I just finished a book by Susan Wiggs called Summer at Willow Lake. The whole story took place nine years after a group of kids spent the summer together at camp, and that brought back a lot of memories for me! The excitement of meeting new kids, the communal meals, the archery lessons, the cabins, and the campfires.
I think summer camp is a little different today. The arts & crafts have been replaced by a zipline, there are more trampolines and fewer canoes, and kids are a little less naive than we were, but I think the premise is still valid today. We send Emily every single summer, if only to get a bit of time to ourselves!
My experience with summer camp comes courtesy of our public school system. Our family couldn't afford regular summer camps, but it didn't matter. Every year when June arrived we spent a week in the mountains, or at the nearby lake, doing all the things that regular kids did.
I loved the cabins! And I loved how the food was so different than what we ate at home. The only thing I didn't like, especially as we grew older, was the competition between the girls to garner all the attention from the boys of other schools. As a brunette, I just couldn't compete against the blonde girls, even though they were still flat chested. (You know, that feeling of being second followed me right into adulthood, which makes no sense to me now!)
Anyway, this coming summer, I'm hoping to spend some time at a camp. I think the whole family would enjoy it. The other vacations involving flights and hotels and renting cars are going to have to wait until I get a salaried position, but I'm sure no one will mind.