Most of us are aware of the fact that Lake Tahoe offers a plethora of family entertainment. However, we discovered a hidden gem by the name of Camp Concord. Acquired by the City of Concord in 1967, Camp Concord sits on 29 acres in South Lake Tahoe just a hop, skip and a jump from Camp Richardson. Surrounded by beautiful forest, and across the street from picturesque Baldwin Beach, Camp Concord encompasses 18 family cabins, a dining hall (where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily) and an activity schedule that offers hours upon hours of family fun and adventure. Providing families with affordable family vacations for over 45 years, Camp Concord is truly a treasure that you don’t often find.
My family of six recently visited Camp Concord with a large group of camp veterans who were on their fourth consecutive year. On any given week you will run into families who have been coming to Family Camp for years. When I asked Stacy Pollicino, a mother of six year old twins, Tori and Tessa, what her favorite thing about Camp Concord was she stated that “it is family time and the fact that my children have the ability to run free and be kids”. She also said “the minute the kids leave Camp Concord they immediately start asking how many days until they can go back”. Thus the countdown begins.
Steve Voorhies, the Parks Program Manager for the City of Concord shares an interesting history with Camp Concord. He has been frequenting Camp Concord for more than 30 years, beginning at age 12. His first visit to Camp Concord was the result of a scholarship offered to underprivileged kids to attend the now defunct Youth Program. He mentioned that the camp literally changed his outlook on life. During a time when a teenage boy could have gotten into trouble and strayed in the wrong direction, Camp Concord offered him stability, solace and a place to belong. He made lifelong friends, communed with nature and experienced things that he would not have otherwise had the opportunity to do, all while building everlasting memories.
Steve came back each summer. At 15 he volunteered to in the work in the kitchen; at 18 he worked as camp counselor and after graduating college, worked as the Assistant Director and thereafter Camp Director. Here he had the good fortune to meet his wife, Claire, who was then working as a counselor on a cultural exchange visa from Australia. He majored in Recreation, choosing that field because of all of his positive experiences at Camp Concord. Now visiting Family Camp yearly with his wife and three small children, Camp Concord is a “home away from home” and a tradition he will pass down to his own kids. Steve stated that “Camp Concord is my favorite place”. To say Camp Concord changed his life and altered his path would be an understatement. Steve’s story is one of many and it is amazing to hear how countless people share a long-standing relationship with this very special place.
To state that my four children six and under had a good time at Camp Concord would be putting it mildly. In a time when children are connected to every digital device known to man, they were able to unplug and enjoy nature, experience the simplicity of play, imagination, creativity and good ‘ol basic fun! We were able to engage and bond as a family, to partake in the many planned activities that Camp Concord has to offer and supply them with everlasting childhood memories. Camp Concord isn’t just a family vacation, but an amazing family experience that builds lifelong traditions.
Arrived in camp; checked into our cabin; unloaded and headed over to the dining hall for dinner; turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls and salad…yum! (The very best part was Mom didn’t have to cook…or clean!) Headed over to the Green Room where we played a few board games with the kids, then set out for a walk in the forest before dark. Headed to the campfire and enjoyed some conversation and stories before bed time.
Awakened to fresh air and birds chirping, ventured to breakfast then kids went to first of two ‘Kids Hours’. We then had the choice to partake in a hike to Fallen Leaf Lake for some mid-day canoeing or venture off on our own. Opted for a few hours at Baldwin Beach. Kids then enjoyed their second ‘Kids Hour’ in the afternoon with their counselors, while Moms and Dads enjoyed social hour. After dinner we headed to the campfire again where the children provided us with songs, skits and entertainment they had rehearsed early in the day with their counselors.
Wake up and head to breakfast at Pope Beach! A large spread of eggs, bacon, potatoes, fruit, coffee, mimosas (parents only!) and more welcomed us as we arrived at the beach. Enjoyed the activities, games and amazing 82° beach weather. Rented a kayak, paddle board and paddle boat right on the beach from Kayak Tahoe: www.kayaktahoe.com. Sack lunches were delivered to all families at noon! Back to camp for dinner and optional volleyball and campfire.
Choice of rafting or Meeks Bay, we headed to the beach! Catered BBQ lunch by the staff on the beach (what a view). Counselors took the kids crawdad fishing which was deemed their “favorite” activity of the weekend. Time to pack up and head home!