optional meal plans, and traditional camp activities.
We offer a wide range of activities and a caring, professional staff dedicated to meeting your needs.
Call for a tour and come look us over. We will be delighted to provide you with a personal tour of camp and discuss all of your programming needs.