I loved summer camp when I was a kid -- going on scavenger hunts, learning archery, forming round-the-clock friendships with the other campers. But when my husband, Paul, brought up the idea of spending a week with our 3-year-old twins at a family camp last summer, I wasn't so hot on the idea. I'm a grown-up now, and unlike my fun-loving husband, I haven't got the energy of an 8-year-old. Reading in a lounge chair with my hand wrapped around a cold Diet Coke is more my speed than canoeing or trekking up a mountain singing my bunk's theme song. Besides, traveling anywhere with Sasha and Vivian is usually the opposite of relaxing. Our previous vacations to Florida and Maine were nothing more than child care in another state without all the stuff we needed. But it was Paul's turn to pick the place, and he had his heart set on an outdoorsy vacation -- so off to camp we went.
Camp Kingsley Pines, in Raymond, Maine, is a smidge more upscale than the rustic getaways I went to as a child (there are no tents, only cabins), but it's by no stretch a luxury hideaway. If you require amenities such as double beds (we bunked in twins), heat, separate sleeping space from your children, or a bathroom you don't have to share with a family of daddy longlegs, this vacation is not for you.
But if you want a safe place with activities for your kids that you don't have to dream up (or even participate in), plus the company of other adults who don't mind getting up on stage and performing in an all-camp lip-synched version of American Idol, then family camp can be lots of fun. Best of all, the setting is relaxed and the price reasonable.