Looking for the very best family camp for the upcoming 2013 season? Camping season is just about to begin, and although we camp quite a bit as a family in our 32-foot travel trailer, sleep away camp is something that I’ve always wanted my children to experience. I never had a chance to experience camp as a child but have heard such amazing things from friends and family members. My girls aren’t quite old enough to leave home for a week, so we’ve embraced the idea of family camp.
Family camp is a great way for parents and children to bond and experience outdoor activities in a gorgeous atmosphere. Last year we visited Cleveland’s House in Muskoka and had the time of our lives. Between the children’s programs, resort amenities and activities offered, it was our favorite family trip of 2013.
There are so many summer camp options out there for families, but I’ve narrowed it down to 30.
CONCORDIA LANGUAGE VILLAGES, MINNESOTA
Concordia Language Villages is located in the beautiful North Woods of Minnesota. This camp is quite unique as it focuses on language skills. There are 15 languages taught at the Villages. To top it off, over a dozen different cuisines are served at this camp and mealtime becomes an educational experience infused with traditions, history, geography and language.
Want to go? Me too! Find out more by visiting their website.
ROCKYWOLD DEEPHAVEN CAMPS, NEW HAMPSHIRE
Imagine spending a week on the shores of Squam Lake, located on the southern edge of New Hampshire’s White Mountains. RDC is a rustic family resort that offers a unique camping experience for kids and adults. Guided nature walks, canoe races, softball, swimming, fishing, boat tours, youth recreation and childcare programs are just some of the activities and amenities offered. Sunfish sailboats, kayaks and canoes are readily available.
The Season starts June 1 and runs through September 13, 2013. To book and for more info, visit Rockywold Deephaven Camps.
CALLAWAY GARDENS, GEORGIA
Kids ages 3-17 can take part in all sorts of fun day-camp activities while staying at Callaway Gardens. In the evenings, the kids reunite with their families for games, parties, shows and other entertainment. Accommodations are suitable for large families and you can choose between a villa or cottage. Both are equipped with full kitchens and free WiFi.
For more information, visit Callaway Gardens.
TYLER PLACE FAMILY RESORT, VERMONT
Canadians and Americans are in close proximity to Tyler Place Family Resort which is conveniently located in Vermont, just across the border from Quebec, Canada. Families can experience a vacation in a camp-like atmosphere with bikes readily available, state-of-the-art sports equipment and all sorts of activities and amenities. What about the kids? There are 9 separate award-winning kids programs here as well as daily scheduled family activities and the option for mom and dad to enjoy a romantic parent’s night out!
For more information, visit Tyler Place Family Resort.
JEAN MICHEL COUSTEAU FAMILY CAMP, CATALINA ISLAND
Ah, if only I lived in California! Catalina Island is famous for its stunning scenery and isn’t too far from Los Angeles. It’s a popular spot for kids, tweens and teens during the summer months, but family camp gets just as many rave reviews. Each family is assigned to their own cabin which is fitted with 6 bunk beds, an overhead light and one electrical outlet. Meals are served buffet style and you dine in the great outdoors. After photographing the whales, adults and kids can try their hand at snorkeling, wall climbing, archery, kayaking, sailing, gardening and composting and many more activities.
For rates and more information, visit Catalina Island Camps.
CAMP SEA GULL & CAMP SEAFARER, NORTH CAROLINA
There are several options for families at Camp Sea Gull and Seafarer. This camp is known for its excellent seamanship program, but there are all sorts of other water sport and traditional activities to enjoy on the coast of Neuse River, a five-mile-wide stretch of open water in Arapahoe, North Carolina.
For rates and more information, please visit Camp Sea Gull/Camp Seafarer.
YMCA ROCKIES, COLORADO
Snow Mountain Ranch is located near Grand Lake and the Rocky Mountain National Park. It sits on 5,000 acres and offers a multitude of summer and winter activities, as well as a wide range of different accommodations such as lodge rooms, family cabins, reunion cabins, campgrounds and yurts.
For more information, rates and availability please visit YMCA Rockies.
CLEVELAND’S HOUSE, MUSKOKA, CANADA
Cleveland’s House is located in Muskoka, Ontario and just happens to be one of our favorite places to go as a family. In regards to accommodations, you can choose between resort rooms or cabins depending on your family’s size and preference. The great thing about the resort rooms is the free babysitting service. There is a supervisor that guards the hallways in the evenings until around 10 p.m., so parents can enjoy a night out.
Cleveland’s House welcomes families from across North America (I met a few people from California and Michigan while I was visiting) and their Kid’s Club is beyond excellent.
For rates, availability and more information, please visit Cleveland’s House.
SILVER BAY, LAKE GEORGE
Silver Bay YMCA of the Adirondacks has been around for 111 years, offering fun vacations and retreats for families. You can swim and paddle along in one of the cleanest lakes in the world, take a hike on the groomed trails or take part in many of the activities: boating, archery, climbing wall, basketball, private tennis lessons, horseshoes, trivia nights, yoga, dance classes, fishing, campfires, etc. It’s endless!
For rates, availability and for more information please visit Silver Bay YMCA.
CAMP SUMMIT, SQUAMISH WHISTLER, BC, CANADA
Founded in 1999, this camp has a 90% return rate with over 700 campers visiting each and every summer. Located in the beautiful and scenic Squamish in British Columbia, Canada, this camp is built on 24 acres and has bed space for 184 campers divided amongst 16 wood cabins and platform tent-cabins. Kids can take part in a GPS & orienteering course, try their hand at archery, play a game of beach volleyball or visit the Arts and Crafts building for an afternoon of creativity.
For rates, availability and additional information, please visit Camp Summit.
BERKELEY TUOLUMNE CAMP
Along the edge of the South Fork of the Tuolumne River near the entrance of Yosemite Nation Park, you’ll find the 14.5-acre Berkeley Tuolumne Family Camp where kids from 2 and up have been camping with their families since 1922. Tent cabins are the accommodations of choice, allowing you to explore the beautiful forests and streams in the surrounding vicinity. In addition to the Kiddie Camp and daily children’s activities, the camp offers an Artist-in-Residence program where each week a different professional artist visits and teaches classes such as ceramics, drama, painting, etc.
For rates, availability and for more information, please visit Berkeley Camps.
MEDOMAK FAMILY CAMP, MAINE
It’s not fair for kids to have all the fun! The owners of Medomak Family Camp have mixed the traditional New England summer camp experience into a family vacation with their popular family camp. The camp isn’t too large, making it more intimate (capacity for 11-12 families). They have loads of facilities including a photography darkroom, outdoor chapel/meditation spot, vegetable and herb gardens, a library and blueberry fields.
For more information, availability or rates, please visit Medomak Family Camp.
ONTARIO PIONEER CAMP, MUSKOKA, ONTARIO
Since 1929, devotional studies have been a large part of the programs offered at the Ontario Pioneer Camp in Muskoka. After a morning of Bible programs, the day is open to family activities, water olympics, games and a variety of sports. The Ontario Pioneer Camp is part of a collection of Pioneer camps with other locations in Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia.
For more information, availability or rates, please visit Ontario Pioneer Camp.
IDYLLWILD’S IDYARTS FAMILY CAMP, CALIFORNIA
Is your family artsy? The Idyllwild Arts Academy offers a family camp that is geared around the arts. Focused activities are available in groups for 3-4 year-olds, 5-8 year-olds, 9-14 year-olds and adults. The end result is a relaxing, fun and educational experience that gets your creative juices flowing and your imagination soaring.
For more information, availability or rates, please visit the Idyllwild Arts Academy.
LARK CAMP, CALIFORNIA
For 33 years, Lark Camp has been celebrating music and dance styles from all over the world. This camp focuses on music and dance workshops, storytelling and good food. Lark Camp is located in the Mendocino Woodlands State Park where you dance and sing amongst 700 acres of ferns, glades and redwood trees.
For more information, availability or rates, please visit Lark Camp.
MONTECITO SEQUOIA FAMILY CAMP, CALIFORNIA
Fresh Californian meals are served buffet-style at the Montecito Sequoia Family Camp. There are nine 6-night sessions running from June through August and each one includes riding and equestrian programs, water sport activities and lots of fun on land. Of course, the mountains, green meadows, trails and streams surrounding you doesn’t hurt either.
For more information, availability or rates, please visit Montecito Sequoia Lodge.
ASBURY HILLS CAMP, SOUTH CAROLINA
For over 50 years, this Christian camp has been welcoming guests to their retreat located on 2000 acres in the northwest corner of South Carolina. They are offering two family camp sessions for the 2013 season — June 14-16 and July 12-14.
For more information, availability or rates, please visit Asbury Hills.
GREEN RIVER PRESERVE, NORTH CAROLINA
If you look carefully in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, you’ll find a 3,400-acre private wildlife preserve, which is home to the Green River Preserve camp. There are several sessions for children from 2nd to 9th grade as well as an option for family camp in September.
For more information, availability or rates, please visit Green River Preserve.
CAMP TRILLIUM, ONTARIO, CANADA
Camp Trillium is a gold-star member of the Children’s Oncology Camping Association and welcomes children who have cancer or are undergoing treatments. Their family camp provides parents and kids with an opportunity to make memories and meet new friends. There is a healthcare facility at the camp that is run by a team of nurses and healthcare aids. You are also 15 minutes away from an emergency department and 1 hour away from a pediatric oncology center. Camp Trillium is located on West Lake near Picton, Ontario Canada.
For more information, availability or rates, please visit Camp Trillium.
CAMP AUGUSTA, NEVADA
Located in the Nevada Hills, Camp Augusta is offering a family camp this year for the very first time. Take a dip in the Yuba River, or paddle a canoe along Lake Vera, bike along the trails and a whole lot more.
For more information, availability or rates, please visit Camp Augusta.
OHANA FAMILY CAMP, VERMONT
Families can choose between cabins or tents at this camp and enjoy a full list of activities, but the one thing Ohana specializes in is bringing families together to enjoy each other’s company. Enjoy 112 acres of woods, fields and waterfront overlooking the Middlebrook river valley.
For more information, availability or rates, please visit Ohana Family Camp.
This is such a unique camp and is more like a farm experience than anything else. Emandal has 19 redwood cabins that were built between 1910 and 1925 and come fully furnished. The food is farm fresh and made from scratch, they grow most of their own fruits and veggies, eggs come from their chickens and their meet is grass-fed and free-range. Activities include stargazing, a vast array of games, hiking through wooded hill-land, swimming and rock hunting. Of course you could also hit the farm and try your hand at everyday chores! Guests are welcome to milk the cows, gather eggs, pick berries and harvest veggies during the season.
For more information, availability or rates, please visit Emandal.
CAMP HOMEWOOD, HERIOT BAY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
The family camps at Camp Homewood tend to fill up the fastest. There are 3 sessions available (July 7-12, August 4-9 and August 25-30). Eagle spotting can be done via canoe trip around Gowlland Island, or after a full day of activities you could always show off your skills during talent night!
For more information, availability or rates, please visit Camp Homewood.
CHELEY COLORADO CAMPS
If adventure is what you are looking for, Chely has it in spades. Climb rocks that are a billion years old, spend the day with horses, marmots, mountain sheep and elk or perhaps you’d rather saddle up a horse and ride it through the wilderness. This boy and girl camp offers a family camp option, but it does fill up quickly!
For more information, availability or rates, please visit Chely Colorado Camps.
YMCA CAMP PINE CREST, ONTARIO, CANADA
Live in the GTA area or Greater Sudbury district? YMCA Camp Pine Crest is located in the heart of Muskoka amongst 650 acres of wilderness. They offer summer family camp during the week of July 27-August 2, 2013. Special events, family programs and all sorts of activities are available in one of the most beautiful locations in Ontario.
For more information, availability or rates, please visit YMCA Camp Pine Crest.
KINGSLEY PINES, MAINE
Kingsley Pines is located in the Sebago Lake Region on Panther Lake, just 2 hours north of Boston. It’s geared towards older kids ages 8-16, however their family camp has activities suited for children ages 4 and up. Healthy food reigns supreme at Kingsley Pines with a full salad bar available for lunch and dinner and many healthy options available throughout the day. Snacks consist of frozen grapes, zucchini bread, carrot sticks, popcorn and soft pretzels. A welcome change from the typical ice cream, don’t you think?
For more information, availability or rates, please visit Kingsley Pines, Maine.
WOLF RIDGE ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING CENTER, MINNESOTA
Wolf Ridge specializes in hands-on activities and experiences such as rock climbing, astronomy, block printing, family folk dance classes and learning about the Ojibwe heritage. Their family camp is suitable for children 3 years old and up.
For more information, availability or rates, please visit Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center
RAINBOW FAMILIES GREAT LAKES CAMP
This camp is dedicated to providing support and programs to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered parents and their children. During their Family Week Saugatuck, families take part in informative workshops, age-appropriate programming, arts and crafts, pool parties, picnics and other activities. The camp provides a safe and welcoming space for youth to talk openly about growing up in an LGBT family.
For rates, availability and for more information, please visit Rainbow Families Great Lakes.
BIG LAKE YOUTH CAMP, PORTLAND, OREGON
Big Lake Camp was recently voted Portland’s Best Overnight Camp in Northwest Kid’s Magazine and for good reason. They are owned and operated by the Oregon Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and are members of the Association of Adventist Camp Professionals, Christian Camp and Conference Association and have a list of core values that they integrate within the camp. Big Lake’s Family Camp offers 4 nights and 5 days of family fun in rustic cabins that sit adjacent to the lake. Camp is suitable for kids ages 3 and up and all meals served are vegetarian.
For rates, availability and for more information, please visit Big Lake Youth Camp.
YMCA CAMP SKY-Y & CHAUNCEY RANCH, ARIZONA
This camp has been around for over 70 years! Since 1938 they’ve been instilling values such as Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility. Located in Prescott, Arizona, this camp is one that equipped with a full team of excellent staff that when combined has over 50 years of camp experience. Their family camp is open to adults and children of all ages.
For rates, availability and for more information, please visit YMCA Camp Sky-Y & Chauncey Ranch.