About – YMCA CAMP BENSON – A Children’s Summer Camp


Children crate climbing at an overnight summer camp in IllinoisYMCA Camp Benson is an overnight summer camp facility in Illinois for children ages 6-17, whose mission is to build stronger children through programs that promote independence, relationships, values and skills in a wonderful natural setting. Camp Benson’s overnight summer camp staff is composed of youth development professionals who passionately believe in the power of the sleepaway camp experience and what it does to help foster self-reliance and a sense of belonging.

In addition to our overnight summer camp program, YMCA Camp Benson offers weekend programming in the Spring and Fall. Our weekend retreat programs are focused on strengthening family bonds and connecting with nature and each other.

Our YMCA affiliation means we include the Y’s four core values in every aspect of our programming, demonstrating the importance of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. Our experienced staff and programming promote friendships, positive self-esteem, healthy living and encourage individuality and independence.


New cabins at YMCA Camp Benson, a sleepaway camp in IllinoisOur 113-acre property located in the hills of northwestern Illinois, near the Mississippi River is the ideal location for YMCA Camp Benson.

Campers will sleep comfortably in one of our fourteen air-conditioned cabins that were built within the last five years. Healthy and balanced meals are served daily in the Four Points Lodge where summer campers dine in the main dining room or on screened in porch area. All of our buildings at camp were intentionally designed and constructed to provide the most positive camping experience possible.


Our camper’s health and safety are our number one concern here at YMCA Camp Benson. From having quick access to trained medical personnel to training our staff in important topics like childhood development and bullying prevention, YMCA Camp Benson makes your child’s safety while at summer camp our top priority.


YMCA Camp Benson is proud to be an American Camp Association (ACA) accredited camp. The ACA nationally recognizes overnight summer camps that meet the highest standards, focusing on health, safety and program quality. The accreditation process has over 300 safety and quality standards to which we must adhere. Additionally, we are licensed and inspected by the State of Illinois.

ACA Website


YMCA Camp Benson is located in the small rural town of Mount Carroll, Illinois. Camp is approximately 2.5 hours from Chicago and 2 hours from Madison, Wisconsin. Our 113 acre forested property with its limestone bluffs and picturesque river are the perfect setting for our overnight summer camp program and for weekend retreats.

YMCA Camp Benson

16355 Scenic Palisades Rd.

Mount Carroll, Illinois 61053


YMCA Camp Benson Summer Camp map



One of YMCA Camp Benson’s main goals is to positively impact the lives of as many children as possible. To help us achieve this goal Camp Benson has partnered with the following YMCAs:

Sterling-Rock Falls Family YMCA

YMCA of Rock River Valley

Dixon Family YMCA

YMCA of Northwest Illinois

Kishwaukee Family YMCA

Greater Joliet Area YMCA

Members of these YMCAs receive 20% off camp fees when they register for an overnight summer camp progam.

 An interior shot of our modern sleepaway camp cabins near Chicago