If you have fond memories of going to summer camp as a kid, you're in luck. It's not only possible as an adult to spend a week reliving those fun days canoeing, fishing, and gathering around a campfire to roast s'mores, but you can even bring the whole family.
What To Expect at Family Camp
Spending a week at a summer family camp can make great memories enjoying outdoors fun during the day and campfires at night.
You can expect many traditional camp pursuits such as tennis, archery, arts and crafts, lawn games, and nature hikes. The activities available at each camp vary, depending largely on camp location. Camps set on a lake will invariably offer kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and often motorized fun such as banana boat rides, tubing, and water skiing.
Best of all, at most family camps, everything—accommodations, meals, and activities—is included for one low set price. At many camps, the price for a family of four can be as low as $1,000 for a week, including meals and activities.
Family camps—sometimes called "intergenerational camps" to distinguish themselves from classic kids' summer camps—typically boast natural settings, simple lodgings, and meals included (typically in a dining hall), along with a slew of outdoors activities, arts and crafts, and plenty of social time. Sometimes traditional kids' summer camps devote a week or two of "family camp" in July or August.
Ask plenty of questions about lodging at family camp, which might be as rustic as a tent-cabins with no electricity, or wood cabins with bunks or double beds, and shared bath-and-shower houses. Some family camps, however, offers cottages, lodges or even inn-style accommodation.
Note: While most camps focus on traditional outdoorsy activities, some offer specialties such as art, music or another interest.
Some camps are faith-based and others are secular. Always ask questions and ask to see a schedule of typical daily activities.
Some camps are specifically designed for families with special needs kids. For example, the Common Ground Center (Starksboro, VT) offers camp for families with kids on the autism spectrum.
Summer Family Camps in the Northeast
- Medomak Family Camp (Washington, ME)
- Club Getaway (Kent, CT)
- Ohana Family Camp (Fairlee, VT)
- Camp Tohkomuepog (East Madison, NH)
- Frost Valley YMCA (Claryville, NY)
- Rockywold Deephaven Camps (Holderness, NH)
- Deer Valley Family Camp (Fort Hill, PA)
- Sandy Island Family Camp, (Laconia, NH)
- YMCA Camp Takodah Family Camp (Richmond, NH)
- Camp Jewell Family Camp (Colebrook, CT)
Summer Family Camps in the Southeast
- YMCA Camp Sea Gull Seafarer Family Camp (Arapahoe, NC)
- Pine Cove Chimney Point Family Camp (Chimney Point, SC)
- YMCA Camp Greenville Family Camp (Cleveland, SC)
- YMCA Camp Hanes Family Camp (King, NC)
Summer Family Camps in the Midwest
- Trout Lodge Retreat Center & Family Camp (Potosi, MO)
- YMCA Family Camp Pendalouan (Montague, MI)
- YMCA Camp du Nord Family Camp (Ely, MN)
Summer Family Camps in the Mountain West
Summer Family Camps in the Southwest
- Pine Cove Woods Family Camp (Tyler, TX)
Summer Family Camps in the Pacific West
- Santa Barbara Vacation Center (Santa Barbara, CA)
- River Way Family Camp (Sanger, CA)
- Camp Sequoia (Miramonte, CA)
Family Camps in Other Seasons
A good number of family camps are open not only during the summer but throughout the year, and have special seasonal and holiday packages. For example:
- Hulbert Outdoor Center in Vermont offers a New Year's Family Camp and a Winter Family Camp Weekend in February.
- Frost Valley YMCA in New York's Catskill Mountains offers a Holiday Family Camp over New Year's and a President's Week Family Camp.
- Camp Jewell YMCA Family Camp in Connecticut offers family weekends over holiday weekends throughout the year.
- Deer Valley Family Camp offers seasonal weekends, such as cider-making in the fall, and winter outdoors activities.
Resorts Offering a Family Camp Experience
- Tyler Place Family Resort in northwestern Vermont offers extensive children's and adult programming with many quintessential camp activities. Families stay in private cottages, suites and apartment-like units. Excellent meals and a wide range of activities are included in the rate. Note that this is a far more upscale experience than the basic family camps described above.
- Edited by Suzanne Rowan Kelleher