Summer Camp Guide

With Summer on Its Way, the Time Has Come to Look for the Right Camp for the Kids. Here Is a Guide to Some Selections for Giving Your Children the Experience of a Lifetime. 

For those of us lucky enough to have attended summer camp – either close to home or farther away – the experience was life changing, combining joy of being out in nature with the empowerment of being away from our parents. It was a time to make new friends, new learn new skills and overcome our fear of cutting the apron string. We came away from the experience feeling a little older, a little wiser and a lot more in tune with what the great outdoors is all about – unless, of course, you went to math camp or theater camp. Those experiences were also rich, just different. Here, then are a few memories of our local citizens about their magical time at summer camp. 

Canadian Canoeing

“My only camp experience was two years in Canada with a canoe ‘tripping’ camp, Camp Wabun, when I was 16 and 17. We were
six canoes, 10 campers, a counselor, and George, our First Nation (Ojibwe) guide. At the halfway point, 500 miles down the Albany River (which flows into Hudson Bay), our provisions were replenished. My canoe was laden down to the gunnels with a sack of potatoes and a complete side of Canadian bacon. On the first little rapids out of the Hudson Bay post, my canoe swamped and we rolled over, losing our precious cargo. Our camp friends did not speak to us for a few days but we had lots of Kilk (Canadian Spam) so we survived. A terrific adventure and experience! I highly recommend it and of course Camp Wabun.” 

Laurence Terry, former Olympic Rower 

Summer Camp Guide

Movie Memories

“My best memory of summer camp was the camp at the Miami Shores Theater. All the neighborhood kids seemed to be there! We would be dropped off or ride our bikes to camp and spend the day in the theater watching back-to-back movies. There was a Master of Ceremonies and a piano player who would entertain in between movies. You could buy movie popcorn and candy and sit with all your friends laughing and commenting at all the movies. It was not a quiet movie-going experience, we could walk around and switch seats to sit with different people, but it was very social. This was in elementary school and what I remember is just a feeling of total freedom and fun. And isn’t that what summer camp is all about?” 

Sara “Sarita” Courtney Baigorri, Courtney Law Firm 

Family Camp

“If you know me, you know I love camp! I mean I LOVE camp! I went to Camp Greystone in Tuxedo, NC, for 11 years and loved every minute of it. When the owner, Jim Miller, would show the movies in Miami, he would do it at my house. When my daughter was little, she would always say, ‘Don’t think I am ever going there!’ I would assure her with my fingers crossed that nobody was sending her to this fabulous place. When Jim passed away, my mom and I attended his funeral (oh yes, she was also a Greystone girl) and I learned there was a one-week session for the youngest of campers and moms could attend and act as counselors. I was so excited I immediately called my daughter and husband to give them this great news. My daughter said, ‘I am not going!’ My husband said, ‘It is not about you anymore, your mom is going back to camp!’ He was right! 

That was many years ago. My daughter ended up attending for 10 years and is hoping to work at the camp this summer. We still go as a family to camp – and I mean my kids left college and drove five hours to attend family camp with us! I basically go any time I am invited, because there is nothing better than camp. If I wasn’t selling real estate, I truly believe I could have been very happy as a camp director or just life-long counselor!”

Ashley Cusack, BHHS/EWM 

Summer Camp Guide

In the Wilderness

“I went to camp Napowon, a Boy Scout camp in Wisconsin. I went there every summer for five years, from ages nine to 14, and I would go for a seven-day session. There was a beautiful lake up there, and we do a lot of cool things, like survival in the woods or going to the shooting range. I remember once when I was shooting a nine-millimeter Barretta – the first time I’d ever shot a gun – and the top of my thumb got chopped off when I first fired it. So, I will never forget that. It skimmed off the top of my knuckle and left me with a nice scar. It always reminds me about gun safety when I look at it. And I remember one day when we got seven inches of rain. I happened to be doing my wilderness survival merit badge that night, where I had to sleep outside in a tent that I made by myself. I was sitting there in a pool of water all night. But I survived – and got my merit badge. It was a memorable experience.”

Steve Bradley, Clutch Burger 

Summer School

“My favorite summer camp memory is not quite a summer camp, but rather summer school. When I was going into my junior year
at Gables High, a group of friends and I took AP Physics to get it out of the way. We loved it! Class was just a few hours a day and it was MUCH more relaxed than if we had taken it during the school year. I don’t think schools still permit taking elective summer school classes to gain credits, but it was a blast when we did it!” 

Mary Snow, Coral Gables Community Foundation 

Summer Camp Guide

Camp Dad

“Growing up I went to ‘Camp Dad’ in the summer. My parents were divorced, I lived in Miami with my mom and my dad lived in Ecuador. The day after school was out, I was on a flight to Ecuador to spend the summer with my dad. Back then there was no FaceTime and calling long distance was expensive so during the school year I only spoke to my dad once a week – on Sundays for 10 minutes. I loved spending the whole summer with him. Summer was the time for me to reconnect with my dad, spend time with my siblings who still lived in Ecuador, and also visit with my loving extended family. I could not have asked for a better ‘summer camp’ experience.” 

Rosanna Molinari Weber, PWD Law Firm