Fun and adventure for all ages – it’s not your ordinary Y experience.

Destinations_YMCATroutLodge_HorsebackRidingNestled in the eastern Ozarks, there’s a truly remarkable place for family fun and renewed bonding. It’s a place surrounded by southern  Missouri mountains met by bright blue skies and where people of all ages are found playing, relaxing and exploring. Meet YMCA Trout Lodge & Camp Lakewood, a resort facility located 90 minutes south of St. Louis, where rates include lodging, meals, many activities and children five and under stay for free. It’s a place away from the ordinary where natural beauty abounds regardless the season. Along the wooded trails and gazing across the lake filled with a majesty of trees, sparkling waters and fresh-scented breezes, the visuals transform together to create the colors of an artist’s palette. This stunning facility boasts 5,200 acres and a 360-acre Sunnen Lake, a year-round, resort-retreat- conference center, a working ranch, outdoor education facility and both summer and winter camps for children.

“When most people hear YMCA, they automatically think of swimming lessons, fitness centers and sports in their local community,” says Nelson Bagnardi, executive director of YMCA Trout Lodge & Camp Lakewood. “And yes, we are part of the Gateway Region YMCA group of 25 Missouri and Illinois Ys; however, Trout Lodge is only one of six YMCAs in the whole country that is a resort facility,” Nelson says. “This makes us pretty special in the Midwest, and our guests think so too. We believe that fun, adventure and spending uninterrupted quality time together are memory-makers that can last a lifetime and bring people even closer together.”


Destinations_YMCATroutLodge_CaveToursIn 1926 a group of St. Louis families bought land, built a clubhouse and log cabin. In 1946 the property was sold to the YMCA, and a small conference center was built and named Trout Lodge. In 1947 Joseph Sunnen began dam construction, which eventually formed a 360-acre lake. Camp Lakewood then opened in the summer of 1949. Acreage and buildings were continually added and updated with future renovations continuously underway.

YMCA Trout Lodge & Camp Lakewood is a charitable organization and serves everyone regardless of age, race, gender, religion or ability to pay. Through donations, more special needs groups are supported by Trout Lodge & Camp Lakewood than by any other YMCA in the country. Not only does each stay include a fun time for guests, but it helps support those in need.


Destinations_YMCATroutLodge_TennisKnown for a plethora of activities and beautiful scenery, YMCA Trout Lodge believes that the all-inclusive rates make their getaways affordable.
“It’s wonderful not having to travel everywhere you want to go – hotel here, restaurant there, activities in other locations. Everything is in one spot,” says a longtime guest.

Lodging includes guest rooms, loft rooms or family cabins. Delicious meals in the dining room are buffet-style with many options for everyone, including those with certain dietary restrictions. No one leaves hungry – just refueled for more adventures. Activities at YMCA Trout Lodge are almost as endless as the grains of sand at their waterfront. To name a few of many …
HIGH ADVENTURE: Zip lines, climbing towers, summit course, high ropes course, alpine swing

ARTS & CRAFTS: Ceramics, jewelry making, tie dye, candle making, wood crafts, stepping stones

RANCH: Trail rides, pony rides, hayrides, barn dances, overnight stays

PROGRAM ACTIVITIES: Archery, riflery, nature center, paintball, geocaching, hiking, shotgun, face painting, drum circles, mud cave, kite making, learn balloon animals, mini-golf, volleyball, tennis, rocketry

WATER/BOATING: Swimming, lake swing, water slide, water trampoline, Zorb Ball, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boats, sail boats, jon boats, pontoon tours, fishing, funyaks, pirate pontoon, boat floats

THEMES: In addition to all of these activities, there’s a fun theme such as pirates, cowboys or super heroes day. Weekends might include hayrides and pumpkin picking for the Great Pumpkin Jamboree, haunted hayrides at Halloween, as well as holiday celebrations including Easter egg hunts, Mother’s Day events, Memorial Weekend celebrations for opening of the waterfront, Labor Day Family Camp weekend,  Thanksgiving with a turkey on every table and pioneer day, dancing, midnight buffet and a fireworks display on New Year’s Eve and much more.

Yet, YMCA Trout Lodge is much more than a family vacation destination. Adult programs are held throughout the year – visits to state parks  and Bonne Terre mine, cave scuba diving, wine harvesting, art classes, women’s wellness and many more are experienced during these  numerous three-to-seven day adventures.

Groups, retreats, meetings and family reunions also call Trout Lodge home. Not a “one-size fits all” facility, each group’s stay is uniquely designed. Corporate events can be accommodated as well with meeting spaces, private catering, AV equipment, team building activities and more.


Destinations_YMCATroutLodge_LakeSwimmingAt the Camp Lakewood facility on the other end of the property, there is always something going on. Yearly summer camp provides a safe, well-rounded experience for campers ages 6-17 by getting them outdoors to have fun, make new friends and learn new skills. Along with  awesome activities, kids learn about setting goals and other life lessons and wake up each morning with a sense of excitement as to what new things the day will bring. This is why campers and parents call Camp Lakewood “my camp.”

Four-day Winter Camp is the perfect holiday break for kids ages 7-17. Think of summer camp with a wintertime twist. Outdoor Education at Camp Lakewood is the hands-on extension to classroom studies through team building and exploration. Band camps, college groups, church groups and others visit Camp Lakewood as well.

Collectively, YMCA Trout Lodge & Camp Lakewood is a facility for every interest. Groups, children and families come back year after year, where there are always new activities and a staff who welcomes everyone like an old friend.

For more information call 888-FUN-YMCA or visit