YMCA Camp Leif Ericson

Summer Adventure Trips

Co-Ed Trips For Teens Ages 12-16

YMCA Camp Leif Ericson partners with domestic and international YMCA's to help connect Sioux Falls teens with communities and people worldwide. Our travel experience focuses on service learning, cultural understanding, leadership development and outdoor living skills.  The trips are also designed to meet the critical needs and challenges of teenagers today by supporting, guiding and challenging them as they learn skills to become healthy, competent and caring adults. 

Winter 2018 Teen Adventure Trips


Black Hills Winter Adventure

Come join the TLC staff on a fun filled winter adventure to the Black Hills.  Campers will get to experience four exciting days of exploring the Black Hills that includes skiing at Terry Peak, ice skating in historical downtown Rapid City, and a visit to the Black Hills Escape room.  The group will also have the chance to cheer on the Rapid Rush Hockey team in action and complete their adventure with a trip to beautiful Mount Rushmore.  Registration includes the cost of lodging, food, and all activities.  There are only 12 spots available on this adventure so get your camper registered now!  

Session 1: December 27-30         Register   


Summer 2019 Teen Adventure Trips


Boundary Waters Expedition

Since 1922, our partners at YMCA Camp Menogyn have led canoeing excursions in the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area along the Canadian border in Northeastern Minnesota.  With the exception of a satellite phone carried by the trip leader; phones, tablets, computers and anything electronic is safely stored at camp.  Our group will instead utilize the original form of social media - sitting around a campfire and talking to each other!
While learning to do things such as setting up base camp, cooking outside and learning to navigate a canoe, teens learn to work together as a team.  Before the paddles hit the water, teens spend time getting to know the members of their group through teambuilding activities, route planning and meal preparation.

Session 1: July 28-August 2          Register     


Black Hills Adventure

From the northern reaches to the southern tip of the Black Hills, you’ll find one of the most unique, beautiful, and activity packed 125 miles in the whole country. Explore the scenic western half of our state during YMCA Camp Leif Ericson’s Black Hills Adventure trip! Campers and their Trip Leader will spend an eventful week hiking, exploring, camping, and working together as a team.

Session 1: Dates to be announced soon!           Register 

Session 2: Dates to be announded soon!          Register


Teen Adventure Trip Key Components


Small Groups

Small-group sizes emphasize the importance of community, communication, respect and responsibility. Co-ed groups limited to 6 to 8 participants encourage personal investment and team-building with Trip Leaders who can focus closely on the needs of each participant.


Challenge serves as an outstanding catalyst for growth and is a critical element of our program.  Our staff understand the values of experiential learning and the importance of group development, so each trip is somewhat flexible to accommodate variations unique to each group’s ability level. 


Service learning and character development activities are an integral part of our trips program. Service learning provides a holistic learning and community engagement experience and supports the development of substantive knowledge, critical thinking and leadership skills, positive character traits, and community involvement. A comprehensive service learning project includes four main components: preparation, action, reflection, and celebration.


Safety is a top priority at YMCA Camp Leif Ericson.  Our Trip Leaders are mature adults over the age of 21 with extensive travel and trip-specific training and experience that emphasize physical and emotional safety as well as group development and personal growth. Trip Leaders serve as a role-model and maintain an atmosphere of safety and respect on all of our trips.  Our partner YMCAs have decades of experience in program collaborations.

For more information on the Teen Adventure Trips Program, please contact Mike Murphy, Executive Director, at (605) 336-CAMP or mmurphy@siouxfallsymca.org.