Polar Leap

Join us for our annual POLAR LEAP!  

Presented by the YMCA Camp Ernst Junior Board

February 25, 2023

Jump into the freezing cold waters of Camp Ernst Lake and help us raise funds for camper scholarships!


  • Camp builds confidence and social-emotional skills
  • Camp helps kids learn how to make friends and introduces them to new experiences
  • Camp provides youth with the opportunity to achieve goals in a supportive environment and connect with nature
  • Camp introduces kids to camp counselor-role models and creates lifelong memories
  • Camp is FUN!


How you can participate:

Plunge into the icy waters of Camp Ernst Lake on February 25 to raise money for summer camp scholarships! To register (or to donate), click here. Create a fundraising page and raise at least $75 for camper scholarships by February 15th in order to join the official leap!

When you create your page, tell us why you leap!

  • Do you “leap” because you think all kids deserve a summer camp experience?
  • Maybe someone donated for you to go to camp years ago and you want to give back?
  • Or maybe you have always wondered what it would be like to swim in the lake in the winter?

Whatever your reason, your leap will make a difference in a child’s life this summer when they attend summer camp and grow in spirit, mind, body, and friendship.

Leap-ing Levels

  • RAISE $75 to participate + a cool bracelet
  • RAISE $100 to participate + get a water bottle
  • RAISE $150 to participate + get the Polar Leap shirt
  • RAISE $250 to participate + get the bracelet, water bottle, Polar Leap shirt, and a Polar Leap blanket
  • RAISE $500+ to become a VIPL (Very Important Polar Leaper) Status: get all of the above PLUS an individual plaque and your name on the perpetual plaque to be placed in Lakeview Lodge


Don’t take the plunge alone. You must have a minimum of three people raising funds to be considered a team and compete in the team category. Raise the most as a team and you get a special team prize! (Individual incentives are still based on individual fundraising.) Teams raising at least $2500 are also eligible to win a cabin at one of our family camp sessions.

Here are some tips to help you get sponsors: set a monetary goal, personalize your ask, donate yourself, and post periodic updates about your progress. Studies show that the closer you are to your goal, the more likely people are to donate. Your closest contacts are the most likely to contribute. Remember, donations can come in any amount!

  • Shoes to plunge in
  • Warm change of clothes for after your plunge
  • Towel
  • Camera
  • Friends
  • Offline donations
  • A costume is optional
  • 10:00 a.m. – Check-In begins at Lakeview Lodge
  • 10:30 a.m. – Breakfast: pancakes, eggs, bacon, fruit
  • 11:00 a.m. – Costume contest + announce awards and prize levels
  • 11:30 a.m. – Time to LEAP! + games for kids, hot chocolate and coffee, photo ops, heaters, and camp merchandise available for purchase.

Want to be a part of this COOL event, but don’t want to leap in the lake? You can still help out by supporting a leaper with a donation, creating a page and fundraising, or becoming an event sponsor! You can also attend the event and offer moral support–we need cheerleaders, too!

For more information, email David Chambers at dchambers@myy.org, or call 859-586-6181.

Can’t make it to Camp Ernst on Feb 25, but still want to be a Polar Leaper? You can still participate by becoming a fundraiser and doing a virtual leap! Sign up, raise the money, and take a video or photo of your leap into cold water (or dumping cold water on your head) and post to Instagram tagging us @CampErnst. We’ll send you what you earned, and you’ll know that your cold-water leap helped a child enjoy a hot summer experience at camp!

For more information, email David Chambers at dchambers@myy.org, or call 859-586-6181.

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