50 All-Star Family Camps: The 2005 List
It only takes a week to make memories that'll last a lifetime
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.
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.
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.
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