yoga and dancing. Freeman-Copcutt sampled many options, “Personally I loved starting the day with the Polar Bear Dip, although I complained each morning about why my son had signed us up for this. I followed this with yoga by the water after breakfast. I also had the opportunity to learn to swing dance with my son at family camp and do T-shirts with my daughter.” At the end of the day each family retires to their own sleeping quarters (these can vary from tents to cabins to hotel-style rooms depending upon the camp). This offers each family some alone time to reconnect and balance the potentially busy day. This privacy also permits the opportunity for smaller children to keep to their regular schedule. For families who return year after year, campers create lifelong friendships. “My favorite part of family camp by far is the camaraderie and closeness we share with the other families at camp. We encourage each other and each other’s kids. We share laughs and hugs, bug spray and Band-Aids, successes and challenges,” says Knuckle. One of the challenges that some camps help families face is camping with a child who has special needs. Some camps provide trained counselors to help the child enjoy camp and offer respite to parents. If you are unsure about an entire week at family camp, many offer weekends as a great way to try on this style of vacation to see if it suits your family. SUE LEBRETON is a health and wellness journalist and mother of two. Her family spent six summers attending a lakeside family camp and recently attended family camp in the mountains. Her clan thinks family camp rocks. Two Florida Family Camps to Consider: Circle F Dude Ranch Located in Lake Wales, Circle F Dude Ranch offers Family Weekend programs ranging from high energy and challenging activities to stress-free. Family Weekend guests will enjoy rustic, bunkhouse-style cabins, located around 500 acres of oaks, rolling hills and lakeside. Each cabin contains six bunk beds and can accommodate up to 12 people. The bunkhouse cabins feature tiled floors, ceiling fans, large open-air screened windows, and air-conditioning. Each bunkhouse cabin includes its own bathroom with a shower, sink, and toilet. Included with each family weekend package are six meals and a two-night stay at the ranch along with use of property. 5301 Dude Ranch Road, Lake Wales, Florida 33898 863-676-4113 www.circlefduderanchcamp.com Indian Springs Retreat Center During family camp weekends, families enjoy a cabin all to themselves, meals prepared by the staff, and during the day, a chance to participate in activites from horseback riding, swimming, high ropes, ziplines, archery, and hay rides. At night, camp staff lead Night Walks where your family will get to experiment with your night vision. The evenings end with a campfire complete with singing, dancing, and stories. 2387 Bloxham Cut Off Road, Crawfordville, Florida 32327 850-926-3361 www.indianspringsretreatcenter.com NEAPOLITANfamily • April 2016
A regional family magazine for parents, grandparents, and educators in Naples and Collier County, Florida.