As you finalize your kids’ summer camp plans, are you finding yourself wistful for water sports, arts and crafts, and evening s’mores by the campfire? Those days don’t have to be behind you, thanks to family camps that offer the overnight experience to the whole clan. Some cater exclusively to families and offer traditional sleepaway experiences; others are kid-centric camps that open to all ages for a few select weeks or weekends and may specialize in specific activities. Lodging ranges from air-conditioned cabins to covered wagons (!!), and costs can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. It all depends on where you go and what you do. Here’s a sampling:
Sandy Island Family Camp
Week-long family camps are run by the YMCA throughout the summer on this private island off Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. There’s something for everyone, from teddy-bear picnics for preschoolers to beach parties for teens and sailing lessons for adults. Lakefront cabins sleep two to 10 people and have electricity. Most have shared baths but some private baths are available.
Farm & Wilderness Camp
For six days in August families can come together at this Plymouth, Vermont camp to get a taste of farm life. The whole clan can milk cows, feed goats, collect eggs and press cider together. But there’s a chance to blow off some steam, too: Hiking, canoeing and swimming are among the more traditional activities. Campers sleep in three-sided cabins with no electricity and share bathhouses.
Rainbow Families Great Lakes
This group brings LGBT families to Saugatuck, Michigan, for one week each summer (this year it’s July 13-19) of traditional activities including scavenger hunts, swimming and barbecues. The camp doesn’t provide overnight accommodations, but suggests lots of nearby options from camp grounds to quaint inns.
Lair of the Golden Bear
University of California at Berkeley runs these three camps in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which have activities led by a college-age staff that include hiking, yoga, and sports tournaments. Kids groups are organized by age from 2 to 17, and guests can take part in as much or as little as they prefer—the camp is welcoming to adventure seekers and hammock-dwellers, too. Lodging is in cabins that have electricity.
Cheley Colorado Camps
A five-day family camp for ages 4 and up starts after the regular summer season ends in early August at this popular camp located in the Rocky Mountains. Cheley’s famous horseback riding, climbing, fishing and target sports are part of the traditional fun, plus nightly campfires with family skits for entertainment. Families sleep in covered wagons and share bathrooms. There’s always a waiting list, so sign up early.
Water lovers will never want to leave the weekend- and week-long camps held at this facility in on Arapahoe, North Carolina. There’s a river for boating (sail or motor), a lake for canoeing, kayaking and fishing, a beach area with a water slide and more. On land, little ones can partake in a kids program while grown-ups take tee time on a nine-hole golf course. Accommodations are screened cabins with bunk beds and private bathrooms.
Looking for more family travel ideas? Orbitz has you covered!