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
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.
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: 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.
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.