It might be too soon to be sending your littlest ones off to camp this summer, but you can still have the summer camp experience – with the entire family! Family camp is a great option for families who would love to go camping, but don’t have all the necessary gear or want to spend time cooking on a campfire. At family camps, meals are included and cooked for you mess hall-style and lodging is provided in comfortable cabins. Try going with just your family or invite extended family, neighbors or friends from school along for what is be sure to become your newest summer tradition. Here are our picks for some of the best family camps in Washington state:
Camp Orkila, Orcas Island, WA
Located in the gorgeous San Juan Islands, Camp Orkila offers something for every camper in your family. At the Family Camp, you can choose to rough it in one of the main cabins or pay a bit more to bunk in the Dederer Center that has running water, restrooms and electricity. During the day, enjoy activities as a family or as individuals (kids can explore with counselors!) – Orkila offers traditional camp fun such as archery, swimming (outdoor pool) and horseback riding, plus bonus activities that include an indoor rock climbing wall, kayaking in the Sound, and a ropes challenge course. Each night, the entire camp population comes together for a sunset campfire and all those camp songs that you remember from your own days at summer camp!
Cost: $103-298 per person, depending on dates and accommodations.
Dates: Mother’s Day Weekend, Memorial Day Weekend, Fourth of July Weekend and Labor Day Weekend.
Online: For registration details and contact information, visit their website.
Camp Seymour, Gig Harbor, WA
Voted one of the best kid’s camps in the Northwest, Camp Seymour offers family camps throughout the year. Favorites at Camp Seymour include exploring the beach for sand dollars, boat making and racing over Labor Day weekend, and taking a ride in oversized canoes out to Pirates Cove after nightfall. Your kids will love the teenage counselors that volunteer at the camp over the summer and you’ll love experiencing camp through their eyes.
Cost: $82-189 per person with kids under age three for free. All family camps have a $4.00 Limited Membership Fee, which applies to participants who are not members of the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties association.
Dates: Memorial Day Weekend, Labor Day Weekend and Fall Family Camp in October.
Online: View the full summer camp brochure on the Camp Seymour website.
Olympic National Park Family Learning Adventures, Port Angeles, WA
For families who would really like to immerse themselves in the outdoors this summer, but would also love the community and leadership that comes with going to family camp, an Olympic Park Family Learning Adventure may be for you! The camp is located on the gorgeous Olympic Peninsula on Lake Crescent and offers individual experiences for families to choose from, based on what you’re interested in — geology, trees, rivers and much more. Mom and Dad will love that there are workshops for the kids to attend with trained guides and counselors while you spend some time relaxing on the shores of the lake. Families stay in cabins with shared bathrooms.
Cost: Approximately $200-400, depending on the program you choose; children 4 and under are free
Dates: Family programs dates begin in July and run through October. See the website for date details.
Online: Visit their website for further information about the family programs.
Have you ever been to Family Camp? Share your experience with us in the comments section below!
— Katie Kavulla