Just got back from a week of family camp. It was my husband, myself, and our two boys (6 and 5). We went with about 4 other families with young children. One family had a special needs child - the counselors were exceptional with her.
-The staff and counselors were amazing. They were all friendly and knowledgeable. I can't say enough about the staff. The skits, the pow wows, and other fun activities that they led. The group leaders all had so much personality and were so accomodating.
-There were a huge variety of activities. They ranged from arts and crafts room to guided mountain bike tours to water skiing.
The less good:
-we stayed in a cabin with no running water. I would not do that again. Especially, when I realized they have rooms that have bathrooms in the lodge. The cabins were not very clean (lots of dust and bugs).
-the price. I feel that it was overly expensive. A lot of activities are included, but a quite a few are not. Waterskiing, horseback riding, mountain biking (if you use one of their bikes), some arts and crafts, and others I may not know about. I was offended that they put an ice cream freezer right next to the buffett line. It became a battle with my kids when they wanted an ice cream and I said no. I belive the ice cream ranged from $2-$5 - definitely full price. Why? You are already paying a lot, build in an extra $20 for ice cream. The other thing I was surprised about, but paid, was the gratuity. They suggested an average of $100/person in your family. I did tip $400 because I heard that the majority of the counselors and staffs pay comes from tips.
I felt like the price (If I remember correctly, we paid around $4,000 for the family, without tips and the extra activities), reflects a nice resort. The grounds needed some improvements. To their credit, it sounds like the new owners are fixing it up (new boat, new beds in the lodge, new horses, etc.), but I felt the price I paid subsidized some of the improvements in the future. All of this being said, I would recommend the Montecito Sequoia and I would go back. It is a unique experience to share with your family. We enjoyed talking about what we did during the day, singing songs around the campfire, catching fish, and strengthening our bond as a family. The family time is much more important than luxury anyway!
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