The outdoor center has events and programs throughout the year.  Everything from family programs to end of year school events with everything in between.  

YMCA & Outdoor Center Membership

Did you know YMCA members can use the outdoor center on weeknights and weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day?  Members are able to use the facility between 3:30-6:00pm Monday – Friday and 1:00-6:00pm Saturday and Sunday.  The pool and the splash pad are staffed by YMCA lifeguards and member services staff.  Members also have use of the pavilions, courts, playscapes, sports field and hiking trails.  Enjoy your summer right here in your own back yard!

Check out our Trail Map by clicking below:

Outdoor Sports & Recreation

We offer outdoor sports and recreation throughout the year.  Everything from Basketball to Boating and everything in between.  Our programs run on the main YMCA’s session based calendar. 

To view our latest sports offerings please click the button below.

Family Programs

Family Programs take place throughout the year.  Programs may include Archery, Canoeing, Bouldering, Open Slides and Playground and other events.  Upcoming events will be listed below in the following “events” section.  Events and other family programs will be listed below with a registration link.

End of Year School Picnics

The Camp Mahackeno Outdoor Center hosts a number of school picnics each year.  The facility has a wide array of facilities that fit the needs of a safe, fun and memorable end of year celebration.  With the help of our staff, create the event that meets the needs of your school.  Event request forms are available through the button below.  For questions, feel free to reach out to our staff at mahackeno@westporty.org.

Team Building Events

Whether you are a cooperate entity or a local sports team look no further for a venue to host your team building event.  Our well trained staff will lead your event through both low ropes and other team building initiatives.  Your program can include anything from just team building initiatives all the way to a full day including activities such as archery, swimming or boating to name a few.  Click the button below for more information or to book your event.

Amenities

Camp Activites

  • Heated Multipurpose/ Lap Pool
  • Splash Pad
  • Arts and Crafts/ multipurpose Center
  • Two Giant Stainless Steel Slides
  • Archery Range and Pavilion
  • New Locker Rooms
  • Nature Trails
  • Gaga Pit
  • Waterfront for Canoeing Activites
  • Basketball Court with six Hoops
  • Multi-purpose sports field with two aluminum soccer goals
  • Two Age Specific Play Grounds
  • Volleyball
  • Low Ropes Course
  • Five Pavilions
  • Fire Pit Area with benches
  • Bouldering Wall
  • Amphitheater w/ 300 person capacity
  • Fishing Area
  • Small Amphitheater

Outdoor Center Rules & Regulations

OUTDOOR CENTER
Rules and regulations:

  • The Outdoor Center is an alcohol-, drug- and smoke-free facility.
  • Please carry your membership card with you at all times.
  • Please be caring and respectful to all other members.
  • Please discard all trash in proper containers.
  • Please keep off waterfronts when lifeguards are not on duty.
  • Motorized vehicles are prohibited (ATVs, snowmobiles, motorcycles).
  • Please park vehicles in the lots only. Keep all vehicles off the grass.
  • Dogs must be kept on a leash and under control at all times.
  • Dog owners are responsible for cleaning up after their dog.
  • Fishing is a catch and release program and is prohibited from boats,
    canoes, waterfronts/docks and on the ice unless otherwise authorized.
  • When hiking please stay on trails at all times.

Mahackeno History

1938: The YMCA offers a day camp based out of Doubleday Field on Riverside Avenue, named for the Y’s Physical Director, Doc Doubleday. The kids created crafts, sang songs and went swimming at Compo Beach. Enrollment cost 30 cents a week per child.

April 1942: The location of the camp is less than ideal since a lot of travel around town was needed for the various activities. A number of locations were considered, but nothing ideal was found. According to legend, a janitor overheard a secretary and a YMCA director talking about the fruitless search. He recommended a place alongside the Saugatuck River just north of downtown that would eventually become Camp Mahackeno.

1942: On an undeveloped swath of land bordered by the new Merritt Parkway, Wilton Road and the Saugatuck River, the new location for the YMCA’s camp was established. Helen Smith, a Stamford resident, offered use of part of her property as long as the YMCA paid the property taxes. They obliged her and the camp opened for business with 60 boys. Some small cottages were built, and there was no drinking water. Electricity was inconsistent.

1944: Enrollment grew over the years, and Smith sold her property. The new owner offered the YMCA 30 acres of land. E.T. Bedford’s son, Frederick, offered to pay for half of the $10,000 cost. The other half was raised from other donations.

March 1945: The YMCA moves in to the camp. It’s named Camp Bedford.
Bedford Boys Camp

1946: At the request of Frederick Bedford, the name is changed to Mahackeno. In the early 1600s, the property was used as a summer lodge for Mahackemo, chief of the Norwalke Indians, and his tribe.

1947: Town water and sewers are installed. By then, there are 120 campers enrolled.

1955: Camp Mahackeno was heavily renovated with new buildings, boats, rifles (for the marksmanship activities) and other items.

1969: It’s believed that this was the first summer that girls were allowed at Camp Mahackeno. Around this time period, a sale of Camp Mahackeno to a private developer for more than $300,000 was considered. This idea was rejected by the organization’s board.

1997: Camp Mahackeno continues to grow. What was once a rag-tag group of few dozen boys is now a popular program with 756 campers. More than $600,000 in revenue was generated in that year by the camp.

Fall 2019: Camp Mahackeno undergoes a ground up renovation to modernize and bring the facility up to modern day camp standards.  

Annual Campaign

GIVE THE GIFT OF CAMP

The Westport Weston Family YMCA is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit charitable organization.  Throughout our history, we have served youth, families and adults by helping them develop the skills that embody the core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. These skills enrich lives and help people reach their potential in life.

A summer at camp has countless benefits for a child.  New experiences, friends, role models and positive memories are just a few of the gifts that camp gives a child.  You can help provide these gifts to children who can benefit from camp. For more information on our Annual Campaign please Click Here.

American Camping Association Accreditation

We are proud to be accredited by the American Camping Association. ACA Accreditation is awarded to camps that have voluntarily worked to meet a series of standards relating to health and safety, staff development and program quality. We are proud to have received this accreditation and how it represents the hard work of our staff and our commitment to running a quality camp for our campers and families.

For more information on the American Camping Association please CLICK HERE.

Upcoming Events

Camp Registration Opens January 1

Camp registration opens January 1, 2021.  All registrations are processed through our registration website.  Click below to register for camp.

First Day of Camp June 22, 2021!

Camp Mahackeno Kids

The first day of camp is June 22, 2021!  Summer 2021 promises to be the best yet.  

Staff Applications Accepted January 1, 2021

Summer Camp Staff applications accepted starting January 1, 2021.  Current open positions listed in application website.  To apply please click the button below:

Camp Contact

Camp Main Office: (June-August)
(P) 203-226-2609
(E) mahackeno@westporty.org

Camp Director: (September-May)
Jesse Kanaple
Camp and Family Services Director
(P) 203-226-8981 x126
(E) jkanaple@westporty.org
(F)203-226-2607

Contact us