Hi-Rock Named One of the Best Camps for Teenagers

We are excited to share that we have been named one of the best camps for teenagers in the country by Summer Camp Hub! Check out the article we are featured in here:

An Update from Hi-Rock and a Call for Support

Dear Friends,


We hope this letter finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy.  We know this pandemic has brought suffering to many and our thoughts are with you. 


Right now, we are putting camp to bed for the winter.  In a typical year, we would be fondly remembering thousands of youth, adults and families who joined us on the mountain.  We would be closing cabins where campers and counselors had filled every bunk and shuttering windows from which giggles and whispers had been spilling all summer.  A whole new batch of campers would be calling Hi-Rock their home away from home and countless new friendships would have taken root.  This year has been anything but typical.


We are writing today to send an update and to ask for your help.  The pandemic required us to close our doors in March and to make the gut-wrenching decision to cancel youth summer camp.  By late July, we had secured permission to welcome families through a very limited campground model.  It wasn’t our usual Family Camp with gathering for campfires and activities, but it was a chance for families to enjoy the lake, the trails and the stars.
While it couldn’t replace youth summer camp, it was the elixir so many needed – an antidote to months of lockdown.  Campers brought their parents to camp and helped them feel at home.  Parents learned to sail from their children.  Longtime camp friends reunited at a safe distance.  Once we opened the doors, we couldn’t say all was right with the world, but things were certainly a lot better.


Again and again, we have heard from families that of all the things taken away by coronavirus, losing summer camp was the greatest loss for their children.  We are learning that pandemic-related restrictions may be taking a great toll on the social-emotional health of youth.  We believe kids will need camp more than ever, once restrictions are loosened.  Our work now is to ensure that we will be ready for them.        


Limitations on our operation have placed Hi-Rock under serious financial strain.  We have seen a dramatic reduction in revenue coupled with immovable fixed costs.  The challenge facing our community now is to get through this in a position of strength.  Many of you have already stepped forward to make contributions to help see us through these challenging times and for that we are very grateful.  The gap we need to fill to cover our critical costs remains wide.  We are writing to ask all members of the Hi-Rock community to help us bridge this gap.


By supporting us now, you make Camp Hi-Rock possible for the future.  By making camp possible, you give kids power they might not find anywhere else. You give them the power of connection to others, to nature, and to a bigger world. You offer the power of peace by relieving the pressures of their everyday lives. You open a window to powerful new perspectives and make space for creating memories that give strength for a lifetime. You introduce them to counselors whose power to influence and inspire will be unlike that of other adults in their lives.  Your support makes the power of camp a reality for all children and families.


Please consider making a donation to the Annual Campaign to ensure Hi-Rock is able to continue to empower campers.  You may click here to give online or mail a check to 544 East Street Mount Washington, MA 01258. We need your support to welcome campers back to camp with a program that meets the highest standards, safe and well-maintained equipment and buildings, and a talented, nurturing, and well-trained staff team.  With your help, we can make sure Hi-Rock is here for all and forever.


With gratitude and Hi-Rock love,

An Open Letter to Our Hi-Rock Family

An Open Letter to Our Hi-Rock Family

By a group of Hi-Rock Staff, Board Members, Alumni and Camper Parents

Dear Hi-Rock Family, 

We stand in solidarity with Black members of our community and communities across the country to express our outrage and sadness over the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and countless other victims of police brutality and racial injustice. We say unequivocally: Black Lives Matter. 

Our core YMCA values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility compel us to support and engage in the efforts of systemic changemakers to fight for justice and equity.  As we explore what meaningful action looks like for Hi-Rock, we commit to keeping an open dialogue about our role in these efforts and to taking action with our board, staff and community. We reaffirm our commitment to making camp a more inclusive community where campers, staff and all who visit feel safe, valued, included, and welcomed. 

We each have an important role to play in the fight to dismantle systemic racism. Let us not be silent in words or actions as we work to create a more just and fair world built upon dignity and equity.

We love you. We love our community. Hi-Rock is here for you.

Important Update about Camp Hi-Rock Summer 2020

Dear Friends,

I write to you today with a heavy heart to share our plans for summer 2020.  A few months ago, the thought of a summer without camp was unimaginable.  As the reality of the coronavirus pandemic set in, we began searching for answers about how we might give our campers time together at camp this year.  A time that, for many, sustains them from one summer to the next.

Our staff and our Hi-Rock board have been digging deep in consultation with camp leaders around the country, the YMCA of the USA, the Massachusetts Camping Association, the American Camp Association, the Mount Washington Board of Health and local physicians.  We have considered all available guidance from the CDC and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  We have come to the conclusion that the best decision to protect our campers, our staff, their families, our local community and the communities far and wide from which Hi-Rockers travel, will be to suspend our overnight camp, day camp and BOLD GOLD wilderness trip programs for the summer of 2020.

We are currently exploring the possibility of running family camp for several weeks this summer.  Giving our campers the chance to share Hi-Rock with their families might be a silver lining to otherwise cloudy circumstances.  If we determine that an extended family camp program will be an option, we will be in touch with more details over the coming weeks.  We do plan to run our regularly scheduled Family Camp program from August 24 – 30.

Because this may be difficult news for children who were hoping to attend camp this summer, we will not be publicizing the cancellation of summer camp until tomorrow, May 29.  We hope this will give parents a chance to share the decision directly with their children and allow them time to discuss it as a family.

This is a sad day, but I am comforted by my knowledge that camp friendships are especially strong ones.  We build them with the understanding that geography might work against us.  We have camp friends all around the world and we find ways to stay connected.  Even when we are not connecting often, it helps just to know our camp friends are out there.

The novel coronavirus is presenting great challenges to YMCA Camp Hi-Rock but we have an extraordinary community with a deep passion for and commitment to the work we do, the ways in which we change campers’ lives, and the very special space we have the privilege of calling our home away from home.  We will get through this, together.

Big Hi-Rock love to you all,

Jessica Speer-Holmes

Executive Director

Virtual 5k Run/Walk


Usher in summer and enjoy our first virtual 5K Run/Walk in celebration of the YMCA’s 176th Birthday!

Gather those you’ve been living with or challenge yourself! Choose a Fun Run/Walk (1 Mile) or a 5K. Run, walk, stroll or roll! Everyone can participate whether you’re training for another race or just want to walk a little further.

Complete your Run/Walk between Fri June 5, Sat June  and Sun June 7. You get to decide when you be active.

Participation is Free! Donations to support the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA Covid-19 Fund so that the Y can continue to serve our community are accepted.

Once you’ve completed our Virtual Run/Walk please email with your Race Results and a photo that includes your race bib, Y logoed gear, a birthday hat, your treadmill brand or a landmark from your race route.

Click here to register:

Click here to print your Race Bib: CCCY Race Bib

For more information please email Josh Royce

Camp Hi-Rock Update 5/6/2020

Dear Friends,

Hi-Rock is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation around the world and close to home. Our hearts go out to anyone directly affected by the virus as well as everyone struggling with how to protect themselves and their loved ones. Just as the bonds of sharing camp sustain and bind us between summers when we are apart, they connect us now during this time of social distancing and isolation.

As we look forward to summer camp season, we are preparing to run our summer programs and hoping we will be able to do so. We are currently closed through at least May 18 due to the non-essential business closure in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, with our year-round team working from home. Decisions about when and how we will reopen will be carefully made based on how far our region has come in its response to the virus and with guidance from national and state agencies and Y leadership. We will update our camp community as the shape of summer becomes more clear. We look forward to helping our campers and their families shift from fear and separation back to courage and connection when we can next be together.

These difficult times are a reminder of how much camp matters. We can’t wait to have campers outside playing in teams, whispering in cabins, doing unit cheers in the dining hall – and through it all, finding out more about themselves and each other. We know that we may have to adjust the way camp happens but that no matter how things may change, camp spirit will prevail.

These unprecedented times have prompted us to explore new ways to bring our community together while staying in our separate homes. We’ve had a great time reuniting with campers, their families, staff, volunteers, alumni, donors and other members of the Hi-Rock community from all around the globe and many generations through Facebook, Instagram and Zoom. If you haven’t already, please join us. Campers who don’t have their own social media account have been participating with their parents. We would love to see you there.

We are incredibly grateful to all of you who help make camp possible. Thank you for your commitment to Hi-Rock during this difficult time.


Sending you Hi-Rock love,

Jess Speer-Holmes
Executive Director

Save the Date- Virtual Talent Show

After the success of our virtual campfire a few weeks ago we would like to gather again, this time to share our talents!

We are looking for acts from current, past, or future campers and staff! Please let us know you would like to perform when registering or by emailing our camp director, Heather,

To participate in this event you must register in advance. You can register by clicking here, a link to join the event will be sent out Saturday afternoon to those who register.

2020 Open House Dates

Drop by Hi-Rock to meet the camp directors, take a tour of camp, talk with our knowledgeable camp staff and enjoy a meal at our beautiful waterfront!

May 30, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

June 14, 2:00-4:00 pm

If you can not attend an open house but are interested in learning more about Hi-Rock please email to arrange a camp tour!

Spring Work Weekend 2020 Registration Open!

SPRING WORK WEEKEND: May 1 – 3, 2020

Please join us for another great weekend with fellow Hi-Rockers. We’ll be getting camp ready for summer, tackling some important camp improvement projects and catching up with our Hi-Rock friends. Accommodations and meals will be provided. Children and teens under the age of 18 who would like to join us must be accompanied by a parent or other supervising adult. Volunteers are welcome for all or part of the weekend. Meals served will include Friday dinner through Sunday lunch. Work projects will conclude Sunday morning by noon.

We’ll do our best to have some indoor projects but there will surely be work to do outside. Please bring warm clothes. We promise to have lots of tea, hot chocolate and cider!


2020 Spring Work Weekend Registration for NEW group participants

Once you have clicked the above link, you will be able to create a profile and request any additional information. Once your profile is created, you will be directed to your profile and will be able to complete your group registration request.

2020 Spring Work Weekend Registration for RETURNING group participants

(If you have attended a Camp Hi-Rock event since 2015, i.e. Family Camp, Fall Family Fun Weekend, etc., you already have a profile on the Events Dashboard)

Once you have clicked the above link, please click “What’s my password” to reset your password if needed. You will be sent an email with details for how to log in.

Returning Staff For Summer 2020

We just updated our returning staff page, click here to see who will be returning for another amazing summer!