When we decided to vacation in Vermont this summer two things came into play. One was that this would be our second trip of the summer and the other was if we did a family trip that meant that John and I wouldn’t be going away on our own this year. While we wanted a family vacation we also wanted to be able to do some of the adult experiences that Vermont offers like visiting wineries and breweries. We wanted to do things with the kids but we also wanted time to ourselves. We wanted to have our cake and a beer too. Smugglers’ Notch allowed us to do that.
The kid’s camps and TREASURES Childcare programs were what initially attracted us to Smugglers’ Notch because it meant that John and I would be able to go kayaking or visit breweries without having to worry about the kids being bored or having to get back to the condo for Grace’s nap time.
While we had decided to use the camps during our stay at Smugglers’ Notch, I still found myself anxious about leaving the kids. Thankfully after spending 12 hours in the car with them, I didn’t feel so anxious. I felt like we all needed a break from each other.
Smugglers’ Notch Camps for Kids
Trail Blazers met at 9:30 and I dropped him off along with a backpack filled with a change of clothes, swimsuit, towel, sunscreen and water bottle. His counselor got him signed in and then off they went. He spent his days hiking, doing an obstacle course, swimming and checking out the nature center.
When I dropped him off I had to fill out paperwork which let his counselor know if he was allowed to swim, if they could put bug spray on him, and if he had allergies. Their day started with some time for the kids to get to know each other and then they headed out.
The program offered lots of independence and was a great experience for him since he would be starting school in the fall. He rode the bus to Bootleggers Basin where they did an obstacle course. He opted to do the camp lunch and was so proud of himself for choosing to eat broccoli one day and carrots the next. He made friends and throughout our time at Smuggler’s Notch I would see kids waving to him and he would wave back excited to see his camp friends. One night while at FunZone2.0 he saw kids from camp and they took turns running the obstacle course and riding the slide.
TREASURES Camp at Smuggler’s Notch
Grace spent her days at TREASURES. We dropped her off in the morning and filled her cubie with diapers, wipes and her sippy cup. During the check-in process, we were asked where she naps (stroller, mat, crib), if she needs to be rocked to sleep, does she have a blanket or stuffed animal she needs. They asked me about her eating habits and explained that they really try to do everything to make the kids comfortable. If you want your kid to nap in a stroller, they will handle it. Baby wants to be rocked to sleep, they’ve got you covered.
And if like me you are feeling a little anxious about leaving your baby in someone else’s care for the first time, they have the brightwheel app. If you aren’t familiar with brightwheel, let me tell you that it’s the best thing ever. I’m pretty much ready to call my local daycare and tell them they need this app.
When I drop Grace off at TREASURES, I get a notification that she’s been checked in. Throughout the day I get notifications about diaper changes, meals, naps and even pictures showing me what she’s up to. Brightwheel and the amazing staff at TREASURES put all my worries at ease. I was even able to check in on her while kayaking, and I messaged the staff via the app while we were hiking, letting them know they could put her down for a nap since we decided to enjoy our last day of vacation exploring with Jackson.
TREASURES is bright, clean and well staffed. The team at TREASURES was friendly and competent and Grace quickly had Jessica wrapped around her finger. There is no sitting around at TREASURES. They have an enclosed playground for the kids, along with several play rooms, a nursery for napping and another room for meals. There is also a room filled with baby swings, so if it’s raining out the kids can still swing.
I missed a lot of things about Smugglers’ Notch when I got home but I think I missed TREASURES most. The staff does an excellent job of making parents feel good about leaving their kids and of making sure the kids have fun. There were no tears at drop-off. The staff even captured this sweet moment of my kids hugging at the end of the camp day.
Having the options for childcare and camps definitely made the vacation much more enjoyable for my family. John and I felt relaxed and recharged when we picked the kids up and we still had plenty of time to enjoy the day as a family. Jack got to meet new kids and got to experience some independence that definitely made back to school easier this year. I was able to enjoy a glass of wine without having to worry about the kids, exactly what I want to do when I’m on vacation.
One of the reasons we choose Smugglers’ Notch for our vacation was their children’s programs. Smugglers’ Notch hosted my kids in the Trail Blazers camp and at TREASURES while we visited, all thoughts and opions are my own.
Interested in visiting Smugglers’ Notch Resort don’t miss this post about our time at Smugglers’ Notch.