An effortless way to spend time together in nature without phones, tablets or laptops and with an opportunity to grow as a family and as a person – is this really possible?
It’s called family camp, and these are a few fantastic Wisconsin offerings.
“Nature does incredible things for people,” said Tracy Watson, summer program director. And Camp Manito-wish does indeed rely on nature to help families grow together, both in confidence and when it comes to leadership skills.
The pristine setting on Boulder Lake in the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest is a perfect place for families to relax while challenging themselves to learn new things, said Watson. Choose from a dozen different program areas, like horseback riding, sailing, swimming and riflery. Perhaps most exciting is the high ropes course where families are challenged to problem-solve together.
Watson has found that it is often the children who help and encourage their parents to push themselves to learn new things. “Our mission and vision,” she said, “is growth, leadership and fun. Sometimes the hardest things are worth the most. It’s all about growing and learning together as a family.”
Camp Manito-wish’s weeklong family camp offers family-style meals and cabin living.
Centered between crystal clear sandy Big Crooked and Little Sugarbush lakes, Nawakwa features weeklong family camps all summer. Loons, eagles, porcupines and deer are common visitors at this divine setting.
Executive Director Kirby Petersen says the camp provides families with “quality time without computers and cell phones.” Nawakwa is located on the Lac du Flambeau Reservation and offers Native American programming in addition to more traditional camp activities like boating, swimming, archery and kayaking. Families bring and prepare their own food in fully equipped cabin kitchens.
“Family camp is an opportunity for families to get together in a beautiful location and put all other worries aside,” says Anokijig’s Jim Scherer. “The camp staff does all the work. You can just relax. There is nothing like sitting around a campfire with your family.”
Camp Anokijig has something for everybody, Scherer said, from kayaking, archery and horseback riding to windsurfing and pontoon boats. Structured activities facilitate meeting other families and the forging of lifelong friendships.
In order to make the best possible food for their buffet-style meals, the kitchen staff at the camp doesn’t have a limit to their budget. “We get a lot of compliments on our food,” Scherer said.
Camp Anokijig is situated on 356 acres of the Kettle Moraine State Forest’s Northern Unit on Little Elkhart Lake near Plymouth. The weekend family camp usually has a waiting list, so sign up quickly!
Lakotah offers a Labor Day weekend family camp every year, with a cabin stay, full meals and scheduled events like water activities, archery, geocaching and much more, along with family free time for those who crave it. The intimate camp prides itself on its focus on the individual. It is situated in old growth forest and boasts the expansive beach of Little Hills Lake.