By Sheri McDonald, Taking The Kids Correspondent
Technology is such a huge part of our lives that it can be hard to think about unplugging for an extended period of time, but my family did exactly that when we visited Mount Snow Family Camp in Vermont. I wish I could claim that a potential lack of wifi was not a big challenge for me, but I was apprehensive about it. As a Canadian traveling in the US, I knew I would have limited use of my cell phone, and I am someone who is always connected. My concern was about getting behind on assignments, while my son was having trouble imagining a week with no iPod, computer or video games. Once we arrived at Family Camp, we didn’t think about wifi again.
Family Camp has a central hub at the Sundance Base Lodge. This was the place where we ate our meals, met for activities, grabbed a snack, sat at the campfire and most importantly it was the place that the kids wanted to be. Aside from meals and snacks, some of the ways we unplugged at the Sundance Base Camp were:
- Ping pong
- Chess and other board games
- Card games
- Happy Hour (for the adults of course)
- Hula Hoops
- Four Square
- Card Games
- Outdoor games like tag, soccer, baseball and anything else the amazing counselors could throw together at a moment’s notice
- Mountain Biking (including some indoor cycling for the little ones)
We all enjoyed great conversation too, with our own families and with the other families and staff at Mount Snow. One of the greatest conversation spots was the family table. All of the families and counselors sat together and really got to know each other while enjoying delicious meals that were prepared for us. It was one of my favorite times of each day.
Each day the camp counselors organized separate activities for the children and adults in the morning, and family activities in the afternoon. We could take advantage of these activities or choose to do something on our own, but most days we took their guidance and followed their itinerary. We were all fitted for our own mountain bikes that were labeled and kept at the Sundance Base Lodge for us to take whenever we wanted them. We were guided on mountain hikes and also took our own private hikes up the mountain, and we had the chance to ride the Bluebird Chairlift to the summit. That was so much fun that we did it a few times. The summit gave us an incredible view of the Harriman Reservoir, where we also spent a lot of hours having fun.
Some of the family activities planned for us included trips away from the camp. We went shopping in nearby Wilmington, Vermont and enjoyed a few outings at the Harriman Reservoir (also known as Lake Whitingham). Our lake activities included a picnic day at the beach where the kids got to make some tie dye shirts when they were done swimming; an afternoon of boating where we could swim and also do some tubing; and on a third afternoon we were treated to some kayaking and paddleboarding lessons. The lake was beautiful and also the place where we witnessed a gorgeous bald eagle flying overhead.
At the end of the week we had gained some confidence through trying new things, we had formed some valuable new friendships and we truly felt reconnected. I’m not sure I’ve ever ended a vacation feeling quite as relaxed. We didn’t feel the need to get home and spend some time on our own and I really feel we bonded with each other a little more than we do at home. There were tears as we said our goodbyes, which was the best indication that everyone really enjoyed themselves. We are continuing to spend more quality time together at home and looking forward to our next visit to Mount Snow Family Camp.
About Family Camp
Mount Snow Family Camp is located at beautiful Mount Snow in Vermont. It is an opportunity to unplug and reconnect with the family, while still enjoying the luxuries of staying in a condominium. The Mount Snow staff are full of energy and incredibly accommodating to their guests. Delicious meals are provided three times a day while drinks and snacks are available to the family camp guests all day every day, at no additional charge. Running for ten weeks each summer, Mount Snow Family Camp is the perfect getaway for your family.