One Queens family attended Family Camp at Frost Valley's YMCA in the Catskills Mountains in upstate New York. Here's a Q-and-A with mom Nancy Johnson-Horn about what she liked and one thing she'd change.
Though the family’s favorite activity was participating in the “Amazing Race”
where they got to run all around camp hunting for clues to the scavenger hunt,
another fun activity was shelter building. Here, dad and the two oldest help
build a shelter out of branches and logs.
When you were growing up, what was your favorite camp activity?
Swimming and boating, just being in the water. I loved being on the lake and in the lake.
What were your children’s favorite camp activities?
Archery because it taught them something new. It was really cool. My 7- and 4 1/2-year-old liked it. My 4.5-year-old is a tiny little thing and she loved archery and she just had fun. The instructors really took the time to show kids what to do. It was a novelty for the kids. My kids love history and we had gone to Medieval Times earlier in the year, we read a lot of history, so archery was a superhero thing to do.
What was interacting with other families like?
Even though you’re in a big lodge with other people, we had our own room and it was pretty private. Everyone’s very nice. What I really liked about Kresge Lodge is the large common room (with fireplaces) that my kids could run around and play in (and get some of their energy out). I had been worried about sharing the lodge with the other families, but luckily it turned out to be great because two of the families (who were related to each other) had children of similar ages and were very friendly. The third family kept more to themselves, though they did socialize one time. I’ve gone to summer camp for a long time and it was awesome that we were able to experience this with our kids.
What was your family’s favorite activity?
This was a fun week for my family. The programming was great, and my husband, oldest child, middle child, and my in-laws all loved the “Amazing Race” (which my 2-year-old and I missed because of naptime). This was the first time Frost Valley offered this as a special activity and our group had a ball on the scavenger hunt, running all over camp, finding the clues and completing the tasks. It was a good way to showcase teamwork, even for my two older children. At home, my oldest child often complains that he’s bored. I did not hear that even once at Frost Valley!
What are some things you’d want to change?
While I had fun doing things with my family, I would have liked Wi-Fi or cell access in my room at night so I could connect with social media and get some work done. Or even chat with my friends online when my whole family went to sleep early (I’m a night owl). But after all, this is camp and we went upstate for a vacation, not to play on Facebook all day.
Advice and Help for Anxious Kids at Summer Camp
3 Tips to Make Sure Kids Don't Waste Away the Summer