As the world comes to a standstill as we try to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we encourage all of you to hunker down right now, too. In the meantime, we'll keep publishing news to help you navigate the state of travel today (like whether travel insurance covers the coronavirus), as well as stories about places for you to put on your bucket list once it's safe to get back out there.
My parents were reasonably earthy, but I'm convinced my passion for the outdoors came from Manito-wish, a Wisconsin summer camp that, like any real camp, includes a true wilderness trip. If you're at all concerned that your child is becoming a thin-skinned lily-dipper, consider booting your beloved into the wildwith a trustworthy guide, of course. Here are our five favorite spots.
Camp Manito-wish YMCA, Boulder Junction, Wisconsin:
Every kid starts out canoeing. But as you get older, the options become longerup to 50 daysand the destinations more exotic, including places like Nunavut (canoeing), Ontario (sea kayaking), and Alaska (backpacking). Ages 1019; one-, two-, and four-week sessions; manito-wish.org
KieveWavus, Nobleboro, Maine:
The structure is very similar to Manito-wish's (above). Daily programs include the usual fun stufftennis, sailing, riflery, etc.but every camper must also go on canoeing, sea-kayaking, or backpacking trips of increasing length. Ages 815; ten- and 26-day sessions; kieve.org
Shaffer's High Sierra Camp, Sattley, California:
Kids can either choose to do a little bit of everything or sign up for "program tracks" that specialize in mountain biking, backpacking, riding horses, or rock climbing. Ages 817; one-to-eight-week sessions; highsierracamp.com
Camp Cheley, Estes Park, Colorado:
Cheley is a big commitmentit only offers four-week sessionsbut kids get the full Colorado experience, including raft trips down Poudre Canyon, top-roping at on-site rock faces, and, for the older kids, a shot at summiting a fourteener like Longs Peak. Ages 917; cheley.com
Camp Mondamin, Tuxedo, North Carolina:
While backpacking and canoeing trips remain a focus at this 88-year-old institution, it's expanded its repertoire over the years to include things like tubing, rock climbing, and mountain biking. Boys only; sister camp is Camp Green Cove (greencove.com). Ages 617; five-day and three- and five-week sessions; mondamin.com