YMCA Camp Ernst

Where Treasured Memories are Made


YMCA Camp Ernst is one of the largest and most popular residential camps in the region, welcoming more than 3,000 children and teens from all over the world each summer to experiences unlike their everyday lives. Offering 365 acres of rolling hills, lakes, and nature-based activities, Camp Ernst helps kids broaden their horizons and become more confident, independent, and responsible people.

Under the leadership of a team of dedicated volunteers and long-time friends of Camp Ernst, the YMCA launched the "For the Love of Camp Ernst" Capital Campaign in 2010 with the goal of raising $4 million for improvements to our beloved facility. Thanks to the success of this campaign, in the summer of 2012, we opened two brand new bathhouses, much to the delight of our campers and counselors.  In the Fall of 2012, we moved our administrative offices in to a brand new welcome center, named for the Schiff Foundation, near the lake. The new welcome center also houses the new Lakeview Health Center and a storm shelter. Summer 2013 will see the debut of a new pool and slide in the Valley area of camp, as well as a new horse stable and the beginnings of a remodeled Wallace Lodge/Arts Center.


We are so blessed to have great support from the community and camp alumni! Currently, we are in the midst of raising approximately $600,000 more in order to complete much-needed renovations to our Historic Dining Hall (built in 1930) and kitchen. Whether you were a camper in the Alonzo and Louise era or simply have fond memories of Mangey Moose and bug juice, please consider helping us take care of this treasured spot at camp! Use the form below to donate online, email ecochran@myY.org, or call Camp Director, Eli Cochran at (859) 586-6181 for more information.


Catch the Camp Ernst Spirit and Pass It On


There are two ways you can help (and remember every gift is important and every gift will help)


ANNUAL GIFT - Click here to make a gift to help scholarship a young person to camp this summer


CAPITAL GIFT - There is still time to be a part of the "New" Camp Ernst by making an investment in the future. Why not show your "Ernst love" and make a gift today by using the following options:



Contact Eli Cochran at (859) 586-6181 with questions.



Donors Over $5,000


We’d like to thank all of our donors to the Capital Campaign. We acknowledge and thank those who have made a substantial commitment to the future of camp.


Patricia Borland – Deceased

Clifford Borland Jr. – Deceased

Greg Carmichael

Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Fdn/

        US Bank Foundation

John Cassidy

CoFre Family Foundation, Inc.

Susan Croushore

Rance Duke

Bill Easley

Margaret Ann Edmiston

Margaret Greer Edmiston

George H. Edmiston

George Edmiston

Fidelity Investments

Ann Fitzgibbons

Frank & Jacqueline Kloenne Fdn

Suzanne Ernst Geier

Anne Greiner

H.B.,E.W.,& F.R.Luther Charitable Trust,

Fifth Third Bank and

Narley L. Hailey, Co-Trustees

Clark Handy

Harold C. Schott Foundation

Dale Hennessey

Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts

John Hauck Foundation

Thomas Keckeis

Margaret Kite

Louise Taft Semple Foundation


Dan Mistler

Kay Murphy

Beth Murray

Oren and Jane Long Trust

Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Pediatric Associates, PSC

Mary Peterman

Paul Plattner

Reakirt Foundation – PNC Bank

Procter & Gamble

R.C. Durr Foundation

James Rankin

Alice Richardson

Robert & Adele Schiff Family Foundation

Robert Robinson

Scripps Howard Foundation

Stillson Foundation

Sutphin Family Foundation

Delle Taylor

Thomas J. Emery Memorial Foundation

Toyota Motor Manufacturing

W. Bruce Lunsford Foundation

Fred Waddell

Western-Southern Financial Fund

Bill Wigglesworth

Elizabeth Younger

Michael Zorn

Robert Zumbiel