Family camp |

Family camp

We decided to experience family camp, a place where laughter, fun, and excitement are waiting to happen. Family camps are known to be one of the most economical and relaxing vacations. Our family decided to try out family camp at Leoni Meadows.

Arriving at Leoni Meadows, I was met with the crisp smell of pine trees as we proceeded to register for what would be one of the best vacations we have had. We pre-registered for a few of the next day events, which proved to be a wise choice as they filled up quickly.

Monday was an eventful day. Our first stop was the go karts. I was driven around the track by my 7-year -old, who was so happy to be at the helm of a motorized vehicle; no matter how dilapidated it looked. It had an engine, an engine fast enough to make his mother scream, and that’s all that mattered to him!

From there we went to the giant swing, which is a maze of cables attached to the trees where one is harnessed in and pulled up about 20 feet, and then released and left suspended flying through the air 20 feet up.

The freedom of being in the treetops, feeling exhilarated above the rest of the world, powerful and able to conquer it all is none I can fully describe. I think it is something you can only experience first hand with the adrenaline rushing, a bit of fear, and lots of excitement – especially once I realize I did not plummet to my death and leave two children motherless.

Even my 3-year-old was able to fit into the smallest harness and to my surprise was pulled up in the air without any meltdown or being overtaken by fear. When he was ready, he pulled his cord and swung in the trees.

I realized then that for as much as he needs me now, someday he will be that independent. He will fly through the web of life, I hope, as confident as he was there. It was a bittersweet realization.

In the afternoon, we went to a near by lake for our wakeboarding session. We were the only family wakeboarding that day and had a private boat and instructor. Our instructor was exceptionally patient with us as we were all first timers. My body wore out before he did.

We ended our day with campfire time. It was held at “Indian Camp,” one of the themed camps they offer for their children’s camp. A short bus ride later, we were transported to a land of teepees, painted warriors, and bow and arrows.

When we arrived back at our room, the boys landed in bed exhausted. I was tired, yes, but I was so excited from all our adventures. It felt as if we had been here a week, and we still had five full more days to enjoy this trip.

I was not tired from standing in line, fighting crowds, or other stresses that can dampen a family vacation. I was looking forward to the many activities there were still left to enjoy.

During the week, we enjoyed horseback riding, BMX bikes, archery, train rides, crafts, lapidary (gem polishing), a rodeo, ropes challenge course, climbing wall, carnival night, blobbing (a giant air-filled mattress to launch you in the water). Many more activities were available, such as geocaching, swimming, overnight trips to cowboy or Indian camp, nature center, telescope, and observatory.

We were all sad when our week came to an end. We left talking about all we would do next year.

Family camp is now a favorite vacation destination for our family, worth revisiting year after year, where even mom and dad can be playful children all over again. If you want to play like a kid again or just spend time with your children doing something different on your next family vacation, visit family camp and get ready for an unforgettable time.


Lizary Jones lives in Nevada City.

For more information

Leoni Meadows Christian Camp and Retreat Center is situated about one hour from Placerville and is affiliated with the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Call 530-626-3610 or visit for more information.

For a list of other summer camps, visit

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