Nature Family Camp
Chippewa Nature Center
the Y - YMCA Camp Timbers

Nature Family Camp
with YMCA Camp Timbers

West Branch, MI


Recommended for families with children ages 6+

YMCA Camp Timbers and CNC invite you to connect and have fun as a family
as you experience a weekend in the woods together!


Dates   |   Overview   |   Schedule   |   Activities   |   Meals   |   Lodging   |   Packing List   |   Family Camp Policies


Date and cost options:

September 13-15, 2024: Full Weekend, 5 pm FRIDAY- 2 pm SUNDAY
$499 per cabin (for up to 4 people)
$99 for each additional person in same cabin

September 14-15, 2024: Mini Weekend, 1 pm SATURDAY-2 pm SUNDAY
$399 per cabin (for up to 4 people)
$69 for each additional person in same cabin


Family of five smiling holding camp sign

Located at YMCA Camp Timbers near West Branch, this unique program offers families the best of both worlds with a variety of camp and nature-based activities. Try your hand at kayaking or paddleboarding, creating crafts together, zip lining, learning to cook in a Dutch Oven, exploring Piper Lake, enjoying CNC naturalist-led activities and night hikes, and laughing over meals together.

Each family or friend group will have a private cabin. All meals and activities are included, all you have to do is enjoy the time together! Spend the whole weekend with us, or just one night, either way, your time will be filled with fun and adventure!




Sample Schedule

*Full Weekend Check-In by 6:30 PM*
5:30 PM Dinner
6:00 PM Evening Activity
7:30 PM Twilight Hike
8:30 PM Campfire Dessert
8:00 AM Breakfast
9:00 AM Camp Activities
12:00 PM Lunch
*Mini Weekend Check-In by 1:00 PM*
1:00 PM Camp Activities (two options)
5:30 PM Dinner
6:30 PM Dutch Oven Deserts
8:00 PM Owl Prowl Hike
8:00 AM Breakfast
9:00 AM Camp Activities
12:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM Send Off Gathering
*Check-out by 2PM*



Boy wearing zip lining harness smiling

  • Zip Lines
  • Climbing Tower
  • Giant Swing
  • Archery
  • Campfires
  • Outdoor Cooking
  • Canoes, Kayaks, and Paddle Boards
  • Nature Art
  • Nature Games
  • Orienteering/GPS Navigation
  • Nature Hikes
  • Fishing
  • Hammock Hikes
  • Pond Exploration




Two girls smiling

The Woodland Lodge features healthy, buffet-style meals for families to enjoy. Not only is there great food, but also enough space to eat outdoors in the fresh air under the Outdoor Dining Pavilion (NEW in 2024).

The food service team can accommodate most special dietary needs. Please contact Brian Miller, Executive Director of YMCA Camp Timbers, at to discuss any special considerations.


Lodging Accommodations



Kid shooting an arrow at a target with help from an adult

Equipped with built-in bunks, heat, and electricity, each cabin is a rustic home away from home. Each cabin has 14 total twin-size beds and one family unit will be assigned to each cabin. Cabins are centrally located and have easy access to one of the recently renovated bathhouse facilities. Bathhouses have single shower stalls with space for changing as well.Line

Packing List

Kids laying in colorful hammocks smiling
Because of the unique trail conditions and for the safety of ther campers, vehicles are not allowed into camp beyond the parking lot. Therefore, you may want to pack compactly and sparingly.
NOTE: Please label all items with your name so if we encounter any “lost & found” articles, we can return them to you.
Bring your own sleeping bag or 2 blankets and a pillow. Be prepared for cool September nights. A twin size fitted sheet will cover the mattress on the camp bunks.
Dress is casual and appropriate for the outdoors. 
For a weekend stay, the following items are suggested:  
  • Hiking boots or tennis shoes*
  • Pants/Shorts
  • Pajamas
  • Rain jacket or poncho
  • Several pairs socks
  • Several pairs underwear
  • T-shirts
  • Long-sleeve shirts
  • Swimsuit
  • Sweatshirt
  • Seasonally appropriate outerwear
  • Sunglasses or hat

*Close-toed shoes will be required for some activities

  • Brush or comb                         
  • Deodorant
  • Soap and shampoo                 
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Towel and washcloth
  • Shower shoes
  • Bug Spray
  • Sunscreen
Optional Equipment
  • Water bottle
  • Camera
  • Cards, board games and books
  • Flashlight
  • Fishing pole and gear (Camp has fishing poles)
  • Snacks*
  • Wagon or cart for moving to cabins (We do have a few to help)
*Your family is welcome to bring any snacks to keep in your cabin. All snacks must be properly stored to deter critters from entering your cabin. Coolers are welcome, but Camp Timbers is unable to store any cold food for families. Cook stoves and grills of any kind are not permitted.
What Not to Bring to Camp
  • Chewing gum
  • Pets
  • Glass bottles
  • Knives, firearms or weapons
  • Refrigerator
  • Alcohol, cigarettes, vapes, or nicotine products
  • Cook stoves, grills
  • Personal watercraft


Family Camp Policies

Two girls roasting marshmallows

YMCA Camp Timbers has the following non-negotiable policies:

  • YMCA Camp Timbers is a drug and alcohol-free facility
  • YMCA Camp Timbers has a pet-free policy for all guests
  • Parents or guardians are responsible for the supervision their children at all times. A parent must accompany minors to all camp program areas.
  • All aquatic and high adventure activities are only available with YMCA Camp Timbers Staff in designated time frames.
  • Late check outs after 2 PM on Sunday or excessive housekeeping needs may result in additional fees.