Family camp has the same easy appeal as an all-inclusive resort -- without the bank-breaking price tag. Here are a few we like.
YMCA of Greater New York Camps
Huguenot, New York
The YMCA of Greater New York runs family camp a few weekends a year at two retreats in Orange County. There's boating and waterskiing in summer and snow sports in winter, and there are hiking trails at all levels, as well as a library where kids can learn about the kinds of flora and fauna they discover on their adventures. Programs run throughout the year, including family camp on Labor Day Weekend at Camp Talcott and a Winter Weekend Festival the third weekend in February at Camp Greenkill. Estimated rates: $225 to $300 per adult, $155 to $183 per child (kids under 5 free). 845-858-2200, ymcanyc.org/camps.
Started as a boys' camp in 1904, Medomak is set on a 250-acre idyllic expanse of private shoreline in a lakeside cove. There are 12 brand-new one-room cabins with queen-size beds for parents and twins for kids. Campers of all ages can go blueberry picking, stargaze, or engage in the more traditional activities such as boating and water sports. Six-day sessions run from June 24 to August 18. Rates: $800 to $1,000 per adult, $650 to $850 per child (ages 5 to 12). 866-633-6625, medomakcamp.com.
Blue Star Camps
Hendersonville, North Carolina
This is the 60th anniversary of Blue Star, a lovely camp nestled in a region where the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains meet. Kids older than 6 participate in activities like archery, fishing, and ropes courses. There's a Sabbath service on Friday night (Blue Star is a nonreligious Jewish camp, but everyone is welcome). August 16 to 19. Rates: $375 per adult, $215 per child. 828-692-3591, bluestarcamps.com.
Camp Manito-wish YMCA
Boulder Junction, Wisconsin
On 300 acres at Boulder Lake, Manito-wish has a strong wilderness bent. There's riflery, horseback riding, and trail biking. Since there are hundreds of streams, rivers, and lakes, you can go off with your family on a canoe trip, or send your children (ages 8 and up) on an overnight camp-out with specially trained counselors and enjoy some private time. Accommodations include the lodge or a cabin. August 21 to 26. Rates: $515 per adult, $240 per child (ages 3 to 12), kids under 3 are free. 715-385-2312, manito-wish.org.
Shady Creek Family Camp & Conference Center
Nevada City, California
In the foothills of the Sierra Mountains, Shady Creek offers a choice of cabins or rooms in a lodge. There's a pool and basketball nets, as well as a Kids Corner where children from infancy through age 7 can play until noon each weekday. The staff also takes families hiking, swimming in the Yuba River, and panning for gold at a historic gold mine about 25 minutes away. Rates: $436 to $587 for 4 days and 3 nights, $872 to $1,174 for 7 days and 6 nights, for up to 6 people, depending on the type of lodging. Meals and some activities are extra. 800-826-7310, shadycreekcamp.com.
This lakeside retreat in the Berkshire Mountains is taken over by families in late August for special weekend and midweek sessions (weeklong sessions are also available). The all-inclusive camp is known for hosting lively group events, including game shows and the Wacky Family Olympics. You and the kids can jump on a water trampoline, go hiking, or try the trapeze. Take advantage of the Kids Club (ages 4 and up) or day care: Go play tennis while counselors watch your children swim, do arts and crafts, and more. Weekend rates: $359 per adult, $229 per child (kids under 3 are free); midweek prices are $449 per adult, $309 for kids. 877-746-7529, clubgetaway.com.