Dissolving Borders | Day 4 in Peru | Camp at the Beach

After 6 total hours on the bus today, and many near miss collisions, we had a great time experiencing camp in Peru!


Sleepaway camp is different than those in the states. Typically the campers stay only 2 nights. Peruvian families would never think to send their children away for much longer. YMCA camps in Peru, like those back home, focus on leadership, respect and personal growth. They have two camps – one is used year round and the other just for summer.

The year round one (Azpitia) is for families, children and company or group retreats. The team building got to experience this first hand. Even Krishma, who is not a fan of heights, crossed the suspended “Indiana Jones Bridge”. Then she trusted us enough to let us pull her up on a rope and let her “fly”!

US campers will be surprised to learn that s’mores are not known in Peru. Instead they take the unpeeled banana, slice it down the middle an push a chocolate bar down the middle. Then the banana sits on the fire until the chocolate melts. I can’t wait to try that this summer!

The summer camp has a Pacific Ocean beach. Campers can’t go out too far because the water is rough. Interestingly, families can rent a tarped tent on the beach and stay for the summer ($300). Alternatively, you can come and rent a plot of sand and put your own tent up for $10 a day. There are also adorable cabanas to rent for two years that overlook the Pacific that cost $300 a month .... This is a much better deal than the other non Y summer rentals that are $15,000 for the summer!


To get down to the beach you must walk down a huge hill – your choice, stairs or ramps. Going down wasn’t horrible but going up was a workout!
On the other side of the camp was the mountain which led down to a cave. Of course I asked if we could try to walk down to explore the cave. Krishma was happy to stay behind to take pictures. However, with some support, a promise to help her down and a lot of encouragement, she decided to make the tough trek down. (That being said the campers do this in flip flops and run down!)

It was definitely worth getting over the fear of plunging to our deaths to go into the cave below!

I learned so much today and look forward to sharing more but for now… I’m exhausted and it’s time for sleep!


Pam Halpin

Pam Halpin


Email: pam.halpin@thesay.org

Phone: (908) 273-3330 ext. 1134



To learn more about various upcoming events at the Summit Area YMCA, please visit www.thesay.org/calendar 

About the Summit Area YMCA 

The Summit Area YMCA is one of the area’s leading 501(c)3 charitable organizations. Founded in 1886, the Summit Area YMCA has a history steeped in working side-by-side with our neighbors to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, income and background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Each year, we serve more than 10,000 individuals with our free and fee-based programs and services in an area spanning the communities of Berkeley Heights, New Providence, Millburn, Springfield, Short Hills, Summit, Gillette, and Stirling. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, we are able to offer financial assistance for our programs and services to those with demonstrated need. To strengthen your community and provide others with the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive, make your tax-deductible donation today at www.thesay.org/give