Emandal Family Camp
Family Camp was something I always wanted to do once I had kids. And so the last two years we were fortunate enough to get a spot at Emandal, a camp our cousins use to go to. The cousins would rave about the camp, the river, the food, the friendships, the farm, the love, and deep, deep bonds. As we found out first hand, they did not exaggerate.
Em and Al Byrnes bought the farm back in 1908, to get away from the craziness of life in SF. They wanted to get back to nature and started up a farm. Tam, the current operator, came to the farm as a farmhand at first. She fell in love with, and later married, the owner's son, Clive Adams, Jr. Today, all of Tam and Clive's children and their partners/spouses all help throughout the year to maintain that Emandal Magic!
Words cannot express the decompression which happens as soon as one gets to Emandal. The first thing I did after arriving is take a 2 hour nap. The cool, shady room and the absolute quiet, and knowing that the children are safe and exploring the farm simply bleeds all the stress out of me.
Amazing home cooked meals, all made from fresh ingredients mostly from the farm, were served 3 times a day. Our daily schedule consisted of farm chores, morning coffee (roasted onsite), breakfast, games, and crafts on the lawn; followed by lunch, siesta, swimming in river, more farm chores, dinner, campfire, s'mores, sleep, and repeat. Oh, don't forget the Thursday night talent show!
One thing I was pleasantly surprised by is how much the kids grow socially through the week. They are learning responsibilities, self reliance, and creating their own social dynamics.
Thank you to our cousins for sharing this place with us, and thank you to Tam, her lovely family, and all the farmhands for all of their devotion to this magical land.