Learn more about this special place! Ohana was featured in the spring 2018 issue of Reveille, The Aloha Foundation’s newsletter for parents, alumni, and friends. Check it out!
Ohana Means Family
Ohana brings families and friends together to refresh and celebrate their ties, and build new ones with others who enjoy living simply for a time in the out-of-doors, and sharing all that nature has to offer. In the Hawaiian language, ohana means family, community, a circle of good friends. We welcome family as you define it, and we hope that you will leave Ohana strengthened and reconnected.
A country retreat of great natural beauty, Ohana was built in the early 1900s primarily as lodging for families with children at the many Vermont summer camps then operating around Lake Fairlee.
Known originally as Shanty Shane, the property was described in a brochure of the day as a “vacation camp for adults and families in the hills of the high country west of the Connecticut River, with cozy little houses built for two or more, and a main hall on such a height as to afford a view unsurpassed in New England.”
The property comprises twenty rustic guest cabins, six tent cabins, a handsome historic dining lodge, a classic red barn with a striking interior, and a variety of outbuildings on 112 acres of woods, fields and waterfront, with grand views of the Middlebrook river valley and the mountains to the west.
The quintessential Vermont family camp, Ohana is one of five renowned summer camps operated by The Aloha Foundation. The camps are the legacy of an adventuresome family who lived and taught in Hawaii in the 19th century, and returned to New England early in the 20th to establish a pioneering wilderness camp for girls in Fairlee, Vermont.
During week-long stays at Ohana, family campers swim, fish, canoe, kayak and sail in Lake Fairlee’s quiet waters; play tennis, volleyball and basketball on the camp’s own courts; try their hands at archery or a variety of arts and crafts; take hiking, biking, and sightseeing excursions through the New England countryside; or just rest and read in a rocking chair. Summer evenings bring campfires, music making, story-telling and s’mores; amateur talent shows and spirited contra dancing; expert talks on cultural and natural history; and other community entertainments.
“Our extended family looked for several years for a place to come together to enjoy one another,” a grandparent has written, “—parents with children, brothers with sisters, cousins with cousins, ages 1 to 78. Then Ohana came along: the perfect spot for all of us to gather each summer. At Ohana our four generations were able to share the love for this lake and environment that many of us first felt as campers and counselors at Aloha, Hive and Lanakila. It’s the closest thing we can imagine to our by-gone summers at camp—the aroma of pine needles and ferns, and the earth after a rain shower; the peacefulness and simplicity; the bonds between people and nature—and the incredibly gracious staff who helped all of us to have the most enjoyable family gathering ever.”
An extended weekend for a wedding is a wonderful way to bring all of your family and friends together to celebrate. Your party will have exclusive use of our Main Lodge, 20 cabins, six tent cabins, waterfront and grounds. Spacious grounds allow for a larger crowd outdoors.
If you are trying to gather family members from far and wide for your next summer vacation, consider holding your family reunion at Ohana. Your family can relax and have fun together in our simple, natural setting, while Ohana staff take care of all the details.
Family camp has a completely unique way of bringing family closer together. At Ohana this bonding summer camp experience is amplified by spectacular outdoor activities on land and on the lake. Staff-led activities are offered daily for children, adults and the whole family.