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Family Camps: Summer Camp for the Whole Family
Maybe it's because I never actually went to summer camp as a kid, or maybe it's one too many viewings of the movie Meatballs, but I have a burning desire to go to summer camp. And lucky for me, now there's such a thing as family summer camp. During a week stay at a family camp, you can create some seriously fun memories for your family.
What Do You Do?
Just like summer camp for kids, family camp is spent soaking up the outdoors through activities like hiking, biking, canoeing, swimming, and even making lanyards. Evenings are spent ‘round the campfire with other like-minded families or cozying up to your own. Many camps feature fun after dinner programs like awards ceremonies, theme nights, talent shows, and even casino nights.
The great thing is that everything is planned for you. After deciding on a destination, you don't need to do a bunch of research on what is worth doing. Your camp counselors take care of you. Kids may have more fun with the family if it's not Mom and Dad who are perceived as making all the decisions. Hiking up a mountain just sounds better coming from a paid professional!
The price is generally all-inclusive too. It's Club Med for nature lovers!
Meals are typically taken communally in a dining hall or out of doors. I even found one camp that offered a happy hour before dinner. BYOB! No matter what your special interest, if you look for it you'll probably find it. You just may have to venture a ways from home to do so.
Where Do I Sleep and What'll It Cost Me?
Accommodations vary widely from tents to more or less luxurious cabins. Toilets and bathing facilities should be thoroughly researched prior to beginning such an adventure as they are most often shared facilities. Prices also run the gamut. You can go ultra economy and find things run by a local YMCA at only a couple hundred dollars for the week, but you'll be roughing it. There are many camps in the $500 - $750 per person range that provide a lot more comfort. Some family camps are regular kids summer camps that have reserved a week or two to devote to families.
You'll also need to figure in travel costs. But once you're there, just about everything is covered. Nothing seems more like a vacation for Mom & Dad than being able to put away your credit cards for an entire week. Now, if you can leave your Blackberry behind, you'll really be able to relax!
It's worth noting that many family summer camps are Christian based. Not all, but a majority. It's something to keep in mind and the camp descriptions will be clear about this. However, as this family camp trend grows so will the offerings of all types of camps.
Sign Me Up!
It pays to do your research. Here are some resources to help you find a great family camp!
Kidscamps.com - You can search this site by state.
50 All-Star Family Camps - Great article featuring different camps, mostly not Bible based.