Why My Family Traveled Long-Distance for a Summer Camp Last Year

Why My Family Traveled Long-Distance for a Summer Camp Last Year

Guest-authored by Madeline Hamilton, an Ohio-based hockey mom, who attended a one-week-long summer hockey camp in Norwalk, Connecticut. 

We’re a hockey family, of course we’re going to double dip and combine out of state hockey camps into family vacations. 

Last year, after a little bit of persuasive work on my end, I convinced my husband it was a great idea for us to sign up our 2013 youth hockey player for the Mark Messier camp, several states and hundreds of miles away.

A bit of background on our family

None of us were born in the same place as any other family member, we move every 3-5 years. Moving every few years allows us to experience new places and be tourists in our hometown. These moves have also put us into closer proximity of places we would otherwise never have explored.

We have come to realize that traveling together, whether for work, hockey, or whatever travel obligation life throws our way, if we can add in some activities for everyone, it offers us a chance to have experiences we most likely wouldn’t otherwise have.


What better way to experience a new place than to drive 9 hours, have 4 half days of hockey, and use the other half days and one more full day to have fun?

Prep time

My husband and I created a list with website links for places/ excursions/ activities we would like to partake in. Over time we made cuts, based on feasibility of time, desire of everyone to take part in the activity, and cost. Our list still consisted of more things than what we could fit into the week long trip, but we wanted options, and needed to be able to shift gears, depending on weather, fatigue levels, and who knows what else, because let’s be honest, it’s a trip with our kids.

When things don't go according to plan

As expected wrenches were thrown in our plans, AirBnB canceled a few weeks out from the trip, the camp rink lost power and the camp schedule changed a few times, the fire alarm went off in the middle of the night before the first morning of camp, For the Love of Hockey Summer Challenge voting was taking place and we didn’t have time to wheel and deal any alliances. All that being said, nothing was a big enough hurdle that it ruined our trip.

All the things we did and memories we made

My son and I went shopping in a two story Target on the unplanned day off from camp. We went to the Maritime Aquarium, where we watched some of his favorite animals play. Meanwhile, my husband and daughter rode the train and explored Central Park and the Museum of Natural History in New York City. We spent an afternoon as a family playing in the treetops at a ropes course, we kayaked out to an island and back in the Long Island sound. Somedays, we stayed nearby and just went out and did local things, ate at new places, or just swam at the hotel together.

Definitely would do it again 🙌

Exploring new places is something my family loves to do. Choosing to travel for a hockey camp over last summer allowed us to go somewhere and do fun things that we otherwise might never have had a reason to go see and do. While traveling for hockey can be expensive and time consuming, turning it into a family trip can open you up to places and experiences you might have never known about. Yeah, we’re a hockey family, of course we’re going to double dip and combine out of state hockey camps into family vacations.

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