History and Tradition

A Summer Tradition Since 1935

A part of the Red Wing Family YMCA in Minnesota, YMCA Camp Pepin has been serving the community since 1935. Summer camp at our present Deer Island location began in the 1930's when Joe Saul, the Director of the Red Wing Family YMCA, led a small group of youth into Wisconsin to camp along the pristine shores of Lake Pepin. Through a generous land donation, their campsite was permanently established as a place where youth and adults from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and all around the world could come to enjoy the natural beauty of this area for generations.

Camping became a cornerstone of Red Wing Family YMCA programming eighty-one years ago, with the aim to provide children with a positive developmental experience through making new friends, building confidence and growing in self-reliance. Those goals still hold true today. Now, we host summer campers, school groups, churches, colleges, musical ensembles, families, and more through our year-round programs. YMCA Camp Pepin hires about thirty exceptional young men and women with backgrounds in education and human services to serve on our staff. They come from the United States and other countries throughout the world to share their skills and talents with our campers. Their contagious spirit and tireless dedication are what shapes our program every summer.

Over the last eight decades, many campers and families have enjoyed a summer on the shores of Lake Pepin, making life-long friends and memories. Whether you joined our camp family in 1955, 1986, 2017, or somewhere in between, this will be a year full of memories, laughs, and fun for all!