LIVINGSTON, NJ — While the weather may not feel like summer, it’s not too early to start thinking about summer plans. Families can learn about the variety of summer camps offered at the West Essex YMCA, starting on Saturday, Jan. 4 with Pioneer Trails Day Camp tours and an afternoon Camp Fair at the Y.

Throughout the summer, the West Essex YMCA runs five developmentally appropriate programs for children ages 3 1/2 to 15, building self-esteem, confidence and social skills in a fun, safe and enriching environment:

  • Camp Peanut Shell for preschoolers.

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  • Pioneer Trails Day Camp (held at Caldwell University) for campers from pre-K through eighth grade.

  • Super Summer Day Camp for campers entering kindergarten through sixth grade.

  • Teen Adventure Camp, for campers entering seventh through ninth grade.

  • Counselor-in-Training program, for teenagers entering ninth and tenth grade.

Archery, arts and crafts, computers, group swim lessons, gardening, indoor and outdoor sports, performing arts, recreational swim, science experiments and field trips are among the many activities children may take part in, depending on the camp they enroll in. Reading time and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) lessons are incorporated into all camp curricula.

Pioneer Trails Day Camp and Super Summer Day Camp are accredited by the American Camp Association.

Child care before and after camp is available at no additional charge. Sibling discounts are available, as well as financial assistance through the Y. 

Families can meet camp directors and ask questions during an open house at the West Essex YMCA, 321 South Livingston Ave., on Jan. 4 from 2 to 4 p.m. 

Camp Fairs will also be held on the following dates:

  • Sunday, March 8 - 3-5 p.m.

  • Saturday, April 18 - 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

The Y offers Pioneer Trails Day Camp Tours at Caldwell University on the following dates. Email Joanne Browne at to schedule a time.

  • Saturday, Jan. 4 - 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

  • Saturday, Jan. 25 - 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

  • Sunday, March 8 - 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Early bird registration is open for summer camps at the West Essex Y. Secure your spot by Jan. 31 and pay last year’s tuition rates and no registration fees. 

For more information, visit or call 973-992-7500. 


Established in 1885, the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges invests in its diverse communities to promote wellness, safety and quality of life for children, adults and seniors. Its seven branches in East Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Hackensack, Hardyston, Stillwater and Wayne are committed to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility through an array of programs. Some 35,000 people belong to the Metro Y, which awards more than $2.8 million annually in direct and indirect financial assistance.