50 All-Star Family Camps
Remember summer camp? The fun doesn't have to stop just because you've grown up. You and your kids can make s'mores and go fishing, all without spending heaps of money--for a family of four, some camps cost less than $1,000 for an entire week
YMCA Storer Camps, Jackson
On 1,200 acres with a 300-acre lake. Themed activities--last year, kids built rafts on Tom Sawyer Day and dressed up like magicians on Harry Potter Day. Sailing, climbing tower, ropes course, nature hikes, game nights. ACA accredited. Lodging: Wooden cabins with bathhouse and electricity (some have porches) sleep 12 on bunks. Food: Three family-style meals or buffets daily; outdoor barbecue. Dates: June 25-July 1; July 2-8. Price: $1,091. 800/536-8607, ymcastorercamps.org.
Concordia Language Villages, Bemidji
Four lakefront villages in the Northwoods. Programs feature cultural and language immersion including Chinese, Finnish, Swedish, German. Activities reflect each culture. ACA accredited. Lodging: Wooden cabins with electricity sleep 20 in bunks; most have bathrooms. Food: Three family-style meals daily prepared in the regional tradition. Dates: June 12-17; Aug. 14-19; Aug. 21-26. Price: $1,800. 800/222-4750, concordialanguagevillages.com.
Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, Finland
An accredited environmental school overlooking Lake Superior on 2,000 acres. Learn about bird migration, Ojibwa tribal heritage, wetlands, and fisheries. Voyageur history classes in which kids learn how to build a fire and make tea. Lodging: Dorm rooms with private bathroom sleep eight on bunks. Food: Three cafeteria-style meals daily in dining hall. Dates: July 31-Aug. 5. Price: $930. 218/353-7414, wolf-ridge.org.
YMCA Camp Du Nord, Ely
On Burntside Lake in the Northwoods. Canoeing, sailing, swimming, hiking, crafts, and overnight camping trips. Nature and wilderness programs. Lodging: Modern wood-framed cabins sleep 2-20, some with private bath and kitchen; platform tents with shared bathhouse sleep eight on doubles and bunks; tent sites. Food: Buffet breakfast, family-style lunch and dinner in dining hall. Dates: June 17-Sept. 4. Price: $1,100. 651/645-6605, dunord.org.
YMCA Trout Lodge, Potosi
On 5,200 acres, with a private lake, by Mark Twain National Forest. Golf, climbing facilities, ranch with 80 horses. Ropes course, astronomy program, fireworks. On Swashbuckler Saturdays, kids make their own eye patch, sword, and hook. ACA accredited. Lodging: Lake-view lodge rooms sleep four on queen beds, with private bathroom; lake-view loft suites sleep six, with common room and fridge; two-bedroom, two-bath cabins sleep 10. Food: Three buffets daily in dining hall. Dates: Year-round. Price: $1,480. 888/386-9622, ymcaoftheozarks.org.
World Fellowship Center, Albany
In the White Mountains on 455 wooded acres. Focus is on multicultural and educational programs. Current events discussion groups, writing workshops, fitness instruction. Friday is open-mike night. Lodging: Lodge-style singles, doubles, triples, and quads, all with shared bath. Food: Three family-style meals daily in dining hall (organic produce from garden). Dates: June 23-Sept. 5. Price: From $955. 603/447-2280, worldfellowship.org.
YMCA Camp Takodah, Richmond
On Cass Pond since 1921. Golf tournament, camper-versus-staff softball game, pottery, ropes course, music room with instruments. "Takodah Follies" talent show, dress-up time, tubing, kayaking. ACA accredited. Lodging: Wood cabins, with shared bathhouse and electricity, sleep 10 on built-in bunks. Food: Three meals daily, served family-style, in dining hall. Dates: Aug. 27-Sept. 2; camp fills quickly. Price: $1,840. 603/239-4781 (summer), 603/352-0447 (winter), camptakodah.org.
YMCA Sandy Island Family Camp, Sandy Island
A 66-acre island in Lake Winnepesaukee. Sailing, kayaking, tubing, waterskiing. Tennis instruction, shopping cruise to antique stores, talent show, karaoke, bingo, family dances. Lodging: Cabins with electricity sleep 10 on twin beds and bunks; some have private baths. Food: Three family-style meals daily; vegetarian options. Dates: July 1-Sept. 4. Price: $2,155. 603/253-4217 (summer), 603/569-2725 (winter), si.bostonycamps.org.