I was never a camp kid, and this is a bit of a sore point for me. Whenever my friends start to regale one another with (supposedly) hilarious stories about the grand old days back at camp, I just sit quietly, waiting to change the subject. I don’t know the songs or the sayings or that cup flipping clapping thing former camp kids love to demonstrate. Happily, for those who also missed out on camp, you can get a taste of it at Grand View. The lodge drips with woodsy authenticity; a national historic landmark built in a classic log-cabin style with local Norway pines, it features moose antler chandeliers, big stone fireplaces, leather furniture and a stunning walkway out to the lake. The lodge was actually built to house parents whose kids were attending the nearby Camp Lincoln and Camp Lake Hubert, and in many ways the camps are still the heart and soul of the whole operation.
We had a chance to tour the camps, and it was like stepping back in time to an imaginary past I never had. The setting is straight out of the classic camp movie Indian Summer. Lincoln is boys-only, Lake Hubert is girls-only, and ne’er the twain shall meet—except at a once-monthly dance, and out on 1.2 miles of lake that separate them; both camps have an extensive sailing program (between them, they have a fleet of forty boats). “The sailboats are like magnets out there,” laughs Ruggs Cote, director of Camp Lincoln. Kids are divested of their cell phones and laptops and video iPods, and instead spend their time having old-fashioned fun like horseback riding, riflery and archery, swimming and bass fishing, and modern pursuits, including a climbing wall, high ropes course, windsurfing, and lots of other options.
You can choose your level of campiness: you can tour the camps during your stay at GVL, and take part in GVL’s own quasi-camp activities, such as roasting marshmallows on the beach; you can all camp together at Lake Hubert’s annual week of family camp in August; or you can drop the kids at camp and head over to Grand View for a week of sipping drinks by the lake, swinging on the links and relaxing at the spa.
– Tim, CF‘s contributing editor