By Everett Potter
The phrase “sporting camps” was once confined to classic Maine or Adirondack camps with an emphasis on fly fishing. But in 21st century, the term has broadened. It now means a place where the entire brood can enjoy a sport together and pay something akin to an all-inclusive price. The hallmarks of such camps are authenticity, a gorgeous rural setting and an active week away from it all for the entire family. And while you can still fly fish, if you choose right, you can also surf.
Bald Mountain Camps Resort
This classic Maine woods resort has been around since the late 19th century, hosting sportsmen like Teddy Roosevelt who fished for brook trout in Mooselookmeguntic Lake. Today the fishing is still superb, but families will find many other activities after a morning of fly-casting, from kayaking to mountain biking. The central lodge and 14 rustic cabins, each with its own fireplace and screened-in porch, are rustic accommodations at their finest.
From $160 per person, per day, including three meals daily
You come to Bitterroot Ranch because you love to ride, want to improve your horsemanship or simply want to learn how to ride under the tutelage of some of the best riding instructors in the West. After a morning in the saddle, surrounded by the Shoshone National Forest, you can ride some more, nap in your cabin or head out for some cutthroat trout fishing. Everyone from the lodge gathers in the evening for cocktails, dinner and stories.
Doubles from $2,100, including all meals
Peaks ’n Swells
Montezuma, Costa Rica
No one said a sporting camp had to be in the US, and no country epitomizes the laid-back surfer-dude ethos better than Costa Rica. The water’s warm, the waves are good, and the country is both eco-friendly and kid-friendly. All accommodations at this family surf camp face the beach — think porches, mosquito netting and hammocks for siestas. Parents can take advantage of yoga and pilates sessions, improve their own surfing technique or walk into funky Montezuma, which is a 10-minute stroll away.
From $2,450 per person, all-inclusive, including surfing instruction
Blue Mountain Lake, N.Y.
Fishing in the Adirondacks of upstate New York is a classic experience. The Hedges on Blue Mountain Lake offers an old-fashioned summer vacation experience: Accommodations are rustic and range from lodge rooms to four-bedroom family cabins. While some come to fish, others spend summers here to go boating, swim, canoe or kayak. But the porch rockers and nightly campfires are all the activities that some guests seem to need.
Doubles from $225 for two, including breakfast and dinner