Family Nature Summits – Time to sign up

At Lake Tahoe, 2010
At Lake Tahoe, 2010

You’ve all heard me praise Family Nature Summits (FNS), a one-week nature camp for parents, grandparents and their little ones. For a week, we hike, bike, paint, identify flowers, and study creeks. We  might visit a cultural site or two and generally enjoy the best of the area.

FNS moves around each year so you get to see a different part of the country every year.

Next year, we’re going to New Mexico Saturday, July 2 – Friday, July 8, 2016.


Though it’s called Family Nature Summits, many adults come on their own with no children at all. It is an inexpensive, organized way to see our beautiful country.

Isa, next to the end kid on the right

I’ve been taking my older granddaughter for six years. We’ve been to Lake Tahoe, Rocky Mountains National Park, Maine and even the Ozarks.

Last year, at Lake Junaluska, both granddaughters came. Hannah was twelve and Isa, five years old. From now on, I’ll be taking both girls.

Yes, their summers are busy, but Family Nature Summits is a priority with them and their parents.

What makes Family Summits different from other family camps is that the children have their own programs. You don’t do the same activities as your children.
From 8 am to 3:30 pm, children attend camp with their age group, led by science educators.  If the child is entering kindergarten, she or he can be in the all-day program.

Adults choose from a long list of activities from hiking, biking, rafting to art, flower identification, eco living, and more. But we don’t rough it. We stay in comfortable lodging and eat three great meals, some on site, others on the trail.

Hannah and friends, 2015

If you’re interested, this is the time to sign up and make a commitment. You usually can’t decide in May that you’re going to look into it.

Can you do this all yourself?
Of course, you could make reservations at the same places but it wouldn’t be same. And it certainly wouldn’t be as fun for the children.

At FNS, children meet peers with the same interest in the outdoors. They see that others hike, look at flowers through a magnifying glass, and check out a river.

Family Nature Summits have been around since 1970 and I wish I had known about it when our son was growing up. But I’m making up for lost time and taking my granddaughters. Once you go, you’ll be hooked. So look into it now and sign up.

One thought on “Family Nature Summits – Time to sign up

  1. My sister and I have been to 21 Summits, starting in 1979. It’s always a great time with friends, some of whom started when we did! We brought our nephews to a few, when they were kids, and last year one of them came with his wife and daughters, over 20 years after his first Summit. They are planning to come again next year…

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