50 All-Star Family Camps
It's just like traditional summer camp, but adults are allowed. That means meals in a dining hall, campfire sing-alongs and the chance to meet a lot of neat people. Pass the bug juice!
Concordia Language Villages, Bemidji
Language and cultural immersion programs in six architecturally authentic facilities representing France, Germany, Norway, Finland, Russia, and the Spanish-speaking world. Activities simulate environment of each culture. ACA accredited. LODGING: Cabins with electricity, most with shared bath, sleep 16 on bunks. FOOD: Three family-style--and culturally appropriate--meals daily. CONTACT: Apr. 12-15, June 11-16, June 25-30, Aug. 13-18, Aug. 20-25, Aug. 26-31, Sept. 14-16; $1,950; 800/222-4750, concordialanguagevillages.com.
Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, Finland
On 2,000 wooded acres with 18 miles of hiking trails. Emphasis on environmental education; classes and activities on forest ecology, wildlife management, tree identification, birding, climate change, and more. LODGING: Rooms sleep eight on bunks; with private bathrooms. FOOD: Three cafeteria-style meals daily. CONTACT: July 23-28; $990; 218/353-7414, wolf-ridge.org.
YMCA Camp Du Nord, Ely
In the Northwoods along the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Sailing, canoeing, kayaking, and snorkeling in Burntside Lake, field games. LODGING: Modern cabins with kitchen and private bath sleep four to eight; wood cabins with kitchen and shared bathhouse sleep up to 18, some cabins with toilet; rustic cabins with shared bathhouse sleep four to eight; tent sites. FOOD: Three family-style meals daily (meal plan optional). CONTACT: June 16-Sept. 1; $1,500; 651/645-6605, dunord.org.
YMCA Trout Lodge, Potosi
Adjacent to Mark Twain National Forest, on 5,200 acres with a 360-acre private lake. Horse ranch with trail rides, hayrides, pony rides, and "cowboy camp"--a Saturday-morning program with roping, branding, and horseshoeing demonstrations. Geocaching, rocketry, climbing tower, golf course. ACA accredited. LODGING: Lake-view lodge rooms with private bathrooms sleep four; lake-view lodge suite with common room sleeps six; two-bedroom, two-bathroom cabins sleep 10. FOOD: Three buffets daily. CONTACT: Year-round; $2,107 (kids under 13 free September through May except Memorial Day weekend); 888/386-9622, ymcaoftheozarks.org.
Camp Takodah, Richmond
Open since 1921, on 500 wooded acres. Lots of activities, many led by the families: swimming and boating on Cass Pond, arts and crafts, storytelling and skit nights, hiking up Mount Monadnock, golf tournament. ACA accredited. LODGING: Wood cabins sleep 10 on bunks; shared bathhouse. FOOD: Three family-style meals served daily. CONTACT: Aug. 26-Sept. 1 (half-week options available); $1,600; 603/239-4781 (summer), 603/352-0447 (winter), camptakodah.org.
Cardigan Lodge & Reservation, Alexandria
On 5,000 acres in Mount Cardigan State Forest, and operated by the Appala-chian Mountain Club. Hike to Welton Falls and Mount Cardigan, take a day trip to the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, catch frogs in a pond. Nature programs such as "Staying Found with Map and Compass." LODGING: Lodge rooms with private bathrooms sleep two to four; lodge rooms with shared bathroom sleep two to six on bunks. FOOD: Trail lunch and two family-style meals served daily. CONTACT: July 15-20, July 29-Aug. 3, Aug. 19-24; $1,270 (7 percent discount for AMC members, $75 annual fee); 603/744-8011, outdoors.org/adventure_camps.
Highland Center at Crawford Notch, Bretton Woods
At 1,900 feet, next to the White Mountain National Forest. Owned and operated by the Appalachian Mountain Club. Guided nature hikes to Ammonoosuc Lake and Mount Willard. Kayaking, canoeing, and fly-fishing on Saco Lake. Day trips to the Sugarloaf Mountains. Map-and-compass scavenger hunt, live animal show (with woodchucks, owls, and river otters), and an L.L. Bean gear room where you can borrow trekking poles, boots, hats, and other gear. LODGING: Lodge rooms with shared bathroom sleep two to six on bunks; private rooms with private bathroom sleep two to four. FOOD: Buffet breakfast, trail lunch or salad/sandwich bar, and family-style dinner daily; cookouts. CONTACT: July 1-6, Aug. 5-10, Aug. 19-24; $1,460 (14 percent discount for AMC members, $75 annual fee); 603/278-4459, outdoors.org/adventure_camps.