Trip Coach: March 13, 2007 David LaHuta, Assistant Editor of Budget Travel, answered your questions about family camps. Budget Travel Tuesday, Mar 13, 2007, 2:32 PM Budget Travel LLC, 2016
 

TRANSCRIPT

Trip Coach: March 13, 2007

David LaHuta, Assistant Editor of Budget Travel, answered your questions about family camps.

David LaHuta: Hi there everyone. I'm here to take your questions about family camp so fire away!

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New York City: Can you suggest a family resort with kosher food withint a 3 hour drive of New York CIty?

David LaHuta: You're in luck! Try New Jersey "Y" Camps in Milford, Pa. It's under a two-hour drive from New York City, and it serves three Kosher meals a day (with vegetarian options available). The camp caters specifically to Jewish families so you can also expect optional Jewish services on Friday evening and weekend mornings as well. It's a wonderful program with lots of options--in addition to three weekend family camp sessions in June, August, and September, the camp also runs grandparent and single-parent weekends too. For more information, go to njycamps.org or call 973/575-3333.

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Boulder, CO: I've got two adopted sons from China. I love them with all of my heart but I'm concerned they might not fit in with the other kids. Are there any camps for families like mine? Terri

David LaHuta: While I'm sure your concern is genuine, I can assure you that the vast majority of people who attend family camp are an accepting bunch. That said there are specialized camps for families like yours (and luckily, a handful pretty darn close to Boulder). They're called Colorado Heritage Camps--ten separate properties in the Rockies and Denver for families with multicultural and internationally adopted children. Each camp focuses on a specific culture from African/Caribbean to Vietnamese. And not only will your kids be surrounded by other adoptive families, but the teachers and counselors who lead daily activity sessions are also of the same ethnic background (you're even fed culture-specific lunches!). It's a great camp and one I'm sure your family will love. For more information, check it out at heritagecamps.org or call 303/320-4234.

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Norwich, NY: Summer is a busy time for our family of 4 (sons aged 11 and 8). We own a business and find it difficult to get away for a full week. Are there family camps in the northeast that run for a long weekend?

David LaHuta: Fortunately many camps recognize the time constraints put on a typical family and the northeast is not without its options for a fun long weekend. About a three-and-a-half drive from Norwich is a camp called Club Getaway, in Kent, Ct. It's a beautiful property in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains and this summer it's offering two family camping sessions, both just two nights long: Aug. 20-23 and Aug. 24-26. The kids will love the camp's great waterfront activities (water trampoline, anyone?) and you and your significant other will enjoy wine tastings and more. For more information, check it out at clubgetaway.com or call 877/746-7529. Another option near you is YMCA Camp Hi-Rock in Mount Washington, Mass. From Norwich, it's just over three hours by car, and in addition to a family camp week in August, the camp offers family weekends year-round. For more, go to camphirock.com or call 413/528-1227.

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New York, NY: What's an often overlooked question that parents should ask a family camp?

David LaHuta: An important question to ask a family camp--heck, any camp for that matter--is whether or not it's accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA). Camps accredited by the ACA meet 26 health and safety standards and are usually handicapped accessible, so if that's a concern for your family, remember to ask. That said, there are some great camps out there that aren't ACA accredited so don't count out a specific camp just because the ACA hasn't given its stamp of approval. In those cases ask for referrals from other families, and if you're near by, a site visit doesn't hurt either.

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NY, NY: What's the biggest mistake parents make with family camps?

David LaHuta: Probably the biggest mistake parents make is not considering family camp at all. I've heard it from plenty of folks for lots of reasons, "But I don't want to sleep on a cot and drink bug juice!" What people should know is that you don't have to. There are many camps out there that have hotel-style accommodations and serve great (sometimes gourmet) food. About a two-and-a-half hour drive from New York City is Frost Valley camp in the Catskills, with tons of lodging options for the most finicky of families. There's a B&B-style castle that was once a private estate, lake-view hotel-style rooms, cabins, and more (for more info, check it out online at frostvalley.org). The point is there's a camp out there for every family!

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
 

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