Camp Leif Ericson FAQs

Don't forget that the parent handbook has lots of helpful information!

General Questions

What do you do if it rains/Is camp ever cancelled due to the weather?

Camp does not close due to the weather. If it rains during the day, all campers are moved under shelters, and are entertained with skits and games until it stops raining. If the weather becomes severe, or the rain is prolonged we move programs indoors, and continue with activities and games. Please keep in mind that we serve over 700 campers at a time, and all campers may not fit in one indoor area. Campers are often moved to several different indoor locations. If we evacuate camp for any reason, you will be notified via email as soon as possible. The safety and well-being of all campers is always our #1 priority.

What do you do to control mosquitoes

Mosquito Control comes to camp everyday to check on the mosquito population at camp. They also spray and treat any standing water at camp several times a week. Camp staff also applies bus spray to campers 2-3 times a day. We understand how frustrating mosquitoes and bug bites can be, as we work at camp all summer long. We do our very best to keep mosquitoes off of your campers.

What should my camper bring to camp everyday?

Please send the following items LABELED with your camper's name EVERYDAY:

  • clothes that can get dirty and are appropriate for the weather

  • CLOSED toed and comfortable shoes that can get dirty (NO SANDALS)

  • swimming suit

  • towel

  • water bottle

  • sunscreen and bug spray (all staff have sunscreen and bug spray for camper use, as well)


Doesn't camp provide lunch free of charge?

The Camp Lunch Program will be offered in a different format this summer. Campers will have the opportunity to select a Camp Lunch Option for $40 which will provide a Camp Lunch each day for Campers or you will be able to bring your own lunch each day. Every Camper will receive a Camp Snack each afternoon regardless of the option you select. Coolers will be provided for each camper to store their lunch if they elect to bring their own. The menu is being created based upon feedback from campers over the past few summers and will be posted as soon as possible. This new format is due to a change in our classification by the Summer Food Service Program which is outside of our control.  

Can I choose to send a lunch some days and get a hot lunch from camp other days?

No, we ask that you choose one option or the other, as we are required to order meals 2 weeks prior to the start of the session. You may change your preference up to 2 weeks prior to the start of your camper's session.

What is on the Camp Menu this year?

We do not have a finalized lunch menu for 2021 yet. However, our hot lunches have typically consisted of meals similar to a school hot lunch with items like: hotdog, hamburger, corndog, pizza pocket, chicken nuggets, etc.)


*We prefer that your camper uses the mode of transportation chosen at the time of registration. We highly encourage families to AVOID early pick ups, late drop offs, and any other deviations from the regular transportation routine if at all possible.

Can I drop my camper off and pick them up everyday, instead of riding the bus?

Yes, you are welcome to provide transportation for your camper. If you elect to do so, your camper MUST be enrolled in our Before and After Camp Care program, and you MUST pay the extra one-time fee. It may seem backwards to pay to provide your own transportation for your child, however, that program requires staff to come earlier and stay longer than they would normally. To enroll and pay the fee, please call the camp office (605-336-2267).


Do I need to pay for Before and After Camp Care even if I'm going to drop them off at 8:30am and pick them up at 4:15pm (when the camp day starts and ends)? 

Yes, extra staff is required to be there to care for your child at those times. 

What if we miss the bus in the morning?

You are welcome to try and catch the bus at a later stop on the route, or you can drop them off and sign them in at camp.


Can I change my camper's bus stop?

Yes, however changes must be made ONE WEEK PRIOR TO THE START OF THE SESSION. Any changes requested after that deadline are up to the transportation team. 

Can I use more than one bus stop?

No, your camper is required to use the stop that was chosen at the time of registration. Using more than one stop is difficult for us to accommodate, as we are responsible for the transportation for up to 750 campers at a time. 

Can I use the bus and camper care?

No, we prefer that you choose one or the other to limit traffic in and out of camp, and to limit confusion for campers and staff. If you want to use camper care, you MUST enroll in camper care, and pay the fee associated with that program.

Do I need to let someone know if I will be picking my camper up early during the day, dropping them off late, or if they will be absent?

Yes, we serve and are accountable for up to 750 campers at a time, and all campers are required to be signed in and out by an approved adult. We do our best to accommodate pick ups and drop offs, but you may need to be patient as there are a lot of requests to accommodate everyday. (605-336-2267)

Family Night

What is family night?

Family night is an open house-style event where your family is welcome to come to camp! Family night starts at 6:00pm with a short program, and includes time for you and your family to walk around. We ask that everyone leaves by 7:30pm. Your camper will still ride the bus home as usual, or will be picked up at the normal time from camper care. It is not required for your family to come, but it is a lot of fun!

When is family night?

In years past, we have held two separate family night events during the session. This year we are condensing them into one night. ALL CAMPS will have their family night on the Tuesday evening during the second week of the session. The event starts at 6:00pm, and ends at 7:30pm.


What food is served at the overnight?

During the first overnight of the session (Tepeetonka, TLC, and Ranch Camp) campers are served a pizza dinner. During the second overnight (Leif Ericson 8&9 year olds, Tepeetonka, TLC, and Ranch Camp) are served a hot dog dinner. All campers get to enjoy s'mores, soda, and licorice as a treat during the campfire. Breakfast on Friday mornings is pancakes, sausages, and juice.

*On overnight days/nights, all meals are provided for your camper (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). We do our best to accommodate all dietary needs, but you may need to provide food for your camper if we are unable to accommodate them.

What should I pack for my camper's overnight?

Please send the following items with your camper on the morning of their overnight:

  • sleeping bag

  • pillow

  • weather appropriate clothes (sweatpants, sweatshirt, etc.)

  • clothes for the following day

  • necessary toiletries

  • medication (MUST be labeled with your camper's name, age, name of medication, dosage, and instructions) *Camp staff will NOT administer medication that is not labeled appropriately​.

*We prefer that all overnight items sent in a plastic garbage bag, labeled with your camper's name and age.

When is my camper's overnight?

Campers in Tepeetonka (ages 12-13) and TLC (ages 14-15) have overnights on BOTH Thursday nights of their session. Campers in Leif Ericson (AGES 8-9 ONLY), Tepeetonka (ages 10-11), and Ranch Camp have ONE overnight on the second Thursday night of their session. 6&7 year old campers, specialty camp campers, and Little Vikes campers DO NOT participate in overnights. Those campers go home and arrive back to camp the following day using their usual mode of transportation.

*Please note that all buses run according to the same schedule EVERYDAY, morning and afternoon.

When/how will my camper come home?

On the Thursday of your camper's overnight, they will ride the bus or get dropped off at camper care (whatever they NORMALLY do) with all of their overnight materials. They will have a normal camp day, and in the evening, participate in exciting games/activities and camp fires. The following day they will have a full day at camp. They will be bused home at their normal time, or be picked up from camper care on Friday afternoon.

What if my camper does not want to do the overnight?

That is okay! YOU MUST COMMUNICATE THAT WITH THE CAMP OFFICE 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE ( Your camper can either ride their regular bus home in the afternoon, or they can be picked up from camp at one of the following times:

  • 5:15pm

  • 6:15pm

  • 8:15pm

  • 9:45pm (Please note that this is the latest time your camper can be picked up)

If you camper leaves and plans on returning for the overnight, please have them back by 9:45pm. We do our very best to accommodate all pick ups and drop offs. You may need to be patient as those are extremely busy nights for us.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact the camp office or check our parent handbook for more information about you camper's experience.




  • YMCA Camp Leif Ericson
  • Sioux Falls YMCA
  • Sioux Falls YMCA

Contact Us

Downtown YMCA:

220 S. Minnesota Ave., Sioux Falls, SD  57104


Tel. 605.336.3190

Fax 605.336.3516

Youth Performance Center: 

2517 S Shirley Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57106


Tel. 605.274.9622

Camp Leif Ericson: 

2301 E 26th St, Sioux Falls, SD 57103


Tel. 605.336.2267

Youth Basketball:

220 S. Minnesota Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104


Tel. 605.336.3190