Summer camp by lake is as awe-inspiring as it was in 1946

| March 31, 2022 | 0 Comments

CAMPERS zip-line.

Skylake Yosemite Camp looks divine — on its website. It’s probably not so picture-perfect in real life, I thought. And then I met a camp alumna.

“It is my spiritual homeland. I’d probably still work there if I could. It’s a spectacular, spectacular place,” said Windsor Square resident Kate Adler.

Adler spent eight blissful summers as a camper at Skylake Camp and three more as a counselor. Her children, Matias, 14, and Eleanor, 12, are following in their mom’s trodden footsteps and they will soon be packing for their fourth visit this June.

Their father, Marcelo Ziperovich, got in on the outdoor action when their children were toddlers on family camp weekends.

Kate is not alone in praising Skylake’s “magic ethos.” According to the website, many at the camp are taken with what is “an opportunity to feel connected to something bigger than oneself.”

CAMPERS climb a wall at Skylake Camp near Yosemite.

It is set in a dream location — on a lake in the Sierra National Forest, 15 miles from Yosemite National Park and centuries away from cell phones, video games and the internet.

“Nowadays, it’s even more important for kids to unplug,” said Kate, a vice president in the television industry.

Canoeing and archery were Kate’s favorite activities when she was a young camper. But hands down, it was the social bonds and friendships that compelled her to return year after year.

When the camp was cancelled in 2020 because of the pandemic, her kids were devastated. “It was the worst thing that ever happened to them,” Kate recalls.

The camp bounced back in 2021. And the 2022 summer sessions are already fully booked.

A family camp affair

Skylake co-director Adrienne Portnoy-Durgin also started as a young camper, and later was a counselor before working in the hotel industry for many years. She returned to what is now her 11th year as co-director at the camp with her sister. Their children are also happy campers, she tells us. Her father is co-owner and theirs is only the second family to own the camp in its 77-year history.

“Camp as a child was like going to my home away from home,” says Adrienne. “My most cherished memories and friendships were made at camp. It was freedom, it was fun, it was about friendships and growing up in a supported environment, separate from our life at home. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it’s these types of experiences that help us grow, build our character and build grit.”

As the world becomes more overpowered with electronics and social media, “Camp is now more important than ever. But it’s still the same camp that I experienced as a child. Camp hasn’t changed, but the world sure has,” Adrienne says.

Rates start at $4,175 for a two-week session.

Visit and click on “Request More Information” on the website to be notified in the fall for 2023 openings.

Peruse our directory on the following pages for other camp ideas.

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