The laughter of children echoes through the dense pine forest and across the sandy beach before breaking on the lake's water like a crystal vase smashed with an inflatable hammer. Each week, new groups of kids explore Camp Lakotah's 126 acres alongside Little Hills Lake, engaging in more than 30 activities within its state-licensed and American Camp Association–accredited facilities. Campers engage in aquatic play, land-based sports, and arts-and-crafts sessions, honing both their physical fitness and creative sensibilities.
Staffers cater to each camper's needs throughout the week, guiding each individual toward activities focused on his or her personal goals and interests. The camp can serve vegetarian and diet-restriction-conscious food, and counselors can sing all campfire songs in the styles of both Bruce Springsteen and Andrea Bocelli.
One of the only golf courses of its type in the Midwest, the sprawling, lake-fronted Castle Course replicates some of the game’s best-known layouts. Golfers compete against imaginary PGA rivals on meticulous reproductions of seven legendary holes, including the 13th hole at Augusta National, and the water-surrounded, Nessie-guarded 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass. You and a companion roll from dream link to dream link in an included cart, equipped with GPS to ensure foolproof navigation, and, should that fail, plenty of practice balls to act as more durable bread crumbs.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, fitness frontierswomen move around a circuit of hydraulic-resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis.
Sky-blue walls and sand-colored carpets greet each family at Kids Unleashed, where slides, hula hoops, and playhouses invite young ones to explore as they hone their gross motor skills. The make-believe beach beckons stocking-dressed feet to roam its shores, where children ride rocking horses and parents surf free WiFi instead of the carpet in a nearby lounge filled with coffee, conversation, and clear views of the kids’ activities. Story time piques young children’s interest in reading, and ping-pong tables help older kids to develop enough hand-eye coordination to read a book while performing a cartwheel. Parents may depart during most of the center’s classes and camps, as the creation of art projects stimulates inventiveness in each child, and cupcake-baking demonstrates that cakes have children too. After class or playtime, the café teems with homemade, health-conscious snacks.
The nine-hole course at Weymont Run Country Club leads players on a rambling chase through treacherous dogleg turns and narrow fairways. Built in 1971, the track extends for 3,124 yards over 84 bucolic acres, nuzzling up against dense forest on four holes and forcing players to remain wary of water hazards on two. The club also allows ample room for practice at its driving range, a perfect solution for those needing a pre-round warm-up or a testing site for a homemade catapult.
Course at a Glance: