Dallas YMCA camp programs began in 1922 with Camp Crockett, located near Granbury. During World War II, the camp moved to Dallas on Bachman Lake at Camp Kiwanis. It was during the war that Eugene Constantin lost his only son in service to his nation. Mr. Constantin gave the land on Possum Kingdom Lake to the YMCA in honor of his son, and in 1949 the first summer of camp was held at the current location.
The camp was named for Mr. H. Grady Spruce, a well-loved YMCA Youth Secretary, who also served as the summer camp director at Camp Crockett. Mr. Spruce is still remembered for his mentorship of many boys who have become leaders in business and in the Dallas Community.
In the late 1950’s the demand for boys camping at the YMCA camp was increasing. In 1960 the Frontier Camp opened up the lake for teenage boys.
Girls began coming to camp in the 1960s. They would come at the end of the summer after all the boys had gone home. In 1973 the Ray Bean Camp was established to serve girls during the summer and families during the remainder of the year. This camp was named after the executive director who led the growth of Camp Grady Spruce for 35 years.
In 1983, the Frontier Camp became a co-ed camping program, with Main reserved for younger boys and Ray Bean for younger girls.
Camp Grady Spruce has always served as the weekend campout for the Indian Guides and Princess program of the YMCA. Many fathers have strengthened their relationships as well as shared many memories with children on these campouts. Today, the Y Adventure Guide Program continues this tradition.
Outdoor Education became a major program in the 1990s. Approximately 7,000 school children (primarily 5th graders) spend a week at camp putting into practice the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills taught in schoolbooks.
Opportunities at Camp Grady Spruce:
Family Camping Programs (Weekends, 4th of July, Easter, Memorial Day, Labor Day and Thanksgiving)
Group Camping (Conferences and Retreats)