Imagine an idyllic camp scene, and you may picture a cabin in the woods, a fire roaring, and campers singing as they roast marshmallows, relaxing after a long day of swimming, boating and hiking.

But at Fairview Lake YMCA, that image might also include moms with their sons cross-country skiing and sledding, dads and daughters tie-dyeing shirts in a lodge with a three-story rock-climbing wall, or an entire family hiking and making apple cider on an October afternoon.

Through all the seasons, Fairview Lake YMCA offers specialty weekends that promote parent-child and family bonding away from distractions. “Camping is an excellent way to unplug from routine, connect with loved ones and nature, and get a fresh perspective on life, no matter what time of year it is,” Fairview Lake YMCA Executive Director Bob Kahle said.

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Located at the base of Kittatinny Ridge in Sussex County, Fairview Lake YMCA has 660 acres of woods, streams, ponds and fields alongside a 110-acre lake. Each year, more than 25,000 people from all over New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania and beyond enjoy the Y’s sleep-away summer camps, family programs, environmental education, and conferences.

The Y runs six parent/child weekends, and one for grandparents and children over the New Year’s weekend. During the father/son weekend, Jan. 27-29, dads and their boys built a survival shelter, tried their hands at archery and the rifle range, and made hiking sticks and tasty banana boats. Moms can bond with their daughters Feb. 24-26. In March and again in December, dads can enjoy quality time with their daughters, and moms and sons get a turn in November. The Y added a new father/child adventure weekend in June.

Family camp weekends are also offered throughout the year, and this year, families can spend an entire week in the great outdoors in August. The Y also runs adult-only camping weekends and women’s wellness getaways, as well as opportunities for volunteers to help spruce up the grounds. For more information about family, parent/child and other specialty weekends, visit fairviewlakeymca.org, send a message to fairviewlake@metroymcas.org or call 1-800-686-1166. Fairview Lake YMCA is a branch of the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges, the largest association of YMCAs in New Jersey.

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ABOUT THE Y

Established in 1885, the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges is the largest association of YMCAs in New Jersey, serving more than 35,000 individuals and providing nearly $1.3 million in financial assistance each year. Its six YMCAs, located in East Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Hardyston, Stillwater and Wayne, are committed to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living, and fostering a sense of social responsibility. They offer an array of programs that build spirit, mind and body for people of all ages and all circumstances.