GONE CAMPIN'!

America's Best Family Camps

Pitch a tent, hop in a canoe, and toast up some s'mores: Summer camp season is almost here! But why should kids have all the fun? These affordable family camps let mom, dad, and even grandma get in on the action.

By David LaHuta, additional reporting by Nicholas DeRenzo, Monday, Mar 22, 2010, 1:18 PM

CALIFORNIA
Berkeley Tuolumne Family Camp, Groveland, Stanislaus National Forest
On the south fork of the Tuolumne River, seven miles from Yosemite National Park, in Stanislaus National Forest. Magic lessons, hiking, nature studies, multicultural crafts. Campers vs. staff volleyball, skit night, yoga. Swimming and fishing in the Tuolumne River. Ranger-led workshops for kids (making pine-needle baskets and leaf-print shirts), artist-in-residence program for adults (pottery, woodworking, watercolor painting, drawing, performing arts, and more). Nearby attractions include Yosemite National Park, gold rush towns, and horseback riding. Lodging: Tent-cabins with decks (some with electricity) sleep four to eight on cots; shared bathhouse. Tent sites. Food: All-you-can-eat family-style meals in the dining hall; coffee and tea all day. Ice cream social, Sunday candlelight dinners, and an outdoor barbecue by the river. 2010 dates: June 19–July 3, August 15–29. 2010 prices: $101 per night for ages 15 and up, $70 per night for ages 7–14, $54 per night for ages 3–6, ages 2 and under free; discounts apply for Berkeley residents. Contact: 510/981-5140, berkeleycamps.com.

Camp Sacramento, Twin Bridges
The south fork of the American River runs through camp. Catch a fish, and the chef will cook it. Archery, hiking, rock climbing, geocaching, bingo, arts and crafts, campfires, barbecues, dances, volleyball, softball. Lodging: 61 private cabins with electricity sleep two to six on double beds; shared bathhouse. Food: Three cafeteria-style meals daily. 2010 dates: June 20–August 14. 2010 prices: Weeklong stays $512 for ages 16 and up, $380 for ages 11–15, $279 for ages 6–10, $148 for ages 3–5, ages 2 and under free; discounts apply for residents of Sacramento, Calif. Contact 916/808-6098, cityofsacramento.org/parksandrecreation/campsac.

EmandalA Farm on a River, Willits
A working farm since 1908 on 1,000 acres. On the banks of the Eel River near the base of Sanhedrin Mountain, cornering Mendocino National Forest, redwoods, and wine country. Farm chores include milking cows, gathering eggs, harvesting vegetables, and picking raspberries. Families explore at their own pace, spending an afternoon hiking over wooded slopes, discovering swimming holes, or simply swinging in the hammocks under the fir, madrone, and oak trees. Lodging: Wood cabins sleep up to eight with queen beds or bunks; cold running springwater, electricity, and ceiling fans; shared bathhouse. Two farmhouse rooms sleep two; private baths. Linens provided. Food: Three family-style meals daily. Bread and pizza baked in brick oven. Organic produce from on-site garden; grass-fed beef and free-range chickens and pigs are raised on the farm. 2010 dates: June 23–27, July 13–August 21, September 2–6, 17–19. 2010 prices: Six-night stays in multiple occupancy cabins $730 for ages 18 and up, $510 for ages 12–17, $398 for ages 7–11, $280 for ages 4–6, $185 for ages 2–3, ages 1 and under free; add an additional 10 percent for farmhouse accommodations. Contact: 707/459-5439, emandal.com.

Family Camp on the Bar 717 Ranch, Hayfork
A working ranch on 450 acres in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Overnights on horseback to the ranch's original homestead. Swimming in Hayfork Creek. Collect eggs, milk a cow, or feed rabbits, goats, and pigs in the barn. Square dancing, ropes course, gardening, archery, music, drama, nature study, cooking, baking. Silk-screening, arts and crafts, blacksmithing, ceramics, woodshop. Parental perk: a trail ride ending with a picnic of cheese and local wine. ACA accredited. Lodging: Three-sided wood cabins, without electricity and open on one side, sleep six to 15; sink, toilet, and shared shower house. Motel-style guestrooms sleep two to six; some with private baths. Tent sites. Food: Three family-style meals daily highlight the ranch's own beef, pork, and vegetables. 2010 dates: August 8–15. 2010 prices: $880 for ages 18 and up, $630 for ages 12–17, $505 for ages 6–11, $380 for ages 2–5, ages 1 and under free. Contact: 530/628-5992, bar717.com.

Forest Home at Mill Creek Canyon, Forest Falls
Nondenominational Christian camp in the San Bernardino Mountains. Waterslide, zip line, miniature golf, climbing wall, trout pond, game room, crafts cabin, hiking, music. Volleyball, basketball, field sports. Free evening child care for kids under 11. ACA accredited. Lodging: Motel-style rooms with bunk beds; shared bath. Motel-style rooms; private baths; linens. Cabins with built-in queen-size beds and bunks; private baths; linens. Food: Three meals daily. Tuesday and Friday adults-only dinner with table service; past menus have featured steak and king crab. 2010 dates: June 20–August 21. 2010 prices: Full week in economy accommodations $539 for ages 18 and up, $343 for ages 9–17, $222 for ages 3–8, $99 for ages 2 and under; adult prices for upgraded lodging are $714 for a standard room, $882 for a deluxe room, $944 in the Grace House. Contact: 909/389-2300, foresthome.org.

Lair of the Golden Bear, Pinecrest
Affiliated with the University of California at Berkeley's alumni association. Three camps in Stanislaus National Forest in the Sierra Nevada range, under cedars, redwoods, and pines. Arts and crafts: pottery, lanyard making, T-shirt painting, tie-dyeing. Three pools, 18-hole golf course nearby (30 minutes), outdoor theater by the lake, fishing, weekly speakers, hikes for all abilities. Ping-pong and Trivial Pursuit contests. Lodging: Canvas-roofed wood cabins with electricity sleep two to eight; shared bathhouse. Rooms in the motel-style building sleep two; shared bath. Food: Three family-style meals daily in the dining hall; coffee throughout the day in the adults' Vista Lodge; burger shack open nightly. 2010 dates: June 11–August 28. 2010 prices: Weeklong family camp $715 for ages 18 and up, $615 for ages 13–17, $465 for ages 5–12, $315 for ages 2–4, ages 1 and under free; different rates apply for miniweek and weekend programs. To attend, one adult must join the Cal Alumni Association, but isn't required to have ever been enrolled at a Cal university. Contact: 888/225-2586, alumni.berkeley.edu/lair.

Montecito Sequoia Lodge, Kings Canyon National Park
At an elevation of 7,500 feet, between Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks. A cross between a country inn (wood-burning stoves) and a summer camp (powwow sing-along every morning). Tennis, archery, riflery, swimming pool, horseback riding, guided hikes to waterfalls. Canoeing, sailing, water-skiing, wakeboarding, and paddleboating on Lake Homavalo. Rock-climbing wall, gymnastics, biking, casino and open-mike nights. Workshops led by artists. ACA accredited. Lodging: Thirty-six hotel-style lodge rooms sleep two to eight; private baths. Fourteen wood cabins with electricity sleep four to eight on queen-size beds and bunks; shared bathhouse. Linens provided. Food: Three buffets daily; full bar nightly; 24-hour hospitality bar stocked with free coffee, juice, fresh fruit, soups, desserts, and snacks. Trail lunches provided for hikers 2010 dates: June 13–August 28. 2010 prices: Rates change based on type of accommodations and number of people booking; sample weeklong rates: $1,995 for two people in a cabin, $2,395 for two people in a standard room, $2,995 for two people in a family room. Contact: 800/227-9900, mslodge.com.

Mount Hermon Christian Camps, Mount Hermon
Evangelical and interdenominational Christian camp in the redwoods, just six miles from the coast. Open since 1906, with room for 600. Special programs for high schoolers, college students with their parents, and single-parent families. Ride the railroad down the canyon to the Santa Cruz boardwalk, boat on Zayante Creek, take a redwoods canopy tour 100 feet above the canyon. Ropes course, climbing wall, archery, mountain biking, hiking, team sports. Child care available. Lodging: Master deluxe, deluxe, standard, and economy lodge rooms sleep two to eight; private baths; housekeeping and towel change. Food: Family-style dining hall. Barbecues, outdoor pancake breakfasts. 2010 dates: June 13–August 14, September 3–6. 2010 prices: Lodging for six nights ranges from $492 for economy accommodations to $1,338 for master deluxe; meals and programs are $311 for ages 21 and up, $250 for ages 13–20, $227 for ages 4–12, $144 for ages 3 and under. Contact: 888/642-2677, mounthermon.org.

Oakland Feather River Camp, Quincy
Twenty acres in the Plumas National Forest. Family dances, papermaking, gourd decorating, nighttime flashlight tag. Supervised kids' activities. Theme weeks focus on storytelling, guitar, folk dancing, earth/ecology, and adult art program. Lodging: Tent cabins and wood cabins (some of both with electricity); shared bathhouse. Food: Three family-style meals daily in the dining hall. Ice cream cones at the camp store for $1. 2010 dates: June 23–27, June 27–July 5, July 7–11, 11–18, 18–25, August 10–15. 2010 prices: $65 per night for ages 18 and up, $60 per night for ages 13–17, $55 per night for ages 6–12, $40 per night for ages 2–5, ages 1 and under free; discounts apply for Oakland, Calif., residents. Contact: 510/336-2267, featherrivercamp.com.

Wonder Valley Family Camp, Sanger
On a private lake in the foothills of Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks. Skateboard park, go-kart track, minibike dirt track, waterslides, petting zoo, outdoor stage, horseback riding, high and low ropes courses, water-skiing, personal watercraft, hiking trails. Swimming, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and sailing on Dalton Pond. Tennis, volleyball, basketball, field sports, horseshoes, archery, paintball, riflery. Thursday is parents' night, with child care until 11:30 p.m., a prime rib dinner, casino tables, and live entertainment. Full-service day care center. ACA accredited. Lodging: 53 motel-style rooms sleep four to eight on doubles, kings, and bunks; private baths; linens provided. Food: Three buffets daily in the lakeside dining hall. 2010 dates: August 8–14, 15–21. 2010 prices: $1,499 for ages 18 and up, $1,389 for ages 13–17, $1,289 for ages 7–12, $999 for ages 3–6, $389 for ages 2 and under. Contact: 800/821-2801, wondervalleyfamilycamp.com.

COLORADO
Cheley Colorado Camps, Estes Park
On 1,600 acres of wilderness in the Rockies, 8,200 feet in elevation. Learn Western-style horseback riding with half-day and full-day rides through Rocky Mountain National Park and Roosevelt National Forest. Stream fishing, technical climbing, contests like the Dirty Derby—at week's end, the dirtiest camper wins a prize. Movie making, campfire nights, rock climbing, hiking, trout fishing, skit nights, talent show, archery, riflery. ACA accredited. Lodging: Covered wagons with four single beds; shared bathhouse; linens provided. Food: Three family-style meals daily in the dining hall; snacks throughout the day. Trail lunch provided. 2010 dates: August 10–15. 2010 prices: $750 for ages 9 and up, $450 for ages 8 and under. Contact: 800/226-7386, cheley.com.

Estes Park Center, Estes Park
On 860 acres, surrounded by 14,000-foot-tall Rocky Mountain peaks. Elk, mule deer, moose, coyotes, and the occasional black bear. Emphasis on the environment: Watch beavers build dams, or learn about the life span of a fish after a hike to the stream. ACA accredited. Lodging: Cabins (214) with two to four bedrooms and fully equipped kitchen; private baths; housekeeping. Seven lodges with 600 hotel-style rooms, all with two queen beds, some with extra bunk beds; private baths. Linens provided. Food: Three buffets daily. Pay by the meal; American plan (three meals daily) $29 adults, $19 kids. Café open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. (closes at 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays). 2010 dates: Open year-round, no minimum stay. 2010 prices: Hotel rooms from $79 per night; cabins from $99 per night. Contact: 800/777-9622, ymcarockies.org.

Snow Mountain Ranch, Winter Park Secluded amid thick lodgepole pines on 5,000 acres. Hayrides, indoor swimming, campfire night, reservoir for canoeing. Senior staff teach fly-fishing on summer afternoons. ACA accredited. Lodging: Hotel-style lodge rooms (173) with queen beds; private baths; linens provided. Cabins (52) with two to five bedrooms and fully equipped kitchen; private baths; linens provided. Campsites with or without hookups. Food: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffets. Two plans: à la carte, or American plan (three meals daily) $29 adults, $19 kids. Breakfast is included with lodge rooms, but not with cabins. Buckboard Grill serves snacks from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. 2010 dates: Open year-round, no minimum stay. 2010 prices: Campsites from $25 per night; hotel-style lodge rooms from $79 per night; cabins from $139 per night. Contact: 800-777-9622, ymcarockies.org.

CONNECTICUT
Club Getaway, Kent
On 300 acres in the foothills of the Berkshires. Water-skiing, water trampoline, sailing, kayaking, canoeing, banana-boat rides. Fitness program, wine tasting, cooking classes, driving range, trapeze, mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing. Movie-viewing room. Lodging: Wood cabins with A/C sleep two to four; private baths; towels and linens provided (housekeepers clean rooms and change linens). Food: Breakfast and lunch buffets; restaurant-style dinner (with wine); full bar. 2010 dates: August 23–September 3. 2010 prices: Family Midweek (Mon.–Fri.) $469 for adults, $329 for children; Family Weekend $299 for adults, $199 for children; Family Miniweek (Mon.–Wed. or Wed.–Fri.) $279 for adults, $179 for children; ages 4 and under free. Contact: 877/746-7529, clubgetaway.com.

INDIANA
Flat Rock River YMCA Camp, St. Paul
On 240 acres along the Flat Rock River. Climbing on a 50-foot Alpine tower, rappelling in a limestone quarry, fishing in the pond. Guided hikes, hayrides, waterslide, tie-dyeing, archery, BB-gun range, s'mores around the campfire. ACA accredited. Lodging: Wood cabins with electricity sleep 24 on bunks; shared bath. Yurts with electricity sleep 12 on bunks; shared bathhouse. Food: Three buffets daily in the dining hall; snacks throughout the day. 2010 dates: May 29–31, September 4–6, September 10–12 (Adoptive Family Camp). 2010 prices: $112 for ages 18 and up, $99 for ages 7–17, ages 6 and under free. Contact: 888/828-9622, flatrockymca.org.

MAINE
Ferry Beach Camp and Conference Center, Saco
Opened in 1901. Affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association, with activities focused on spirituality. Daily worship in outdoor chapel, friendship circle on beach for prayer and meditation, folk singing. Learn to play an instrument, weaving, quilting. Workshops on eco-smart living, creative writing, dancing, drumming, photography, fiber arts (like knitting). Daily service at on-site chapel. Lodging: Dorm-style rooms sleep two to six on doubles, twin beds, and bunks; bathrooms in corridor. Tent and RV sites. Food: Breakfast and lunch buffets, family-style dinners. Meal plans optional for tent/RV campers. 2010 dates: July 10–September 3. 2010 prices: Weeklong program in dorm-style rooms from $716 for ages 18 and up, from $585 for ages 13–17, from $496 for ages 9–12, from $432 for ages 4–8, ages 3 and under free; varied prices for tent and RV sites. Contact: 207/282-4489, ferrybeach.org.

Medomak Family Camp, Washington
A secular camp on three-mile-long Washington Pond, open since 1904. Surrounded by pine forests and blueberry fields. Yoga, photography, jewelry- and mask-making, knitter's retreat, women's wellness workshop, classes on ecology and conservation. Lessons in rowing, sailing, kayaking, canoeing. Swimming, archery, gymnastics, nature hikes, tennis. Massage therapist on staff (extra charges apply). ACA accredited. Lodging: Single-room pine cabins with electricity sleep four to six on queen and twin beds; private baths. Food: Three family-style meals daily with fresh produce from the camp garden; coffee and fruit all day. Weekly lobster dinners. Once a week, parents can sample local beers and cheese while counselors watch the kids. 2010 dates: June 20–August 21. 2010 prices: Vary throughout the season. Early-season prices for weeklong camp are $845 for ages 13 and up, $695 for ages 5–12, $595 for ages 2–4. Contact: 866/633-6625, medomakcamp.com.

MINNESOTA
Camp Lincoln and Camp Lake Hubert, Lake Hubert
Waterfront sister-brother camps (Camp Lincoln for Boys and Camp Lake Hubert for Girls) that have been welcoming campers for more than a century. The camp has a 15-foot-high tree house and is dotted with rope swings and netting for climbing. Campfires with card and board games, puzzles, and snacks. Families take pontoon boats to a picnic lunch area. ACA accredited. Lodging: Families share two-level cabins with three bedrooms and a fireplace; private baths; linens provided. Food: Family-style meals; coffee and fruit available all day. Special barbecues and picnics. 2010 dates: August 12–18. 2010 prices: $895 for ages 13 and up, $695 for ages 4–12, ages 3 and under free. Contact: 800/242-1909, lincoln-lakehubert.com.

Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, Finland
Overlooking Lake Superior on the campus of Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, with 18 miles of trails on 2,000 wooded acres. Naturalist-led walks into the wilderness. Voyageur activities, where kids learn about the fur trade from a costumed staffer. Emphasis on environmental education with classes and activities on animal signs, birding, and more. Ojibwa heritage activities, adventure ropes, orienteering, kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, astronomy, folk dancing, block printing. Lodging: Dorm-style rooms with three to four bunk beds; private baths and showers. Food: Three cafeteria-style meals daily in the dining hall. 2010 dates: July 25–30, August 8–13. 2010 prices: $635 for two people, $895 for three people, $215 for each additional person, $120 for ages 3–4, ages 2 and under free. Contact: 218/353-7414, wolf-ridge.org.

MISSOURI
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. Scale the 50-foot Alpine Tower and the Pine's Peak climbing wall, and tackle the summit course with ropes, cables, pulleys, and a zip line. Nine-hole golf course five minutes away, antiques shops and wineries nearby. Astronomy program, geocaching, rocketry. ACA accredited. Lodging: Lake-view lodge rooms sleep four on queen beds; private baths. Lake-view loft suites sleep six, with common room and fridge; private baths. Deluxe two-bedroom cabins sleep 10; two private baths. Linens provided. Food: Three buffets daily in the dining hall. 2010 dates: May 28–August 14. 2010 prices: $149 per night base rate for a guest room including one adult, $69 for each additional person ages 18 and up, $49 for ages 6–17, ages 5 and under free; $169 base rate for loft rooms; $299 base rate for family cabins. Contact: 314/241-9622, ymcaoftheozarks.org.

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Camp Takodah, Richmond
Open since 1921, on 500 wooded acres on Cass Pond. Sailboards, kayaks, inner tubes, diving boards, and a slide on the pond. Flag-raising ceremony daily. Hiking up Mount Monadnock, ropes course, riflery, archery, golf tournament, rock climbing, campers vs. staff softball game. Pottery, talent show, arts and crafts, storytelling, and a music nook with instruments. Families can make impromptu dining hall announcements and gather groups for unplanned activities like Frisbee golf and hunting for frogs. ACA accredited. Lodging: Wood cabins, with electricity sleep nine to 10 on built-in bunks and cots; shared bathhouse. Food: Three family-style meals daily in the dining hall; snacks provided throughout the day. 2010 dates: August 22–28. 2010 prices: $420 for ages 18 and up, $315 for ages 11–17, $165 for ages 5–10, ages 4 and under free. Contact: 603/352-0447, camptakodah.org.

Highland Center at Crawford Notch, Bretton Woods
At an elevation of 1,900 feet, next to White Mountain National Forest. Owned and operated by the Appalachian Mountain Club. Guided nature hikes to Ammonoosuc Lake and Mount Willard. Kayaking, canoeing, and paddling on Saco Lake. Day trips to the Sugarloaf Mountains. Map-and-compass scavenger hunt, live animal show (with woodchucks, owls, and river otters). L.L.Bean gear room where you can borrow trekking poles, boots, hats, and other equipment. Lodging: Lodge rooms sleep two to six on bunks; shared bath. Private rooms sleep two to four; private baths. Food: Buffet breakfast, trail lunch or salad/sandwich bar, and family-style dinner daily. Cookouts. 2010 dates: July 11–16, 18–23, 25–30, August 1–6, 8–13, 15–20, 22–27. 2010 prices: From $705 for adults, from $350 for children; discounts apply for Appalachian Mountain Club members. Contact: 603/278-4453, outdoors.org/adventure_camps.

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, stream study). Night programs include stories from the stars and White Mountain weather. Lodging: Lodge rooms sleep two to eight on doubles and bunks; shared bath. Food: Buffet breakfast and family-style lunch and dinner daily, except buffet dinner on Fridays. Trail lunches available. 2010 dates: July 18–23, August 1–6, 15–20. 2010 prices: From $604 for adults, from $377 for children; discounts apply for Appalachian Mountain Club members. Contact: 603/466-2721, outdoors.org/adventure_camps.

YMCA Sandy Island Family Camp, Laconia
A 66-acre private island with a 400-foot waterfront area on Lake Winnipesaukee. Sailing, tennis, kayaking, tubing, water-skiing, yoga. Talent show, bingo, karaoke, line dancing, storytelling in the Little Red Schoolhouse. Crafts programs such as beading, photography, and ceramics. Shopping cruise to antiques stores. Lodging: Mostly waterfront cabins that sleep up to 10 on twin-size beds and bunks; modern bathhouse (a few cabins have private baths); linens provided. Food: Three family-style meals daily. Sunday brunch and themed dinners such as Italian night. 2010 dates: July 3–September 6. 2010 prices: $700 for ages 13–61, $645 for ages 62 and up, $555 for ages 9–12, $450 for ages 6–8, $345 for ages 3–5, ages 2 and under free. Contact: 888/250-5877, bostonycamps.org/sandyisland.

NEW YORK
Frost Valley YMCA Camp, Claryville
On 6,000 acres in the Catskill Mountain Preserve. Miles of trout-fishing streams and a 16-acre lake. Guided day and night hikes. Carnival with dunking booth, apple bobbing, face painting, water-balloon games, sack races, and petting zoo. Evening rodeo, classes on maple sugaring, Japanese culture sharing, family talent show. Animation workshop, triathlon, live music, rowing on Lake Cole. Families participate in the camp-run World Service Auction to benefit the needy. ACA accredited. Lodging: Platform tents sleep four on bunks; shared bathhouse. Wood cabins sleep 10 to 12 on bunks; private baths. Dorms (some with working fireplaces) sleep four to 18 on bunks; shared bath. Fly-fishing cottage, hotel-style rooms, bunk rooms, and lodge rooms also available. Food: Three buffets daily. Occasional theme dinners such as luau and Texas barbecue. 2010 dates: August 22–27. 2010 prices: Participant fee, including meals and most programs, of $101 per person for two nights, or $137 per person for three nights, for ages 6 and up; lodging rates vary widely, starting from $32 for two nights in a platform tent, or $48 for three nights. Contact: 845/985-2291, frostvalley.org.

NORTH CAROLINA
Green River Preserve, Cedar Mountain
A private wildlife preserve on 3,400 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains, with a focus on nature immersion. Naturalist-led walks through the preserve, wildlife tracking, hikes to petroglyphs. Fly-fishing in trout stream, storytelling nights, photography, painting, crafts, Native American flute lessons. ACA accredited. Lodging: Cabins with electricity sleep 16 on bunks; toilet, sink, and shared bathhouse. Lodge rooms sleep two to four; shared bathroom. Food: Three family-style meals daily in the dining hall. Most vegetables locally grown. 2010 dates: September 3–6. 2010 prices: $290 for ages 13 and up, $235 for ages 6–12, $135 for ages 5 and under. Contact: 828/698-8828, greenriverpreserve.org.

OHIO
Camp Luther, Conneaut
Lutheran camp on the Lake Erie bluffs. Daily team sports: baseball, basketball, softball, cricket, flag football. Swimming pool and sauna. Hiking along the bluffs, low-ropes team-building course, bird-watching, horseshoes. Two musicals performed by staff in outdoor amphitheater. Adult Bible study, group singing, outdoor evening worship, staff members perform dressed as religious figures. Non-Lutherans welcome. ACA accredited. Lodging: Modern cabins with electricity sleep 12 on double beds and bunks; sink, toilet, and shared bathhouse. Tent/RV sites with hookups. Food: Three family-style meals daily; rotating assigned seating. One picnic breakfast, two picnic dinners. 2010 dates: June 20–August 14. 2010 prices: $365 for adults, $355 for teens who have completed grades 7–11, $345 for kids who have completed grades K–6, $245 for ages 3–5, $120 for ages 2 and under; extra fees apply for those who choose paper registration over online registration. Contact: 440/224-2196, lomocamps.org.

PENNSYLVANIA
Deer Valley YMCA Camp, Fort Hill
On 742 acres in the Laurel Highlands. Kid- and adult-only programs in the mornings, family time in the afternoons. Sailing regattas on a 125-acre lake, white-water rafting in Ohiopyle State Park (done on your own time), biking across covered bridges, hikes up Mount Davis, rock climbing, horseback riding, bouldering, canoeing, windsurfing, pontoon boat rides, swimming. Staff variety show, international night (foreign-born counselors share their cultures). ACA accredited. Lodging: Wood cabins with electricity sleep eight on bunks and queen beds; private half-bath; shared shower house. Dorm-style bedrooms with bunk beds in the lodge; private baths. Food: Three family-style meals daily with table service in a new dining hall; snack bar open throughout the day for ice cream, pizza, etc. Chuckwagon barbecue on Fridays. 2010 dates: June 12–August 28. 2010 prices: Weeklong stay $535 for ages 18 and up, $452 for ages 14–17, $367 for ages 12–13, $308 for ages 7–11, $265 for ages 3–6, ages 2 and under free; additional charges for log cabins or cottages. Contact: 800/962-2386, deervalleyymca.org.

NJY Jewish Family Camps, Milford
On 1,250 acres in the lower Poconos, with two lakes, a lagoon, two swimming pools, and athletic fields. "Iceberg" climbing tower, zip line, Jet Skis, sailboards. Skateboard park, roller-hockey rink. Israeli cooking and dance classes. Optional Jewish services on Friday evening. Sailing, ropes course, field sports, tennis, archery, square dancing. Lakes have inflatable "icebergs," water trampoline, canoeing, sailing, and personal watercraft. Build a model flying saucer and launch it. Cooking classes, color war, yoga, aerobics, poker tournament, mah-jongg. Most campers are Jewish, though the camp welcomes all. ACA accredited. Lodging: Wood cabins with electricity and porches sleep up to 15 on beds and bunks; private baths; bed linens provided. Food: Three cafeteria-style meals per day (vegetarian options); snacks throughout the day. Friday Shabbat dinner and service. All food is kosher prepared in accordance with kosher laws. 2010 dates: Midweek August 23–September 3; weekends June 18–20, August 27–29, September 3–6. 2010 prices: Four-night midweek $300 for ages 18 and up; weekend from $250 for ages 18 and up; ages 17 and under free. Contact: September–May: 973/575-3333 ext. 130; June–August: 570/296-8596 ext. 127; njycamps.org.

TEXAS
Pine Cove Christian Camps, The Bluffs and the Woods, Tyler; Crier Creek, Columbus
Nondenominational Christian camp at three separate locations: the Bluffs, a 175-foot bank overlooking Lake Palestine; the Woods, on 800 pine-studded acres with an 18-mile-long lake; and Crier Creek, a former deer preserve on 700 acres near Columbus. Beach volleyball, zip lines, street hockey, archery, WaveRunners, horseback riding, paintball, skeet shooting, hayrides, optional golf excursions. Daily worship, Bible study, Christian speakers. ACA accredited. Lodging: Wood cabins, lodge rooms, and hotel-style rooms with A/C sleep four to eight; private baths. Food: Three family-style meals daily at the lodge; snacks nightly. Breakfast trail rides; adults-only banquet. 2010 dates: May 30–August 14. 2010 prices: Sample prices for a full week with two adults and two children ages 7 and 10: $2,634 for the Woods, $2,696 for the Bluffs, $2,696 for Crier Creek. Contact: 877/474-6326, pinecove.com.

VERMONT
Camp Common Ground, Starksboro
On 700 acres in the Hogback Mountains, about 23 miles south of Burlington. Encourages income diversity, nontraditional families. Chamber music instruction, glass-bead making, healing arts, children's theatrical performance. Swimming holes. Classes on nonviolent communication, photography, and paper arts, including pastels and watercolors. Lodging: Wood cabins without electricity sleep two to six on twins, doubles, queens, kings, and bunks; shared bathhouse. Tent sites with platforms. Food: Three buffets daily in the dining hall; snacks throughout the day. Most food is organic and locally grown. 2010 dates: July 31–August 20. 2010 prices: A sliding scale of $530–$780 for ages 18 and up (pay what you are able), $450 for ages 13–17, $390 for ages 3–12, $115 for ages 1–2, $35 for ages younger than 1. Contact: 800/430-2667, cgcvt.org.

Farm & Wilderness Camp, Plymouth
A Quaker-inspired organic farm on the Woodward Reservoir in the Green Mountains. Sign up for daily chores in the barn. Harvest fruits and vegetables from the garden, collect eggs, press cider from apples in the orchard, make ice cream with fresh milk, bake bread, and tend to cows, pigs, goats, and sheep. Canoeing, woodworking, rock climbing. ACA accredited. Lodging: Three-sided rustic cabins with no electricity sleep up to 12 on bunks; shared shower house, composting toilets, and hand-washing stations. Food: Three family-style meals daily in the dining hall incorporating garden produce and home-baked breads. 2010 dates: August 22–28. 2010 prices: $295–$415 for ages 16 and up, $145–$215 for ages 5–15, ages 4 and under free. Contact: 802/422-3761, farmandwilderness.org.

WASHINGTON
Camp Burton, Vashon Island
Thirteen miles long and eight miles wide, Vashon Island is a 15-minute ferry ride from Seattle, Tacoma, and the Kitsap Peninsula. Affiliated with the Washington Baptist Convention. Bible study by the seashore, storytelling, canoeing, kayaking, ping-pong, basketball, crafts, kickball, campfire singing, swimming. Day trip to Point Robinson Lighthouse on Maury Island. ACA accredited. Lodging: Carpeted wood cabins sleep up to 10 on twin and bunk beds; private baths. Food: Three family-style meals daily in the dining hall. 2010 dates: August 8–14. 2010 prices: $280 for ages 18 and up, $200 for ages 12–17, $155 for ages 7–11, $115 for ages 4–6, ages 3 and under free. Contact: 206/463-2512, campburton.com.

WEST VIRGINIA
Camp Alleghany, Lewisburg
On 180 acres on the Greenbrier River in the Allegheny Mountains, surrounded by birch, maple, and elm trees. Accessible by camp ferry or rowboat. Spot black bears and deer. Hiking, archery, riflery, arts and crafts, canoeing, scavenger hunt, skit night, tennis. Golf nearby. ACA accredited. Lodging: Tents with hardwood floors and beds; shared bathhouse. Food: Three buffets daily in the dining hall. Barbecue cookouts under the apple tree. 2010 dates: August 8–15. 2010 prices: $60 per night for ages 13 and up; $30 per night for ages 3–12, ages 2 and under free; three-night minimum stay required. Contact: 540/898-4782, campalleghany.com.

WISCONSIN
YMCA Camp Nawakwa, Lac du Flambeau
Wedged between two lakes on a Chippewa reservation. Fishing, square dancing, triathlon, Native American workshops in town, team sports, talent show, water carnival. Ice cream social and weekly potluck dinner. Lodging: Modern 800-square-foot two-bedroom homes with a kitchen and screened porch sleep four to eight; private baths. Rustic cabins sleep four to six on bunks and a twin futon, with electricity, running water, and kitchen; some with shared bathhouse, some with private baths. Tent sites. Food: No food service except one boat-and-breakfast outing. Cookware is provided in cabin kitchens; camp store sells some basic grocery items. A store is five miles away. 2010 dates: May 29–September 6. 2010 prices: Cabins with shared bathhouse start at $550 per week; cabins with private baths start at $860 per week; modern cabins start at $1,030 per week; 20 percent discount applies for early season. Contact: 715/588-7422, nawakwa.com.

WYOMING
Yellowstone for Families at Mammoth Hot Springs
Four-day program at the national park's 162-degree Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces, under the guidance of instructors from the Yellowstone Association Institute. Kids work to receive the National Park Service Junior Ranger patch. Hike to a beaver pond, go on wildlife-spotting expeditions to less-trafficked areas of the park, and learn to tell whether animals are herbivores or carnivores from the shape of their tracks. Lodging: Rooms in the 1930s Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel sleep two to four. Duplex cabins with porches sleep up to four , a short walk from the Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces. Food: Full breakfast and a brown-bag lunch daily. Campers are on their own for dinner; eat bison burgers at the hotel or drive to nearby Gardiner, Mont., for pizza. 2010 dates: June 7–August 20. 2010 prices: $649 for double occupancy, $875 for single occupancy, $389 for each child, plus tax; recommended only for children ages 8–12. Contact: 866/439-7375, yellowstoneassociation.org/institute.