YMCA Camp Thunderbird is a resident camp located on beautiful Lake Wylie in the heart of the Carolinas, on the North Carolina / South Carolina border, 17 miles south of Charlotte, N.C. Established in 1936, Camp Thunderbird has a rich history of providing programs which are enhanced by premiere facilities. Over 75 years ago, Curtis B. Johnson, former owner and publisher of the Charlotte Observer, fulfilled his vision by founding the Observer Fresh Air Camp, Inc. now known as YMCA Camp Thunderbird. Through the use of natural surroundings and Christian support and leadership, he felt each boy and girl could achieve his or her fullest potential in mental development, physical well being, social growth and spiritual awareness.
Mr. Johnson frequently spoke of the great thrill he received in providing youth the opportunity to develop and grow in a camp setting. The YMCA carries on that tradition and the philanthropic vision of Mr. Johnson by providing camp scholarships to those in need.