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!
Joe Dodge Lodge at Pinkham Notch, Gorham
Run by the Appalachian Mountain Club, in the White Mountain National Forest at the eastern base of Mount Washington. Nature interpretation (looking for animal tracks, forest ecology, and stream study). Night programs including stories from the stars and White Mountain weather. Moose-spotting excursion. LODGING: Lodge rooms with shared bath sleep two to five. FOOD: Buffet breakfast and family-style lunch and dinner daily; trail lunches available. CONTACT: July 8-13, July 22-27, Aug. 12-17; $1,270 (7 percent discount for AMC members, $75 annual fee); 603/466-2721, outdoors.org/adventure_camps.
YMCA Sandy Island Family Camp, Sandy Island
On a 66-acre private island in Lake Winnipesaukee. Sailing, kayaking, waterskiing. Crafts programs such as beading, photography, and ceramics. Yoga, line dancing, storytelling in little red schoolhouse. LODGING: Waterfront cabins with electricity sleep 2 to 10; some have private bath. FOOD: Three family-style meals daily; Sunday brunch and themed dinners such as Italian night. CONTACT: June 27-Sept. 3; $2,350; 603/253-4217 (summer), 603/569-2725 (winter), si.bostonycamps.org.
Mohican Outdoor Center, Blairstown
Run by the Appalachian Mountain Club, within the 70,000-acre Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Speakers on black bear habitats, edible plants, and pond ecology. Hiking on the Appalachian Trail, weekly day trip to the Lakota Wolf Preserve, canoeing and swimming on Catfish Pond. LODGING: Lodge rooms with shared kitchen and bath sleep 18 on bunks; tent sites. FOOD: Two buffet meals and one trail lunch daily. CONTACT: Aug. 5-10, Aug. 12-17, Aug. 19-24; $1,090 (10 percent discount for AMC members, $75 annual fee); 908/362-5670, outdoors.org/adventure_camps.
Camp Gorham, Eagle Bay
On 1,500 acres in the Adirondacks, with a 400-acre private lake. Square dancing (with a professional caller), limbo contest, talent show. Paddling trips on the Moose River, horseback riding, rock climbing. ACA accredited. LODGING: Cottages with electricity and private bathroom sleep up to 24, mostly on bunks; bunkhouse with kitchen and bath sleeps 48; Adirondack lean-to with electricity and shared bathhouse sleeps four on bunks. FOOD: Three family-style meals daily; ice-cream social. CONTACT: Aug. 19-26; cottage $1,810 (YMCA members $1,740); 888/518-5671, campgorham.org.
Frost Valley, Claryville
In the Catskills on 6,000 wooded acres. Animation workshop, evening rodeo, live music, rowing on Lake Cole. Carnival with face painting, water-balloon games, and sack races. Families participate in the camp-run World Service Auction to benefit the needy. ACA accredited. LODGING: B&B-style castle; lake-view hotel-style rooms sleep six; hotel-style rooms sleep two; platform tents with shared bathhouse sleep eight; cabins with private bath sleep 10; dorm rooms sleep 6 to 12; lodge rooms with private bath sleep 10 on bunks. FOOD: Three buffets daily, with occasional themed meals. CONTACT: Aug. 25-31; $500; 845/985-2291, frostvalley.org.
Blue Star Camps, Hendersonville
On 500 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Designed for Jewish families, but not exclusive. Hiking up Mount Pinnacle, white-water rafting, yoga, mountain biking, rock climbing, target sports, pottery, Slip 'n Slide. Free nanny service for kids 3 and under. Sabbath services. ACA accredited. LODGING: Cabins with private bathrooms sleep 14. FOOD: Three buffets served daily. CONTACT: Aug. 16-19; $1,180; 828/692-3591, bluestarcamps.com.
Green River Preserve, Cedar Mountain
Daily naturalist-led hikes throughout a 3,400-acre private wildlife preserve. Fly-fishing in trout stream, storytelling nights, photography, painting, pottery. ACA accredited. LODGING: Cabins divided into two sleeping dorms that sleep eight on bunks with a central bathroom; lodge rooms with private bath sleep four. FOOD: Three family-style meals daily; most veggies served at camp are grown locally. CONTACT: Aug. 31-Sept. 3; $900; 828/698-8828, greenriverpreserve.org.
YMCA Camp Sea Gull/Camp Seafarer, Arapahoe
Water sports galore--waterskiing, motorboating, tubing, sailing, canoeing, wakeboarding, windsurfing--on the Neuse River, as well as a zip line, climbing wall, field sports, riflery, tennis, and a pitch 'n' putt golf course. ACA accredited. LODGING: Cabins with porches sleep 14 on bunks with private bathroom. FOOD: Three family-style meals daily; parents-only dinner cruise. CONTACT: May 25-27, Aug. 12-18, Aug. 31-Sept. 3, Sept. 21-23; $2,205; 252/249-1212, seagull-seafarer.org.