Already thinking of summer 2022? Yeah, us too. You are in luck as our top adventure from summer 2021 is back for another year and you can get in on the action. We checked out Camp Navarro’s Weekend in the Woods and it was quite possibly our favorite camping experience, ever! Gourmet meals cooked for you, a massive property for exploring, archery, rope swinging into the river and so much more. Read on for the full scoop on how you can add this to your summer 2022 must-do list.
Everything You Love about Camping & MORE
This former Boy Scout camp typically welcomes corporate groups, weddings and wellness retreats but COVID changed everything. For the first time in Camp Navarro's 100-year history, they opened the camp up to families for a few select summer weekends. Camp Navarro introduced their Weekend in the Woods protram and families in attendance got to explore the property's 200+ acres from Thursday through Sunday. Here's what the weekends brought:
The friendly and helpful staff was there to welcome you the minute you arrived on the property. What you'll love about Camp Navarro's Weekend in the Woods is that there are just enough planned activities to keep the kids from jumping on the (super fast) WiFi, but not so much that you have flashbacks to family camps of yesteryear with mandatory crafting and skits.
During our weekend, activity highlights included an amazing stargazing night hike, trying our hands at archery and scurrying up the rock wall. Everything was optional and all could participate! There was a crafting station if you wanted to paint some rocks and there were hiking trails for exploring. Everyone enjoyed picking blackberries that grew along the creekbed and watching the deer visit in the meadow.
While the summer of 2021 brought low water levels at Camp Navarro, there was still plenty at the rope swing area to keep the kids busy. Parents set up their camp chairs on the rocky creekbed while kids climbed trees, swung from the rope swing and tried to catch minnows. The rope swing was just a 10-minute walk from the main camp area and super easy to access along the property's trails.
The Best Part of Camp Navarro: The Food!
What's your least favorite part of camping? If you said cooking then this is the camp for you! Weekend in the Woods come with a delicious breakfast and dinner service and it's way beyond any family camp meal service you might have had before. Scrambled eggs with goat cheese and chives, fresh berry yogurt parfaits and hot coffee topped the breakfast menu. When the staff overheard my son ask about cereal, homemade granola magically appeared. They really were there to make your experience the best it could be.
Everyone's favorite dinner was definitely the night they made TONS of pizzas on the woodfire oven. Each kid pretty much got their own along with grilled peaches and a number of salads.
During the evening hours, you could order up a bottle of local wine or a pint of beer to go along with your meal. Exactly what you wanted after a day in the sun!
S'mores were offered in the evenings (a kid highlight, for sure!).
The Sleeping Options
When you come to a Weekend in the Woods, the big decision is whether you want to sleep in a cabin, teepee or Adirondack. There are options for families up to six or you can snag two neighboring cabins for bigger groups. The cabins and Adrinodacks have bunk beds for sleeping and you bring your own sleeping bags, pillows and linens.
You'll find hammocks and picnic tables scattered throughout the property and there are gathering areas near the cabins if you come with a group. While none of the sleeping options have their own bathrooms, the communal bathrooms were large and exceptionally clean throughout the weekend. You can even choose the outdoor shower if you want to shower under the redwoods!
Located in Navarro, the camp is 2.5 hours north of San Francisco just past Booneville in Mendocino County. A 20-minute drive will get you to the coast. Navarro Beach is a great spot to set up your gear and enjoy the water. Temps are often significantly cooler here so definitely bring layers.
If wine tasting is more your style, there are plenty of options in Navarro and Booneville. Then swing by the farm stand at the Philo Apple Farm to snag some apple cider and dried apples to take home.
Pennyroyal Farm is another fun stop along the road to Camp Navarro. Here you can do wine tasting (they have a grape juice flight for the kids!), see the resident goats and try their delicious goat cheese.
How to Sign Up for Weekend in the Woods 2022
The good news: Weekend in the Woods will be back for summer 2022! While the dates have not yet been released, you can sign up on the Camp Navarro website to be the first notified when the dates are announced. You definitely won't want to miss it!
901 Masonite Industrial Rd.
Editor’s note: This trip was hosted by Camp Navarro but all opinions belong to the author.