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Camp Culture

Camp Greenville Culture

All great camps are built on tradition and Y Camp Greenville is one of the best. Whether it’s getting an update from Captain Food Waste, singing Ole’ Lady Leary, taking a Fog Jog or becoming a Monk’s Old Timers, everyone can be a great boy or a great girl at camp Greenville. Take some time to learn some camp songs, discover 100 summers of tradition or see what happens before breakfast at Morning Activities.

YCG Traditions – Over 100 Summers


This award (bandana) is given only to those cabins who do all of the following: keep the cabin clean every day, complete 3 hikes of length, lead a song, do a service project for Camp and do a random act of kindness.


Each Mountaineer Traditional cabin spends one night out at one of the Camp shelters. They cook their supper at the shelter. Explorer campers also use packout shelters for adventure trips. The shelter names are: Sub Barn, Sub Camp, Smith 88, 5th and Main, Copperhead, Jabba the Hut, Zeke’s Place and Old Riflery.

Pajama Jam

Every Saturday before breakfast the whole camp gathers at the tennis courts in their pajamas for one last dance party.


This is the top honor of Camp Greenville. Those campers who are here for their 5th year become Monk’s Old Timers (named for legendary Camp Greenville director Monk Mulligan). These campers have a special ceremony, get a Monks old Timer t shirt and get to light the closing campfire.


Building on the top honor of Camp Greenville, becoming a Monk’s Old Timer, this is for campers who are here for their 10th summer and is camp most secret club.

Herbie the Heron

This is the award given to campers who do the Polar Bear Swim each morning.

Early Morning Activities

Monday-Friday mornings campers can choose from five different activities to do before breakfast. They include the Fog Jog (run to Pretty Place Chapel), Bouldering (horizontal rock climbing in the Adventure center), Yoga or Beast Mode (High Intensity Exercise at the Adventure Center), GaGa Ball, Playout, Polar Bear Swim in Lake Rotary

Breakfast of Champions

On Wednesdays campers have the chance to do all 5 Early Morning Activities. Those who do receive the Breakfast of Champions Medallion.

Chapel at Pretty Place

On Sundays and Mondays we have a chapel service at Pretty Place.

Morning Shine

Tuesday-Friday mornings we meet at the Opening Campfire for a short devotional. This happens just after Early Morning Activities and just before breakfast.


Each night the cabin group evaluates the day and learns about character development.


Before most meals the camper gather at the flag pole for songs, roll call and flag raising and lowering.

Cabin Assignments

We encourage campers to attend without concern for cabin requests, but we will make every effort to place your child with ONE special requested friend, IF that friend also requests him/her. One of the real benefits of a camp experience involves meeting and making new friends from different places. Please understand that clear communication with your requested friend is very important. If you do not think it best to be with a camper who is requesting your son or daughter, be honest with the parents involved . Such difficult conversations are easier before Opening Day! Cabin requests are not confidential.  Please remember, we try to accommodate all mutual cabin requests. Feel free to not request anyone….meeting new people is the best part of camp!

We do not allow bunk saving at camp – first come, first served on Opening Day! You will find out your child’s cabin assignment at the Airnasium on Opening Day. 

Please note that we try to avoid placing too many campers from the same hometown, school, neighborhood and/or siblings together as it is not in the best interest of the cabin community.

If you did not make a cabin mate request on your summer camp application or would like to change your request, please send written notification (email, fax or mail) to the Camp Business Office and we will update your records accordingly.  No verbal requests will be accepted.


Gifts and gratuities for staff are prohibited by camp policy. If you would like to make a contribution, please speak with the Camp Director.  He can share with you a variety of ways that you can demonstrate your appreciation, from donating to a fund for staff appreciation events to helping camp through donations of talent and resources. To learn more about making a financial contribution to camp click HERE.


We know that one of every parent’s greatest concerns is that their child make a good adjustment to camp and the social demands of community living. Homesickness is a natural part of the resident camp experience as campers adjust to new situations and people. Most campers make the transition quickly while others may take a couple days to adjust to the challenge brought on by new surroundings and faces, and anxious feelings.  As adults, we all know that growth and self-confidence come by going through new and challenging experiences. Camp staff go through extensive training before campers arrive which includes segments on helping homesick campers. We let campers know that homesickness is a “normal” feeling because it is natural to miss family, friends and pets.In addition to the two counselors in the cabin there are also several other resource staff available to assist a homesick child. Most often the best remedy for homesickness is activity. 

If you or your child are having misgivings about camp or have had consistent difficulties with overnights in the past, please speak with the camp director for advice on resolving these issues before your camp session begins. Do NOT attempt to calm your child’s fears by inferring that he/she can come home if they do not like camp. If homesickness issues appear in your camper’s correspondence, he or she will more than likely have made the adjustment by the time you reply.  Telling your child “I’ll come and pick you up if you don’t like it” creates undue stress on campers and staff.  It is better to assume a camper will make it through the brief adjustment period and place confidence in your child by talking to them about what to expect prior to their arrival at camp. However, if homesickness is extreme after a brief adjustment period, we will call to discuss the situation.In addition, please inform camp staff of any current issues in your child’s life that may contribute to your child’s anxious feelings. This information can be provided on the parent letter to counselor or by sending an email to the camp director.

 By working together with you, we are confident your camper will make a healthy adjustment.

Top Reasons for homesickness

The parents have said, “If You Don’t Like It, You Can Come Home.”

This is the #1 reason that many campers are home sick on the first day of camp. parents should never put the burden of this decision on a camper. Never give a child this option before camp. If you have concerns, please call us first.

A Physical Condition

This child is hungry or dehydrated, or may be feeling ill or simply tired. When children feel uncomfortable in this way, they know that their parent take care of these situations at home, and she needs that same attention at camp. Our staff eliminates the “homesick-ness” of these campers early on by addressing the physical needs.

A Social Reason

The child has had an argument in the cabin or has not yet found a close friend at camp. they are uncomfortable about fitting in. These situations are resolved through the combined efforts of the counselors and the resource staff to encourage the child in any way and get involved in activities and seek out new friends.

Camp Anxiety

These are campers who claim they are homesick because they are uncertain of an aspect of camp (the packout, where classes are, sleeping in the cabin, etc.). These situations are resolved by working through them with the counselor.

Left Out of a Big Event at Home

This camper is missing a “big event” at home (vacation, baby, moving, etc.). These children are fine at camp once they become involved in activities.

Expect your child to have a great time at camp. Prepare the ahead of time for some feeling they may experience. Allow them to grow and gain the independence that is age-appropriate for their development to becoming a healthy adult. Keep in touch with them with cheerful news and be ready to hear many great stories from camp.

Helpful Videos

Camper Luggage

Campers may bring their clothing & equipment in suitcases, footlocker and/or duffel bags. If you wish to ship these items prior to your child’s arrival, you are welcome to do so.  Please be aware that it takes up to a week for these to arrive at camp and storage may be somewhat limited once it arrives.  Please plan accordingly.  Be sure items are clearly marked with your camper’s name and session.

Insider Tips Video with Packing Information – Click Here

Name Label Company – Click Here

Shipping of Luggage – Arrangements for shipping items is the responsibility of the parent

If shipping via carrier, you should be given a confirmation number or pick-up documents.  Please be sure you leave this information with the office staff to avoid any possible confusion or delays in shipping.  All items to be shipped home after the camper’s session must have a return shipping label.  These shipping labels should be sealed in a zip lock bag and taped to the inside lid of the luggage or footlocker for safekeeping.  Each label must contain the child’s name, shipping address and phone number where you can be reached during regular business hours. You must drop the item(s) at the designated pick-up location on closing day.


Lost and found items are put in bins in the camp post office and campers (accompanied by their counselor) will have several opportunities to retrieve their lost items prior to their departure from camp.  On closing day lost items will be on display at the Airnasium (where the closing ceremony takes place). Parents will have the opportunity to check for missing items. After the session is over, items that are left behind are collected and stored until the following Tuesday when they are processed (washed). Every attempt will be made to locate items left behind.  We cannot guarantee that all items will be found, as they may have accidentally gone home with another camper – especially if they are not clearly marked.  If we are able to locate the item(s), you will be contacted to make payment arrangements for the shipping of the item(s). If you know of an item(s) you left behind please submit the information below.

Let us know what your camper left behind

Lost and Found

Worship and Spiritual Activities

YMCA Camp Greenville is a non-denominational, Christian camp. We believe that campers learn best from staff members who model their behavior, and who speak and act consistently with the teachings of Christ.  We have an amazing mountaintop setting where campers can connect to God through learning about Christ and His Creation.We welcome campers of all faiths with the understanding that campers will be exposed to Christian chapel services with themed messages and contemporary Christian worship music. These will take place on Sunday mornings and Monday mornings at the majestic Symmes “Pretty Place” Chapel. Campers will also gather each morning (Tuesday-Friday) for a short devotional message at Morning Shine. We will sing grace at meals and each night the cabin will close the day with a cabin vespers. This is a time to reflect on the day and grow through age-appropriate discussions on Christian principles. 

Those campers whose faith does not permit them to actively participate in any of these are asked to be respectful of others.  If you have special concerns regarding this policy, please feel free to contact us with any specific questions.

YMCA MISSION: Following the example of Christ, we build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.

Monk’s Old Timers


Monk Mulligan was a legendary camp director at Camp Greenville. Everyone who met him remembered interesting stories about him, like the way he played ping pong, could sink a basketball shot over the rafters from the opposite end of the court or make a ringer with two horse shoes at once. Today Monk is honored in many ways at camp but most especially as the namesake of Monk’s Old Timers. This is an award reserved only for those campers who have been at Camp for 5 summers. Monk’s Old Timers have a special ceremony and get a unique camp shirt, the meaning to which is only known but fellow Monk’s Old Timers.

Are you a Monk’s Old Timer?
Let us know where you are today.

Monk's Old Timers

Morning Activities


At Y Camp Greenville, the fun begins before morning flag raising. Each weekday campers can choose from one of five Morning Activities. FOG JOG — YOGA — BOLDERING –PLAYOUT– POLAR BEAR SWIM — and GA GA. On Wednesday morning campers can do all five activities during the BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS. Those who do the Polar Bear Swim each morning get the HERBIE THE HERON award.

YMCA Camp Greenville Songs

Be A Great Boy Lyrics – Listen


Be a Great Boy
Be a Great Girl
Be a child of the Lord it’s the greatest thing in the World
Do you know the Monk?
Do you know the man?
Do you know the power of God is right there in your hands?
In your hands…


Do you know the lady?
Sudie is her name.
Swim across the waters,
And you’ll never be the same.
Be the same…


From a little acorn,
Grows a great big tree.
What you’re now becoming,
Is what you’re gonna be.
Gonna be…


Climb upon the mountain,
Ride upon the wind,
See the stars of heaven
And sing the songs again and again and again…



Camp Greenville High Lyrics

Camp Greenville High,
In the Blue Ridge Mountains,
In amongst the trees,
Reaching for the sky.
On a summer’s day,
Here at Camp Greenville,
Cool Winds blowing in the mountain sky,
Clouds are waving as they pass by,
Couldn’t be happier if I tried, oh my.

Friends Are Friends Forever Lyrics

By Michael W. Smith

(Verse 1)

Packing up the dreams God planted
In the fertile soil of you
Can’t believe the hopes He’s granted
Means a chapter in your life is through
But we’ll keep you close as always
It won’t even seem you’ve gone
‘Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong


And friends are friends forever
If the Lord’s the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
‘Cause the welcome will not end
Though it’s hard to let you go
In the Father’s hands we know
That a lifetime’s not too long
To live as friends

(Verse 2)

With the faith and love God’s given
Springing from the hope we know
We will pray the joy you’ll live in
Is the strength that now you show
But we’ll keep you close as always
It won’t even seem you’ve gone
‘Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong


And friends are friends forever
If the Lord’s the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
‘Cause the welcome will not end
Though it’s hard to let you go
In the Father’s hands we know
That a lifetime’s not too long
To live as friends

Circle Game Lyrics

Yesterday a child came out to wonder,
Caught a dragonfly inside a jar.
Fearful when the sky is full of thunder,
And tearful at the falling of a star.


And the seasons, they go round and ’round,
And the painted ponies go up and down.
We’re captured on the carousel of time.
We can’t return, we can only look,
Behind from where we came,
And go ’round and ’round and ’round in the circle game.
Then the child moved ten times round the seasons,
Skated over ten clear frozen streams.
Words like “when you’re older” must appease him,
And promises of someday make his dreams.
Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone now,
Cartwheels turn to car wheels through the town.
And they tell him, “Take your time, it won’t be long now,
‘Till you drag your feet to slow the circle down.”


So the boy and girl who dreamt tomorrow now are twenty,
Though their dreams have lost some grandeur coming true.
There’ll be new dreams, better dreams, and plenty.
Before the last revolving year is through.

Taps Lyrics

Day is done,
gone the sun,
From the lake, from the hills, from the sky;
All is well,
safely rest, God is nigh.

Sanctuary Lyrics

Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary,
Pure and holy, tried and true.
With thanksgiving,I’ll be a living
sanctuary for you.

Useful Links

Camper Email – Bunk 1

Summer camper parents can log in to this secure site to purchase one-way emails to their camper.

Launch Bunk 1

Everything Summer Camp

YMCA Camp Greenville campers get great discounts on camp trunks, soft trunks and lots of other camp gear. 1-800-535-2057

Everything Summer Camp Website

Sterling Name Tape Co.

At the Sterling Name Tape Company, we’ve been making name tapes for nearly 100 years. Our name tapes are easily applied with a home iron in just seconds and will stay stuck, often exceeding the life of the garment. They are completely wash-proof and will remain legible through many, many washings.

Sterling Name Tape Website

Sealed with a Kiss Camp Care Packages

The ORIGINAL Camp Care Package company since 1984

Sealed with a Kiss Website