You and your family need a vacation … how many times have you said it? Vacationing together can bring you closer to each other, and Frost Valley YMCA’s Summer Family Camp offers solo and group activities, opportunities to try new things and meet new people, delicious healthy food and outdoor adventures—all on a pristine 5,500-acre property in the beautiful Catskill Mountains.
Many families return year after year to enjoy and create their own traditions at Frost Valley Family Camps. What are you waiting for?
Fun Family Programs and Activities
Frost Valley Family Camp has dozens of programs and activities, and many of them go far beyond what you might expect. In addition to traditional activities like hiking, swimming, fishing, boating and, of course, campfires, Frost Valley offers ziplining, archery, greenhouse gardening, healthy cooking classes, an afternoon rodeo at the horse barn, wood shop, toddler/preschool programs, map/compass skills, stretch and relaxation programs, and more. In the evening, you and your family can gather around the campfire for s’mores, or join in activities like Trivia, hayrides, Family Feud and even floor hockey. There’s something for people of all ages and interests, and kids five and under come free!
Creating a Home Away From Home
When you enter the dining hall, you’ll see lots of families talking and laughing over delicious meals. Three hot, wholesome meals are served daily, with a vast array of options from typical kid fare to organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, Kosher and vegan choices. Many families personalize their tables with special tablecloths and centerpieces.
“This is truly their home away from home for the week,” says Bob Eddings, director of Group and Family Programs at Frost Valley. “The cabins are decorated and kids are playing on the grass while parents gather firewood for the evening campfire. It’s almost like stepping back in time to when things were simpler. All families deserve an opportunity to experience that at least once a year.”
Come Together as a Family
Many families have been coming to Frost Valley for more than 40 years. They know that although the rest of the world is moving at a faster pace and everyone in the family is busier and busier each year, this is a place where they unplug, unwind and re-connect with each other as a family. It’s the perfect way to end the summer and re-energize for the school year ahead.
“I think the thing that keeps families coming back is that while they’re here, they’re treated like family so that they can return to what it really means to be a family,” Eddings says.
Focus on the Great Outdoors and Nature
Family camp at Frost Valley is a unique option for families because there’s really nothing like it anywhere else. Unlike a typical resort vacation, Frost Valley Family Camp focuses on wholesome, quality time for families in the great outdoors. “We really feel that this week is a chance for families to grow together,” says Eddings. “It’s so much more than an end-of-summer vacation.”
With a focus on appreciation for nature and spending time outdoors, families gain a sense of health and well being along with an understanding of the importance of protecting our natural resources. It’s good for the spirit, mind, body—and the future of our planet.
Connecting With Families and Cultures From Around the World
Families come to Frost Valley Family Camp from across the globe and throughout the United States, offering informal opportunities for people to learn from and connect with each other in natural ways, both indoors and outdoors in nature.
“Families leave here with a deeper understanding and appreciation for each other and the natural world around them,” says Eddings. For example, Frost Valley holds a World Service Auction, where families bid on items to support charity as well as Japanese culture sharing programs. This program is in partnership with the Tokyo YMCA, which introduces American families to traditional Japanese massage, dress and food. The focus on Japanese Culture Sharing has also inspired the creation of three workshops on Japanese art forms, and they are conducted in a traditional Japanese building at Frost Valley called the Friendship House.
“Opportunities like that just can’t be found in a resort or amusement park environment. Frost Valley gives families the fun, adventure and excitement that they want,” he says, “but also the wholesome values and traditions that they need to feel connected to one another.”
Creating Family Memories and Traditions
Repeat Family Camp guests are the norm at Frost Valley, and some of their campers—like Dari Litchman—have been returning for decades.
“This will be our sixth consecutive year attending Family Camp at Frost Valley YMCA, and my personal 35th year affiliated with this amazing place!” says Litchman. “It’s six days/five nights of fun! Picture all of the things you would do at camp—with lodging and food included. Boating, swimming, ropes, climbing, wood working, dance, yoga, campfires, s’mores, hiking, horses, healthy home cooking, I could go on! It’s a tradition we love and we would love it if more friends joined us!”
Sign Up Now for Summer Family Camp at Frost Valley!
Frost Valley’s Family Camp is a 70-year-old tradition, and reservations for this August are filling up quickly. To sign up today or for more information, please visit the Frost Valley website.
This content is made possible by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the attitude, views, or opinions of the Hudson Valley Magazine editorial staff.