Info For Parents

Young Life camps are unlike any other. Your child will have an unforgettable week worth every penny!

Even though Young Life is especially for kids, parents and other adults in the community are important to Young Life. Adults can support Young Life in a variety of ways — by becoming a volunteer leader or committee member, by attending a Young Life fund-raising event, by hosting Young Life or by simply telling others in the community about Young Life and its commitment to kids.

If you'd like to find out more about what it means to be involved with Young Life, click the 'get involved' link on the left.  Let our Area Director, Zak Ellison, know you're interested.  And expect him to take you to lunch, or at least coffee, to find out more!

Camp FAQs for Parents

Registration for Summer Camp 2019 are still open!  Contact Merced County's Area Director, Zak Ellison,( or Area Administrator, Judy Newton ( for current registration information.  As a parent, you may have questions about the camp or the registration process.  The top questions and answers are listed here.  If we missed yours, don't hesitate to contact your child's Young Life leader or the Area Director, Zak Ellison.  Thanks!

High School Outreach @ Woodleaf - July 20-26, 2019

YoungLives @ Woodleaf - July 12-16, 2019

Young Life Adventures - A Discipleship Experience - June 16-21, 2019

Q#1:  What is Woodleaf?

Woodleaf is a property of Young Life that is located in Challenge, CA (just east of Marysville).  Young Life has developed this property in such a way as to create a safe, engaging environment that teenagers love.  With activities ranging from swimming to biking, hoops to sand volleyball, fishing to boating, high ropes climbing to go carts, kids love Woodleaf.  Go ahead and Google "Woodleaf" ... visit it's website and see what others have to say about it. 

Q#2:  Who can attend camp?

High School Outreach - Any High School student who, preferably, has not attend a Young Life summer camp in the past - 1st Timers.   If your student has attended a Young Life summer camp in the past, they can still attend Woodleaf as a return attendee with approval from Area Director, Zak Ellison.
YoungLives Camp - Teen Moms and their babies attend together this shortened week long camp for an amazing experience!

Q#3:  Who supervises and takes care of my child at camp?

We take Young Life volunteers from our local Young Life Clubs and these adults serve as leaders at camp.  We will have separate guy/girl cabins and kids from the same Young Life Club stay together.  In addition, there will be over 100 adult and college-age staff at Woodleaf or Lost Canyon serving our kids.  All Young Life leaders complete extensive national police background checks before being allowed to serve, and every cabin will have a minimum of two adult leaders.

Q#4:  How much does camp cost, and is there financial help?

WINTER WEEKEND - High School Only - $50 per person.  $25 deposit to register - balance must be paid before departure.

SUMMER CAMPS - High School Outreach - $600; YoungLives - $100.  Installment Options are available for ALL camp (amount and # of installments are based on your date of registration). There will be fund-raising events throughout the spring and summer so that campers can, if they choose to participate, raise part of the total camp amount.  Our commitment is that no kid will be left out because of money.  If your student wants to go, he or she will have the opportunity to work to raise money to go if needed.  There will be no 'free' money for campers unwilling to participate in fund-raising activities this year.  Please contact Zak Ellison via email ( if you would like to put together a personalized payment plan that fits your financial situation.

Q#5:  What is included in this price?

Everything except their luggage!  Transportation, extremely good food, and all the activities are included in the cost.  Lodging in cabins, complete with bedding, is included.  Most campers bring $20-50 in spending money to camp for souveniers and snacks (this extra money cannot be raised through fund-raising).  Onsite medical care is also available at camp, and medical insurance is provided during camp to those who do not have personal coverage.

Q#6:  How will the group get to/from camp?

We use Via charter buses to transport kids to camp.  Transportation is included in the cost of camp.

Q#7:  Will my child be forced into religion while at camp?

Absolutely not!  We do not believe in forced religion, or religion at all, in Young Life.  Rather, we follow Jesus and speak freely of Him.  Campers will have an experience very similar to what they get every week at Young Life Club.  There will be singing, games, and deep conversations about life.  We will talk about Jesus often.  But no child will be forced, coerced, or tricked into any religion or religious activity ever in Young Life.

Q#8:  What does a typical day look like at camp?

Campers generally sleep until 8, experience three fabulous meals during the day, and go to bed around midnight.  There is free time (3-4 hours per day), camp-wide activities, activities with their cabin group, cabin times, Club (just like at home), and more.  Campers can choose to swim, hike, climb, ride, or nap during free time.  All activities are supervised at all times by Woodleaf staff.  Guys & girls are never allowed in each others cabins or cabin areas.

Q#9:  Can my child bring a friend to camp who doesn't currently attend Young Life Club?

Absolutely.  Camp is open to friends!  Sign them up before the spaces fill up!  Any high school student who has completed their freshman year is welcome to attend Camp based on the guidelines outlined in Q.#2 above.  Friends of the same gender will room together.


Young Life Merced County | 731 E Yosemite AveSuite B #145 Merced, CA 95340-8039

Phone: (209) 658-6468

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