The wonderful things that make the Berkshires a top vacation destination in the country are the same things that make the area a great setting for summer camps.
Imagine a wide-open sky filled with twinkling stars and a cool breeze. The soothing waters of a spring-fed lake gently lap a nearby shore. A crackling campfire draws campers together to share stories of the day’s adventures. Excitement brews among them, because tomorrow brings more opportunities to learn, play, and make memories with new friends. This is just a glimpse of the camp experience in the Berkshires.
Berkshire summer camps are as diverse as the campers, who visit them from all over the world. While many Berkshire camps offer a traditional camp experience in a rustic setting, some are housed on the elegant estates that hearken back to the Gilded Age of the Berkshires. Whatever the interests and needs of your child, from the arts to sports, there’s likely a camp in the Berkshires that’s a perfect fit.
To learn more, start your planning with Berkshire Summer Camps. With 12 member camps sprinkled throughout the Berkshires, they are easily accessible from New York City, Boston, and beyond. Among them are Belvoir Terrace in Lenox, a visual and performing arts camp; Camp Half Moon, a co-ed camp on Lake Buel in Great Barrington; Crane Lake Camp in West Stockbridge; Camp Greylock in Becket, a sports camp for boys; and Camp Mah-Kee-Nac, a boys camp on the shores of Stockbridge Bowl. These are well-established camps that have been in business for decades. They create safe environments, where children grow as individuals while learning to connect to a community of their peers.
There are still many more Berkshire camps to consider, all of which offer campers active days filled with fun. Daily programming may include out-of-camp experiences at local historic sites or museums, an outdoor adventure park such as Ramblewild, and visits to the area’s world-class cultural venues such as Tanglewood, Jacob’s Pillow, and The Clark Art Institute.
A recent addition to the Berkshire camp roster is the Butterfly Leadership Program for Teen Girls and Young Women—an offshoot of the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers. This weeklong intensive writing program for girls age 13-18 will be held August 8-12 at The Mount.
Finally, if all this thinking about Berkshire camps has you wishing for a chance to become a camper yourself, look no further than Camp Unleashed. These four-day retreats for dogs and their adult humans are held over the Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends at Camp Becket-Chimney Corners of the YMCA. A bevy of workshops related to all things dog are included, but participation is optional. With the kids away, you and your dog may choose to rest a while by the camp’s pristine private lake.
Bring your kids to a camp in the Berkshires this summer, and be sure to take some time for yourself while you’re here!
Photo credit: Belvoir Terrace