AmyDonohuePhotography-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.

In the Hawaiian language, ohana means family, community, a circle of good friends. So the camp we call 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.

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.”