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Family Stories

Conley Family

First Timer's Fears Turn to Cheers

When a family comes back again and again to a camp, there must be something special about that experience. The Conley Family of Pickering, Ohio has spent nine summers at Medomak Family Camp. “For us, this is the one place we want to go back to every year,” Ann Conley says.

In their first year at camp they met the Allen family, who were also new to the camp. The two families hit it off. They arranged to come at the same time the following year, and a cherished tradition was started.

Ann found the camp online through a Google search and didn’t know what to expect initially. They had no previous camp experience. “The website really looked too good to be true!” she said.

As they got within a few miles of camp that first summer, she started to panic, and wondered if they had made the right decision. But, she said, the staff and owners were so accommodating from the minute they arrived, that within a day they knew they had made the “best decision.”

Her youngest child was three when they started, and even she had a wonderful time. Ann felt totally comfortable with her child going off with her counselor—even though she was a new mom at the time. Counselors are expert at getting kids and parents involved. “Now,” she says, laughing, “my daughter cries every time we leave camp.”

She assures parents that even if you are not “sporty” you can do things like volleyball and kickball. “You can make a total fool of yourself and nobody cares!” she laughs. Having been there so many years she does fewer activities, but just enjoys relaxing – reading a book, enjoying the surroundings.

She loves the unplugging. “Even the oldest kids don’t miss their computer or TV. ” she says. “It’s so relaxing and a good chance for families to get closer while meeting people from all over the country.” Some are now Facebook friends and stay in touch by emailing each other in the off-season.

The best part of the camp, according to the Conley Family, is the people. “Dave (the camp’s director) and Holly and George (the camp owners) always get phenomenal counselors who are good with kids and adults.”

And the experience of connecting with other families is something that will never forget. David Allen and her husband Mike get together whenever David has business in Boston.

According to the Conley family, you can find more than relaxation and fun at Medomak Family Camp. You can find friends for life.

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