The YMCA has had an active presence in Sydney for over 150 years and its near neighbour, within an hour of the big smoke is YMCA Camp Yarramundi. Established in 1937, it sits right on the bank of the Grose River.
This is a large camp already with 240 beds; however, underway are some pretty major building additions which will boost the sleeping capacity numbers even more. A mix of buildings dating back to the mid 1930’s blend nicely with the additions of new buildings over the decades. The emphasis of the camp is community spaces and they have oodles of these spread throughout the lightly wooded 40 acres. The camp is chocked with activities: abseiling tower, archery, obstacle course, canoeing (on the Grose River), flying fox, giant swing, swimming pool, indoor basketball court, loads of field sports, high ropes course, low ropes, rock climbing on the artificial wall and an a artificial cave maze. The large artificial cave maze was being used whilst I visited and it looked awesome fun. Built from old shipping containers and concrete pipes, it looked a bit industrial from the outside but the fun of course was all inside and the kids coming out of the maze had huge smiles. For camps looking for a new activity to add, this would be a real cracker of one and done right, sourcing second hand materials could be an inexpensive activity to build.
The accommodation units or bunk houses are spread throughout the property and often have wide sweeping verandahs and shade cloth covered spaces adjacent to them, encouraging the use of outdoor spaces. Given the proximity to Sydney, this is an amazing spot of bush paradise right on a major river. The whip birds – a long note, followed by a “whip crack” I constantly heard throughout my visit.