This is summer camp? Travel firm debuts luxury 'camp experiences' with private accommodations, personal chefs

We may need to redefine the concept of “camp” after this.

A New York-based company is now providing “private luxury camp experiences” for families that are now finding themselves unable to send their children off to sleep-away camp during the coronavirus pandemic. But the average package sounds less like “camp” than it does a five-star resort.

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Embark Beyond, a travel firm that specializes in “bespoke” luxury trips, has launched the new service solely for families that have nowhere to send their kids this summer. And there are several packages and plans for parents to choose from at “Camp Embark,” including some that come with oceanfront accommodations, personal chefs or private jets.

“Kids will be entertained with full days of play with their personal counselor, while parents can relax with peace of mind or work remotely if necessary,” reads a brochure for Camp Embark, before detailing the accommodations and activities that both parents and their children can enjoy for $8,500 per week, and up to $150,000 per week, at venues across the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean.

Hot-air ballooning and horseback riding are just a few of the activities offered for guests who book packages at the Amangiri resort in Canyon Point, Utah. Prices starting at $6,880 per night.

Hot-air ballooning and horseback riding are just a few of the activities offered for guests who book packages at the Amangiri resort in Canyon Point, Utah. Prices starting at $6,880 per night. (Amangiri)

Sample activities include go-karting, nature hikes, a “Chopped”-inspired dessert-making competition, whale-watching, archery, golf, zip-lining and surfing, depending on the location and package of choice.

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Camp Embark’s luxury “experiences” aren’t just for single families, either. Groups of close friends or multiple families can book the company’s services, allowing their children to share in a single “camp” experience without having to interact with kids or adults from outside of their social group.

Families can also hire the services of a dedicated local counselor to stay with the group for the duration of the trip.

“The program sets parents up with the ability to work from an incredible luxury hotel while we bring the camp to them,” said Camp Embark’s managing partner Jack Ezon in a statement to the Robb Report. “And they don’t have to send their kids to a kids’ club where they’ll be around other slimy fingers.”

Packages at the Beach Enclave, in Turks and Caicos, offer snorkeling, scuba diving, and even an island treasure hunt starting at $5,770 per night. (Meals from the private chef are included.)

Packages at the Beach Enclave, in Turks and Caicos, offer snorkeling, scuba diving, and even an island treasure hunt starting at $5,770 per night. (Meals from the private chef are included.) (Beach Enclave)

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Ezon and fellow managing partner Julie Danziger originally came up with the idea after lamenting that they, themselves, had nowhere to send their respective kids amid the coronavirus crisis. So together, they started researching properties that might be able to host a camp-like experience for whole families, and Camp Embark was born.

"Listening to some of our clients, it was evident that we were not alone in 'freaking out' about what we would do with our kids over the summer, once Zoom classes ended," Eon tells Fox News. "We saw an opportunity to recreate the camp experience in a hermetically sealed environment so parents can continue to work and kids can enjoy themselves (finally) in the great outdoors!"

"We created his concept based on what we would want," adds Danziger. "In fact, I am booked to enjoy one of our own programs later this summer at Chatham Bars Inn."

And so far, the idea has been a “surprising success” with other parents, Ezon says.

“We have about 50 clients getting away starting this week with one or two other families for a private destination summer camp,” Ezon confirmed.

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In fact, demand for the company’s services has since led to an “at-home” version of Camp Embark’s experiences. So now, the company is offering to turn their clients’ own backyards into “customized camp programs,” where kids don’t even need to leave their own property to learn to play basketball from a former NBA player, or master the art of Legos from — who else — a real Lego master.

The at-home packages, which were only announced about a week ago, have already been booked by more than 40 families. Packages run around $3,500 per week.