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Family Vacations for Religious Broods

by Carley Wade

Dec 18, 2017

© Kouassi Gilbert Ambeu | Dreamstime

Listicles

Think footprints in the sand is just an allegory? Think again. At family church camps, there’s plenty of outdoor fun to be had, whether it’s on the beach, at a Wild West-style retreat or listening to a Christian music concert fit for the entire brood. Your spiritual getaway can even be year-round, with special accommodations to celebrate Christmas and other religious holidays.

 

Kanuga, Hendersonville, N.C.

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Camp Kanuga family weeks are all-inclusive and not just limited to summer break. Three types of accommodations — historic cottages with wood-burning fireplaces and bathrooms, the Lake Inn with double-bed rooms and private bathrooms and the guest houses with four bedrooms and four baths — offer different spaces for families of all sizes to sit on the front porch rockers and admire the view of 1,400 acres with the 30-acre lake at its center. Activities include a beach, hiking trails, yoga and Zumba classes, three playgrounds, a library and more. Youth programs like rock climbing and tending the organic garden give parents “me” time in a safe Christian (primarily Episcopalian) environment. Thanksgiving and Christmas programs include worship services and gift collection for the less fortunate.

Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina

© Anthony Heflin | Dreamstime


Gull Lake Ministries, Hickory Corners, Mich.

All-inclusive and “value-priced,” GLM prides itself on the good values of its camp counselors, recruited as college-student churchgoers. During the day, kids from newborns to high school seniors spend up to five hours with counselors so parents get some time as a couple, and everyone can reconvene for swimming on the lake, sports like volleyball and basketball or in the game or craft rooms. Your brood can stay in condos, lodges or cottages in the resort setting in Southwest Michigan.

 

Fort Rock Family Camp, Combs, Ark.

Take a step back in time at Fort Rock Christian Family Camp and Christian Retreat Center, where owners Terry and Roxanne Forsyth re-created an 1800s fort and Old West town with a spiritual focus. Burrowed in the Ozark National Forest in Northwest Arkansas, you can ATV through the wilderness, canoe and kayak, learn to toss a tomahawk, horseback ride, try your hand at a bow and arrow and more, unless you want to just chill out and have a family photo taken in “jail” or hang out at the Trading Post. Each Sunday concludes with a Sunday chapel service. Your inner cowboy will be happy for accommodations a little less rustic than back in the day, with air conditioning, a large bed and one or two sets of bunk beds.

 

Hume Ministries, Monterey, Mass.

The Berkshires is renowned for its farm-to-table cuisine, so the food at Hume is as top-notch as the views of the mountains in Western Massachusetts. With Christian bands, speakers, verse school and memorization classes, there’s as much to do inside as out thanks to the mechanical bull, lawn games and more. There’s also an outpost on the Left Coast in California.

Family lodge during family retreat

© Goodluz | Dreamstime

 

Camp Magruder, Rockaway Beach, Ore.

Magruder calls itself a “little slice of heaven,” and watching the sun set in the wilderness of Oregon, it’s easy to see why. Family weeks help church, school and community organizations bond and leave their footprints in the sand at this United Methodist camp with giant swings, team bonding challenges, boating and wave jumping.

 

Sandy Cove Ministries, Chesapeake Bay, Md.

Sandy Cove offers up many different kinds of retreats, from women’s to couples and fitness to families, but the one thing they all have in common: stunning views of the sunset on Chesapeake Bay. Family weeks include three meals a day in hotel accommodations with outdoor activities, Bible talks and speakers with weekly themes. There’s even a special session for families who home-school their kids.

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