50 All-Star Family Camps: The 2005 List

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It only takes a week to make memories that'll last a lifetime

What you'll find in this story: family travel, family camps, summer family adventures, favorite family trips, family outdoors activities, travel with children

Family summer camps are the best way to experience the great outdoors without having to worry that your kids will fall off a cliff or get fatally bored. There's fly-fishing, horseback riding, campfire singing, and a million other crowd-pleasing activities. And camps are a super value, with some costing less than $1,000 per family of four for an entire week, and none costing more than $1,000 per adult per week. Why waste a ton of money when what's important is that you're all together--at a place where you can also safely spend time apart!

How to read these listings

Minimum stay is usually a week (six days and five or six nights). We've included the opening and closing dates for each camp's summer season. Many offer family programs during the rest of the year.

Unless noted, fees are for a weeklong stay and cover activities, meals, and the least expensive non-tent-camping accommodations. (You'll probably need to bring sleeping bags and towels, and you'll want to ask if there's a camp store.) Prices may vary depending on the number and age of children. These rates are based on a family of four with two adults and two kids ages 7 and 13. Financial aid, sometimes referred to as a "campership," is often available.

The American Camping Association has more than 300 health and safety standards, which go beyond the minimum federal and state regulations. ACA-accredited camps are also usually handicapped-accessible.

California

Berkeley Tuolumne Family Camp, Stanislaus National Forest On the south fork of the Tuolumne River in Stanislaus National Forest. Watercolor and pottery workshops for adults; stilt-walking and magic classes for kids. Themed staff performance on Saturday nights. Lodging 76 wood-frame or canvas-covered cabins, all with cots and shared bathhouse; campsites. Food Family-style meals with table service in dining hall. Dates June 25-Aug. 28, no minimum stay, fills quickly. Price $1,614 ($1,542 Berkeley residents). 510/981-5140, berkeleycamps.com.

Camp Concord, South Lake Tahoe Surrounded by the Eldorado National Forest. Eighteen families at a time, age 4 and up. Hike seven minutes to Falling Leaf Lake for canoeing and swimming. Majority of staff are lifeguard-trained. Weekly shuttles to Nevada casinos. Babysitting available. ACA accredited. Lodging Private cabins that sleep six to eight in bunks and queen-size beds. Shared bathhouse. Food Three meals a day, including beach barbecues and bag lunches. Weekly cookouts and champagne breakfast. Dates June 19-Aug. 6, three-night minimum. Price $1,260 ($1,140 Concord residents). 925/671-3273, cityofconcord.org.

Camp Sacramento, Twin Bridges The South Fork American River runs beside the camp. Catch a fish and the chef will cook it. Camper/counselor softball, tie-dyeing, and a weekly staff performance (this year's theme is Pirates of the Caribbean). Lodging 61 private cabins that sleep two to six with double beds, electricity, and shared bathhouse. Food Three cafeteria-style meals daily. Bag lunches available for all-day hikes. Dates June 19-Aug. 13. Price $1,368 ($1,088 Sacramento residents). 916/277-6098, cityofsacramento.org/parksandrecreation/campsac.

Cazadero Performing Arts Camp, Cazadero In Sonoma's Russian River Valley, five miles from the ocean. Emphasis on the arts: salsa dancing, African drumming, jazz ensemble, chamber music, circus arts, drama. For all abilities. Lodging Tent cabins with decks on raised platforms, with two to eight cots; most have electricity. Food Three buffets daily in the dining hall. Dates Aug. 8-21. Price $2,420 (plus $40 registration fee). 510/527-7500, cazadero.org.

Emandal--A Farm on a River, Willits A working farm on 1,000 acres. Bordering Mendocino National Forest, redwoods, and wine country. Milk a cow, gather eggs, harvest vegetables, make bread. Three-and-a-half miles of riverfront. Lodging Wooden cabins with queen bed, bunks, cold running springwater, and electricity. Shared bathhouse. A few farmhouse rooms with private baths. Linens provided. Food Three family-style meals daily. Bread and pizza baked in brick oven. Organic produce from on-site garden. Dates July 24-Aug. 28. Price $2,600. 707/459-5439, emandal.com.

Feather River Camp, Quincy Twenty acres in the Plumas National Forest. Family dances, papermaking, gourd painting, 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). Food Three family-style meals daily in the dining hall. Ice cream cones at the camp store for $1. Dates June 26-Aug. 7, no minimum stay. Price $1,134 ($1,266 nonresidents of Oakland). 510/336-2267, featherrivercamp.com.

Forest Home Ministries, Forest Falls Nondenominational Christian camp in the San Bernardino Mountains. Waterslide, zipline, miniature golf, climbing wall, and music; Saturday baptisms in the lake. Free evening child care for kids under 11. ACA accredited. Lodging Motel-style rooms with bunk beds and shared baths; motel-style rooms with private baths and linens; cabins with built-in queen-size beds and bunks, private baths, and linens. Food Three buffets daily; Tuesday and Friday adults-only dinner with table service; past menus have featured steak and king crab. Dates June 19-Aug. 27. Price $1,290 (new families bring youngest child free). 909/389-2300, foresthome.org.

Lair of the Golden Bear, Pinecrest Three camps in the Sierras, under cedars, redwoods, and pines. Arts and crafts: pottery, lanyards, T-shirt painting, tie-dyeing. Three pools. Ping-Pong and Trivial Pursuit contests, speakers for adults. Lodging Wooden-floor canvas cabins, each sleeping two to six, with electricity. Rooms in the motel-style building sleep two with shared bath. Food Three family-style meals daily. Coffee throughout the day in the adults' Vista Lodge. Dates June 3-Oct. 2, fills quickly. Price $2,045 (plus $50 University of California alumni fee). 510/642-0221, alumni.berkeley.edu/lair.

Lark Camp, Mendocino At Mendocino Woodlands State Park (the sister camp to the Camp David). Lots of music: Celtic fluting, Middle Eastern drumming, Zimbabwean marimba, jazz singing, accordion. Dancing, from square to belly. Lodging Redwood cabins, some with fireplaces; tent and RV camping. Food Three buffet or family-style meals daily, 24-hour coffeehouse. Dates July 29-Aug. 6. Price $1,840, meals extra ($100 off if a parent leads a daily one-hour kids' workshop). 707/964-4826, larkcamp.com.

Montecito Sequoia Family Vacation Camp, Giant Sequoia National Monument In Sequoia National Forest, 7,500 feet up. A cross between a country inn (wood-burning stoves) and a summer camp (powwow sing-along every morning). Workshops led by artists. ACA accredited. Lodging 36 hotel-style lodge rooms and 13 cabins with king-size beds and bunks. Linens provided. Food Buffets with fare like prime rib and crab, wine and beer at the bar, 24-hour Starbucks coffee and snacks. Dates June 20-Sept. 5. Price $3,407. 800/227-9900, mslodge.com.

Mount Hermon Christian Conference Center, Mount Hermon Nondenominational Christian camp in the redwoods, just six miles from the coast. Since 1906. 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. Child care. Lodging From economy to master deluxe lodge rooms and homes. Linens provided. Food Family-style dining hall. Customized meal plans available. Fancier adult dinner on Fridays. Fountain ice cream shop. Dates June 3-Sept. 5 and select weekends. Price $1,302. 888/642-2677, mounthermon.org.

Skylake Yosemite Camp, Wishon In the ponderosas near Yosemite, but the real star is Bass Lake--great for kayaking, waterskiing. Twilight trail rides and nightly campfires. ACA accredited. Lodging 38 bunkhouse cabins that sleep eight with shared bathhouse. Food Three buffets daily in the dining hall. Cooks are from California Culinary Academy. Dates May 27-June 5, Aug. 14-Sept. 29. Price $1,574. 559/642-3720, skylakeyosemite.com.

Wonder Valley Family Camp, Sanger In the foothills of the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, with private lake. Skateboard park, go-cart track, Honda minibike dirt track, waterslides, and personal watercraft. Thursday is parents' night, with child care until 11:30 p.m., prime rib dinner, casino tables, and live entertainment. ACA accredited. Lodging 53 motel-style rooms that sleep four to seven. Linens provided. Food Three buffets daily in the dining room. Dates Aug. 7-20. Price $3,742. 800/821-2801, wondervalleyfamilycamp.com.

Check it out!

There's more to camp than making lanyards. Cool activities you may find (for adults and kids):

-- Stilt-walking
---Go-cart track
- --asino shuttles
- L--nguage immersion
- Sk--teboard park
- Rol--er-hockey rink
- Zipl--ne races
- Beer --astings
- Massag--s ($60/hour)

Colorado

Cheley Colorado Camps, Estes Park On 1,600 acres of wilderness, 7,500 feet up. 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, and contests like the Dirty Derby--at week's end, the dirtiest camper wins a prize. ACA accredited. Lodging Covered wagons with four single beds and shared bathhouse, linens provided. Food Three family-style meals daily; families eat together in the dining hall. Dates Aug. 9-14, fills quickly. Price $2,300. 800/226-7386, cheley.com.

Estes Park Center, Estes Park On 860 acres, surrounded by 14,000-foot 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 206 cabins, with two to four bedrooms, private bath, fully equipped kitchen, and housekeeping. Seven lodges with 451 hotel-style rooms, all with two queen beds, some with extra bunk beds. Linens provided. Food Three buffets daily. Pay by the meal; American plan (three meals daily, $25 adults, $14 kids) or European (breakfast and dinner, $20 adults, $12 kids). Café open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Dates Open year-round, no minimum stay. Price Lodge from $336, meals extra. 970/586-3341, ext. 1010, ymcarockies.org.

Snow Mountain Ranch, Winter Park Secluded amid thick lodgepole pines on 5,200 acres. Hayrides, indoor swimming, campfire night, and reservoir for canoeing. Chaplain teaches fly-fishing on summer afternoons. On-site dialysis center. ACA accredited. Lodging Campsites with or without hookups; 220 hotel-style lodge rooms with queen beds and bath; 62 cabins with fully equipped kitchen, beds, and private bath. Linens provided. Food Breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffets. Three plans: à la carte, American (three meals daily, adults $25, kids $14), European (breakfast and dinner, adults $20, kids $12). The Buckboard Grill serves snacks from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Dates Open year-round, no minimum stay. Price Rooms from $294, meals extra. 970/887-2152, ext. 4110, ymcarockies.org.

Maine

Ferry Beach Camp and Conference Center, Saco Affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association, with activities focused on spirituality. Workshops on eco-smart living, creative writing, dancing, drumming, photography, and fiber arts (weaving, scrapbooking, knitting). Lessons in sea kayaking. Daily service at on-site chapel. Teen programs, like an ongoing home-building service project in a nearby community. Lodging Dorm-style rooms (two to four beds) with bathrooms in corridor. Tent and RV sites. Food Breakfast and lunch buffets, family-style dinners, meal plans optional for tent/RV campers. Cuisine themes include Thai, Mexican, Indian. Dates June 24-Sept. 5, no minimum stay. Price Rooms from $1,900. 207/282-4489, ferrybeach.org.

Medomak Camp for Families, Washington On the three-mile-long Medomak Lake. Yoga, photography, jewelry- and mask-making. Lessons in rowing, sailing, kayaking, canoeing. Massages ($60/hour). Lodging Single-room cabins (sleep six to eight) with private hot showers. Food Family-style with fresh produce from camp garden. Weekly lobster bake with mussels and corn on the cob at an additional $10-$12. Coffee and fruit all day. Once a week, parents can sample local beers and cheese while counselors watch kids. Dates June 26-Aug. 20. Price $2,100. 866/633-6625, medomakcamp.com.

Wyonegonic, Denmark Two miles of piney shoreline with water sports galore: canoeing and sailing; waterskiing and sailboarding for kids over 10. ACA accredited. Lodging Wooden cabins with cots that sleep 6 to 12, no electricity. Linens supplied. Food Family-style breakfast and dinner, buffet lunch, all served at lodge. Weekly cookouts. Dates Aug. 19-28, three-day minimum stay, fills quickly. Price $1,400. 207/452-2051, wyonegonic.com.

Massachusetts

YMCA Camp Hi-Rock, Mount Washington In a thousand-acre Berkshires forest. Swimming, boating, waterskiing on the lake. Hike part of the Appalachian Trail. Evening activities include game-show nights, bingo, campfires, and square dancing. Lodging Cabins sleep eight, with private rooms and bunk beds. Four-season lodge (already booked). Food Optional meal plan ($17.50 daily for adults, $8.50 for kids 7-11) includes three buffets daily. Coffee and fruit throughout the day. Dates Aug. 29-Sept. 5, no minimum stay. Price $1,300. 413/528-1227, ext. 13, camphirock.com.

Michigan

YMCA Camp Pendalouan, Montague More than 150 acres of pine and oak forest near the White River. Rope climbing, skit nights, craft activities, and canoeing on Big Blue Lake. ACA accredited. Lodging Cabins with bunk beds, electricity, and shared bathhouse. Food Three family-style meals daily. Weekly cookouts at Lake Michigan, 10 miles away. Dates July 2-5. Price $625, kids under 5 free. 231/894-4538, pendalouan.org.

YMCA Storer Camps, Jackson Upper midwestern woodland, wetland trails, green meadows, and a 300-acre lake. Supervised waterfront activities such as sailing, canoeing, kayaking. Pie-baking competitions, tile painting, trail rides, nature programs, climbing tower, square dancing, scavenger hunts. ACA accredited. Lodging Wooden cabins with electricity, each with six double bunk beds. Motel-style unit with common rooms and private bath. Food Buffet breakfast and family-style lunch and dinner. Dates June 26-July 2, July 3-9. Price $1,040. 800/536-8607, ymcastorercamps.org.

Minnesota

Concordia Language Villages, Bemidji Five villages on 880 acres around Turtle River Lake. The weeklong family camps offer language immersion and activities that reflect the traditions and celebrations of Finland and Germany. (French, Spanish, and Scandinavian weekend programs also available.) Regional folk dancing, games, songs, and crafts. ACA accredited. Lodging Choose from communal housing reflecting Finnish, German, French, or Spanish traditions. Food Cuisine depends on type of program; served family-style. Dates June 13-18. Price $1,300. 800/222-4750, concordialanguagevillages.org.

Family Camp at Camp Lake Hubert, Lake Hubert Ninety-six years old. The camp has a 17-foot-high tree house and is dotted with rope swings and hammocks. Nightly teen campfires with card and board games, puzzles, and snacks. Families take pontoon boats to picnic lunch. ACA accredited. Lodging Families share two-level cabins with three bedrooms, fireplace, and private bath. Linens provided. Food All meals family-style. Coffee and fruit available all day. Dates Aug. 12-18, fills quickly. Price $2,800. 800/242-1909, lincoln-lakehubert.com.

Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, Finland An accredited school overlooking Lake Superior. Focus on learning and exploring habitats. Experienced naturalists lead walks into the wilderness and hold workshops and classes on ecology, rock climbing, astronomy, folk dancing, block printing, and voyageur activities (where kids learn about the fur trade from a costumed staffer). Lodging Dorm-style rooms with two to four bunk beds. Food Three cafeteria-style meals daily in dining hall. Dates Open year-round at select time periods; Aug. 1-6. Price $1,050. 218/353-7414, wolf-ridge.org.

YMCA Camp du Nord, Ely With red pines and rocky shores along inland lakes, it's near one of North America's last timber wolf habitats. Also spot bald eagles,  hawks, loons, and moose. Concentrate on spiritual development and growth. Activities include naturalist presentations, talent nights, sing-alongs, and overnight camping trips. ACA accredited. Lodging Cabins sleep 4 to 14, some have kitchens and private baths; tent sites. Food Buffet breakfast and family-style lunch and dinner in the dining hall. Four meal plans available (from $50). Dates June 18-Sept. 3. Price $1,175. 612/465-0490, dunord.org.

Missouri

Trout Lodge, Potosi On 5,000 wooded acres overlooking a 360-acre lake. Pony-  and hayrides, family-oriented movie nights. Scale the 50-foot Alpine Tower and  the Pines Peak climbing wall, and tackle the summit course with ropes, cables, pulleys, and zipline. Eighteen-hole golf course adjacent, with antiques shops and wineries nearby. ACA accredited. Lodging Hotel-style lodge rooms with queen-size beds, private bath, and lake view; loft suites on top floor. Deluxe two-bedroom, two-bathroom cabins--with heat and A/C--sleep up to 10. Linens provided. Food Three buffets daily. Dates Year-round, two-night minimum on the weekends. Price Lodge room $1,752 (not including $7 temporary YMCA membership fee). 314/241-9622, ymcaoftheozarks.org.

New Hampshire

Alton Bay Christian Conference Center, Alton Bay Celebrating 142 years on Lake Winnipesaukee. The tabernacle hosts Christian concerts Saturdays, with two Sunday services in the chapel. Private beach, Bible school, and inspirational speakers. Lodging 14-unit motel, sleeps up to four per room; 8-room lodging house; 30-unit RV park with tent sites and hookup; and 170 cottages, some over 100 years old. Food Full-service restaurant serves three à la carte meals daily. Dates July 1-Sept. 5, no minimum stay. Price $275, meals extra. 603/875-6161, abccc.org.

Calumet Lutheran Camp and Conference Center, West Ossipee At the base of the White Mountains, with daily Bible study, a nature learning center, and a lakefront beach for swimming and evening singing and prayer. Game nights (sometimes on a six-by-six-foot Scrabble board) and weekly scavenger hunts. ACA accredited. Lodging Conference center sleeps 34 in motel-style rooms, with bathroom down the hall (linens provided); 65 RV sites, most with hookups. Food Pay by the meal. Buffet breakfast and dinner in conference center dining room. Lunch is grilled daily out on the beach. All-you-can-eat ice cream social every Friday night. Dates July 2-Sept. 5, no minimum stay. Price $912, meals extra. 603/539-3223, ext. 220, calumet.org.

Camp Takodah, Richmond Generations of families have returned annually since 1921. Diving tower and slide on Cass Pond. Sailboards, kayaks, and inner tubes. Flag-raising ceremony daily. Activities run by staff and families. Ropes course with 30-foot "pamper" pole, dress-up time, riflery, Frisbee golf, and music nook. Mealtime songs. ACA accredited. Lodging Wooden cabins sleeping up to 10 on built-in bunks and cots, with electric lighting and shared bathhouse. Food Three family-style meals daily in the dining hall. Snacks provided throughout the day. Dates Aug. 28-Sept. 2, three-day minimum stay. Price $1,720. 603/352-0447 (Sept.-June), 603/239-4781 (summer), camptakodah.org.

Purity Spring Resort Family Camp, East Madison On 1,000 acres in the White Mountains. Waterskiing and wakeboarding on mile-long Purity Lake. Sports, fitness programs, canoe trips, kids' talent shows, and scavenger hunts. Lodging Wooden cabins sleep up to eight on twin-size cots, with private toilet and cold-water sink. Shared shower house. Linens provided. Food Three buffets daily. Lobster and steak cookout once a week. Dates Aug. 14-20, two-night minimum stay. Price Cabin $1,362. 800/373-3754, purityspring.com.

Star Island, Portsmouth A 40-acre island accessible by ferry from Portsmouth ($23.50). Affiliated with Unitarian Universalist Association and United Church of Christ, with candlelit evening chapel services, nature walks, and weekly camper/counselor softball. Lodging Four-story whitewashed hotel, two floors of guest housing; several detached cottages; motel-style units. Linens provided. Food Full-service, family-style breakfast, lunch, and dinner in hotel dining room. Snack bar when restaurant is closed. Dates Six weeklong programs run by different organizations June 18-Sept. 18; they fill quickly. Price $1,836 (not including $190-$300 registration fee). 603/430-6272, starisland.org.

YMCA Sandy Island Family Camp, Sandy Island A 66-acre private island on Lake Winnipesaukee. Eight-hundred-foot waterfront area, lifeguards from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sailing, tennis, and yoga for adults and kids. Talent show Thursdays, karaoke Mondays, line dancing three nights a week. Scavenger hunts. Lodging Waterfront cabins (some with private bath) that sleep up to 10 on twin-size beds and bunks. Modern bathhouse. Linens provided. Food Breakfast and lunch buffets, family-style dinners. Dates July 2-Sept. 3. Price $2,075. 603/569-2725 (winter), 603/ 253-4217 (summer), bostonycamps.org.

New Mexico

Western Unitarian Universalist Life Festival, Ghost Ranch The ranch is in high desert, 6,500 feet above sea level. Presbyterian-owned, focusing on spirituality. Daily worship, yoga, workshops on building your own theology, shamanism, drumming and chanting, off-site trips to hot springs. Learn pottery in the Native American tradition. Lodging Dorm-style rooms that sleep up to eight (shared bath, linens provided); tent/RV sites with hookups. Food Three cafeteria-style meals daily. Dates June 6-12. Price Room $1,090 (not including $475 registration fee; some activities cost extra; discount for early registration). 303/832-1106, wuulf.org.

New York

Frost Valley YMCA Camp, Claryville On 6,000 acres in Catskill Mountain Park. Miles of trout-fishing streams, and a 16-acre lake. Guided day and night hikes. Rodeo, carnival, triathlon. Participate in the world service auction to raise money for the YMCA. ACA accredited. Lodging B&B-style castle (formerly a private estate); hotel-style rooms with private bath; bunk rooms that sleep four to eight with shared bath; dorm-style rooms with shared bath; cabins that sleep 10 on bunks, with shared bathroom; lodge rooms with private bath. Food Three buffets daily. Occasional theme dinners such as luau and Texas barbecue. Dates Aug. 20-26. Price Cabin $809, horseback riding extra. 845/985-2291, frostvalley.org.

Kingswood Family Campsite, Hancock Methodist facility on 700 acres. Sunday worship service. Ice cream making, tractor-pulled hayrides, hiking, volleyball, jewelry making, cooking on a campfire. ACA accredited. Lodging Canvas platform tents sleep six on cots, private outhouse, no electricity. Pots, pans, gas stove. Food No food service. Tuesday potluck supper. A grocery store is seven miles away. Dates June 24-Sept. 5. Price Fully equipped site $310, two-night minimum on weekends. 203/380-8622 (winter, after January 1), 607/637-5401 (summer), umcamps.org.

YMCA Camp Gorham, Eagle Bay Rolling hills, hardwood trees, and mountain peaks surround a 500-acre private lake. Waterskiing, square dancing, rock climbing, bocce tournaments, waterfront Olympics, sailing regatta, and kids' home run derby. Bike trails (BYO bike). ACA accredited. Lodging Adirondack-style cottages that sleep up to 22, with stone fireplace and private bathroom; bunkhouses (one with a kitchenette) with shared bathhouse; lean-to with bunk beds, electricity, and shared bathhouse. Food Three family-style meals daily. Dates Aug. 21-28. Price Cottage $1,795, lean-to $1,365 (discounts for members). 888/518-5671, campgorham.org.

North Carolina

YMCA Camp Seafarer, Arapahoe The camp focuses on water-based activities: motorboating, sailing, waterskiing, fishing, racing to the water on side-by-side ziplines. Golf and tennis. ACA accredited. Lodging Screened-in cabins sleep up to 16 on bunks, with electricity and private bathroom. Food Three family-style meals daily. Dates Aug. 14-19, fills quickly. Price $1,880. 252/249-1212, seagull-seafarer.org.

Ohio

Camp Luther, Conneaut Lutheran camp on the Lake Erie bluffs. Daily team sports: baseball, softball, cricket, flag football. Swimming pool and sauna. Low-ropes team-building course. Two musicals performed by staff in outdoor amphitheater. Bird-watching and horseshoes. ACA accredited. Lodging Wooden and remodeled-with-drywall cabins that sleep 12, with double bed and bunks, private bathroom, and electricity; tent/RV sites with hookups. Food Three family-style meals daily; rotating assigned seating. Dates June 19-Aug. 13. Price $1,190 (new-family discount available). 513/844-1190 (winter), 440/224-2196, lomocamps.org.

Pennsylvania

Deer Valley YMCA Camp, Fort Hills On 725 acres, near the top of Mount Davis. Kid- and adult-only programs in the mornings, family time in the afternoons. Nature programs, rec center, skit and carnival nights, sailing, and staff-performed talent show. ACA accredited. Lodging Wooden cabins that sleep eight with bunks and double bed, as well as private half-bath and electricity. Food Three family-style meals daily with table service, in new dining hall. Snack bar open throughout the day for ice cream, pizza, etc. Dates June 11-Aug. 27 (must stay Sat.-Sat.), fills quickly. Price Basic cabin or lodge $1,484. 800/962-2386, deervalleyymca.org.

New Jersey Camps, Milford In the Poconos with two lakes, a lagoon, two swimming pools, and athletic fields. "Iceberg" climbing tower, zipline, Jet Skis, sailboards. Skateboard park, roller-hockey rinks. Israeli cooking and dance classes and Jewish crafts (making mezuzahs, challah covers, etc.). ACA accredited. Lodging Wood-panel cabins with private bathroom and shower, wooden bunks with five-inch mattresses, bed linens provided. Cottages available. Food Three buffet-style meals per day, prepared in accordance with kosher laws. Friday Shabbat dinner and service. Dates June 17-19; Aug. 26-28; Sept. 2-5 (single-parent-family weekends also available). Price Weekends $600. 973/575-3333, njycamps.org.

South Carolina

Asbury Hills Camp and Retreat Center, Cleveland Owned and operated by the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, on 1,800 acres in the Appalachian foothills. Trout stream and lake. Hiking, belay tree climbing, canoeing, crafts. Nontraditional outdoor worship on Sundays. ACA accredited. Lodging Eight rooms in bunkhouse lodge. Each room sleeps six, with shared bathrooms. Food Three family-style meals daily. Dates June 26-July 1. Price $875. 864/836-3711, asburyhills.org.

Texas

Pine Cove, The bluffs and the Woods, Tyler; Pine Cove, 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 ranch near Columbus. Bible studies, trapeze, beach volleyball, ziplines, street hockey, Christian speakers. ACA accredited. Lodging Deluxe cabins sleeping up to eight, with air-conditioning and private bathrooms; some have kitchenettes. Food Three family-style meals daily at lodge. Breakfast trail rides. Dates May 29-Aug. 13. Price $1,766. 877/474-6326, pinecove.com.

Vermont

Farm & Wilderness Camp, Plymouth Organic farm in the Quaker tradition; the camp celebrates community. Sign up for daily chores in the barn. Tend to cows, pigs, goats, sheep. Harvest produce from the garden, press cider from the apple orchard, and make ice cream with fresh milk. Climbing facilities. ACA accredited. Lodging Three-sided rustic cabins that sleep up to 14 on bunks with mattresses. Shared bathhouse. Food Three family-style meals daily. Mostly organic, from on-site garden. Dates Aug. 23-28. Price $600. 802/422-3761, fandw.org.

Washington

Camp Burton, Vashon Island Seventeen miles long and four miles wide, Vashon Island is a 15-minute ferry ride from West Seattle, Tacoma, or Kitsap Peninsula. Affiliated with American Baptist Churches. Bible study by the seashore, canoeing, kayaking, Ping-Pong, basketball, golf. ACA accredited. Lodging Carpeted cabins with bunk beds, sleeping up to 10, with private bathrooms. Food Three family-style meals daily. Dates July 31-Aug. 6. Price $645. 206/463-2512, campburton.com.

West Virginia

Camp Alleghany, Lewisburg On a river and surrounded by birch, maple, and elm trees. Arrive by camp ferry or rowboat. Spot black bears, deer, and groundhogs. Low-ropes course, hiking, archery, 22-caliber riflery, swimming lanes. Golf nearby. ACA accredited. Lodging Platform tent with up to five twin cots. Shared bathhouse. Food Three buffet meals daily. Pig roast by the river. Dates Aug. 6-15, three- to four-night minimum stay. Price $1,050. 540/898-4782, campalleghany.com.

Wisconsin

Camp Brosiu, Elkhart Lake Operated by Indiana University. On Elkhart Lake, the camp offers Sunfish sailing, kayaking, and waterskiing. Day trips for adults to craft shops and outlet malls. Golf nearby. Lodging Three- and four-bedroom cottages that sleep eight, with private bath and screened porch; hotel-style rooms, with two double beds, sink, and shared bath; and cabins that sleep four on bunks, with electricity and shared bathhouse. Linens provided in cottages and hotel-style rooms. Food Three buffets daily. Brats-and-beer picnic dinner (weather permitting). Dates June 26-Aug. 13. Price Cabins $1,560 (not including $40 alumni-association membership fee). 317/274-2248, campbrosius.com.

Camp Nebagamon, Lake Nebagamon Game-show night, talent show, campfire night. Water sports on 1,000-acre lake. Volleyball, softball, field hockey, archery, riflery. ACA accredited. Lodging Cabins that sleep up to 16 on cots and bunks, with electricity and shared bathhouse; or the four- and eight-bedroom houses with shared bath (same price). Food Breakfast and lunch buffets and family-style dinner. Separate happy hours for kids and adults. Dates Aug. 15-21. Price $1,400 (discounts for more than two children). 763/476-7676, campnebagamon.com.

Camp North Star, Hayward In Wisconsin lake country, with two-and-a-half miles of shoreline. Water on three sides. Tubing down the Namekagon River. Bowling tournament, family talent night, private tennis lessons, mixed-doubles tennis tournament, storytelling (in a tepee), fishing tournament, band at happy hour. ACA accredited. Lodging Log cabins that sleep 12 on bunk beds, with electricity and shared bathhouse. Food Three family-style meals daily. Coffee and snacks throughout the day. Dates Aug. 13-20, fills quickly. Price $1,525 (five-day minimum). 520/577-7925 (winter), 715/462-3254, northstarcamp.com.

YMCA Camp Nawakwa, Lac du Flambeau Between two lakes. Fishing, square dancing, triathlon, Native American workshops, team sports. Lodging Modern 800-square-foot two-bedroom homes, with bathroom, kitchen, screened porch; rustic cabins that sleep four to six on bunks and twin futon, with electricity, running water, and kitchen (shared bathhouse). Food No food service except boat-and-breakfast outing, not included in price. A store is five miles away. Dates June 11-Aug. 27. Price $455. 715/588-7422, nawakwa.com.

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