As of April 1, 2021 Camp Mahackeno and Camp Hafaday are on a waitlist. Openings are still available in our new YMCA Gymnastics Center Camps and our Dance Camps.
Why Choose Mahackeno?
YMCA Camp Mahackeno is a co-ed summer camp for campers in grades K-10th that offers a traditional camp experience. YMCA Camp Mahackeno is located on the Westport Weston Family YMCA campus alongside the Saugatuck River. Our Program incorporates long standing summer camp traditions with brand new camp facilities to provide a fun, safe and memorable experience.
Camp Mahackeno is all about discovery and outdoor exploration. Kindergarteners through teens have the opportunity to discover nature, find new talents, try new activities like archery and bouldering, or gain independence and make lasting memories through participating in crafts, swimming lessons, sports, and more. Camp Mahackeno is a unique place allowing campers space to explore 35 acres of lush forest, waterfront, and modern camp amenities.
Camp Mahackeno is a certified camp through the American Camping Association and licensed through the Connecticut Office of Early Childcare. To learn more about what it takes to be an accredited camp, visit www.acacamps.org and read about the over 300 items we were scored on.
Families can register for camp online through our registration website provided by CampBrain. Registration will begin in January 2021. You will be asked to create a log in and a household. Then you will be taken step by step through the registration process. Through CampBrain you will be able to make payments, upload forms and review your chosen sessions of camp. If you registered for camp online in 2019 or 2020 you will be able to do so through the account you created.
Families registering for camp with an outside organization or with YMCA financial assistance are asked to contact our camp office directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2021 Camp Pricing Guide
Camp pricing is based per week of camp. We offer member and non member pricing options. As a Westport YMCA member families can save per week of camp.
Grades 9-10 (leadership Program)
Pre Care 7:30-8:30am
Post Care 3:30-6:00pm
Camp Registration Fee:
There is a one-time $50 fee per camper to support general operations of the registration process. The registration fee is non-refundable and is paid one time during the summer upon initial registration.
Cancelation/ Refund Policy
A $50.00 deposit per one week session per camper is require for the purpose of securing a spot and is non-refundable and non-transferable to any other week of camp.
Cancelations after May 15 will receive half of their tuition refunded minus deposits. Cancelations after June 15 are not eligible for refund.
Pay in full: Families can pay off the entire balance at the time of registration if they choose.
Payment Plan: Using an EFT system, the YMCA will charge your account equal payment. All payments for each session must be paid up Wednesday to the prior session that the camper is attending. Balances not paid will be automatically charged.
Payment Due Dates:
Payments are due the Wednesday prior to the session start date.
Example: Week 2 payments are due on the Wednesday during Week 1.
2021 Camp Dates & Themes
Dates & Themes:
Week 1; 6/21-6/25
Theme: Week of Welcome (WOW)
Week 2; 6/28-7/2
Theme: Stars and Stripes
Week 3; 7/5-7/9
Theme: Sports Spectacular
Week 4; 7/12-7/16
Theme: Community Hero’s
Week 5; 7/19-7/23
Theme: Color Games
Week 6; 7/26-7/30
Theme: Space is the Place
Week 7; 8/2-8/6
Week 8; 8/9-8/13
Theme: Splish Splash
Week 9; 8/16-8/20
Theme: Pirates & Princesses
Week 10; 8/23-8/27
Theme: Mahackeno Favorites
Camper Age Groups & Ratios
Ages and Groupings
All age groups are determined by the grade the camper is entering in the Fall of 2021.
Abenacki = Kindergarten; 1:6
Shawnee = 1st Grade; 1:8
Mohegan = 2nd Grade; 1:8
Lakota = 3rd Grade; 1:8
Cayuga = 4th Grade; 1:8
Apache = 5th/6th Grade; 1:10
Ranger = 7th/8th Grade; 1:10
LIT (Leader in Training) = 9th/10th Grade; 1:12
Heated Multipurpose and Lap Pool
Arts and Crafts Center
Two Giant Stainless Steel Slides
Archery Range and Pavilion
New Locker Rooms
Waterfront for Canoeing Activites
Basketball Court with six Hoops
Multi-purpose sports field
Two Age Specific Play Grounds
Low Ropes Course
Fire Pit Area
Nature and Science
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the refund policy?
A: Full refunds are available if received before May 15th. Between May 15th and June 15th 50% of all fees/deposits are eligible for refund to cancel out weeks of camp. After June 15th we are unable to grant any refunds for cancelations of weeks.
Q: How do I add a friend request for my child?
A: Friend requests can be added during online registration and can be edited in your Camp Brain account. You can also email your friend requests to Mahackeno@westporty.org and we can input them into your account.
Q: Will my child’s friend request be guaranteed?
A: We do ask for friend requests to be double sided, meaning that both families have to request each other to be granted. Depending on the amount of friends you request we may or may not be able to grant the request. We are typically able to get your child into a group with at least one of their friend requests. Friend requests can only be granted if both campers are going into the same unit.
Q: When are my campers forms due and how can I turn them in?
A: Health forms (a physical that was completed within the past 2 years) can be uploaded right into your Camp Brain account for each camper. If your camper requires medication at camp please make sure you fill out a medication authorization form for each medication and an individual care plan. Click here to reach the link with our required health forms. Forms can also be emailed to Mahackeno@westporty.org as well.
Q: Will there be swim/swim lessons this summer?
A: All of our campers will have the chance to swim but, we are waiting on further guidance from the state to see how we will be able to run our swim lessons and or free swim periods.
Frequently Asked Questions - Waitlist
Q: How will I know when my child moves off of the waitlist?
A: We will reach out by email notifying you that you have been moved off of the waitlist and it will include an updated confirmation with the weeks that your child is registered at camp. If taken off of the waitlist we ask that you put down the $50 deposit to hold your week, and balances are required to be paid in full prior to your campers first day of camp.
Q: What are my chances of getting off of the waitlist?
A: There are a few different variables that factor into getting off of the waitlist and registered into a session.
Cancelations- as someone cancels a week of camp we will go down the waitlist for that specific week and add in campers.
Camp capacity- Last summer through the state we were permitted to have a maximum of 300 campers. Camp Mahackeno has a capacity of 360 campers so we are waiting on further guidance to see if we would be able to make more spots available.
Q: What happens when if my waitlist space becomes available but, I no longer need that week of camp?
A: Please email Mahackeno@westporty.org and our administrative staff can cancel out your week so that we can add in another camper off of the waitlist.
Q: Do I have to pay any money to be on the waitlist?
A: No, to have a spot on the waitlist it does not cost any money. When you move off of the waitlist we do ask that you put down the $50 deposit fee to hold your week.
2021 Open House Dates
Camp open houses are a great way to see camp, ask questions and meet the staff. Below are upcoming open house dates:
Friday, April 16, 2021; 3:30-5:30pm
Saturday, May 1, 2021; 12:00-3:00pm
Tours and some program areas available.
Sunday, May 30, 2021; 12:00-3:00pm
Tours and some program areas available.
If attending an open house please remember to bring your mask and keep social distancing in mind.
Covid-19 Camp Updates
COVID 19 UPDATES:
There are a lot of questions and uncertainties surrounding much of our lives at the moment. We hope that you and your family are safe and healthy and able to enjoy some quality time together. Here at Camp Mahackeno we are deep into our camp planning and preparation season. We are proud to have offered ten weeks of camp in 2020 with zero confirmed cases of Covid-19. As more updates are made available they will be posted here.
MASK WEARING UPDATE:
Campers will not need to wear masks while in their groups and outdoors. Camp staff will need to wear masks at all times throughout the summer. The only time campers will be required to wear masks is when they are indoors. The campers will only be indoors when enjoying our arts and crafts program or when they are changing for swim.
With so much up in the air right now we would like to address several frequently asked questions that are on everyone’s mind:
Q: Is camp registration open?
A: Camp registration for 2021 will open January 1, 2021.
Q: What is the YMCA doing to ensure the safety of my camper?
A: We are closely monitoring government guidelines as they are provided to us. We are constantly adapting our policies and safety measures to meet all health and safety guidelines. We are also ordering supplies early to ensure we have more than enough sanitary supplies and equipment to meet the needs of our entire camp program.
Q: How will swim work this summer?
A: Each summer we have campers of all swim abilities attend camp. Campers are swim tested at the beginning of their time at camp to determine swim level and where in the pool they must stay. Campers who are not comfortable with a swim test are automatically placed as non swimmers who are required to stay in the shallow end of the pool. In a normal summer, we would be running a full five days of YMCA swim lessons at camp. Last summer, due to distancing guidelines, we are were only able to run hour long free swims three times a week per group. We are hopeful we will be able to run swim lessons again this summer but, it is all dependent on what guidance comes down from the state and local health. Check back often for additional updates.
Q: Who can I contact if I have additional questions or need to update our camp registration?
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.
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.
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.
Our first open house of the year! Staff will be running tours and answering questions. Come check out our amazing facility before the summer. Program areas will NOT be available for this open house. Please remember to bring your mask and social distance. For more information check out our website!
Join us for our 2nd open house of the Spring season! Tours will be lead by YMCA staff as well as select program areas will be available for families to try. Please remember to bring your mask and social distance. Event is rain or shine.
Join us for our 3rd and final open house of the spring season. Camp staff will be running tours and some program areas will be available for families to try. Please be sure to bring your mask and social distance. Event is rain or shine
First Day of Camp June 22, 2021!
The first day of camp is June 22, 2021! Summer 2021 promises to be the best yet.