We took a short trip to Camp Orenda on September 7th for a two night getaway that was much needed. Having read just a few newspaper articles about the “glamping” experience, we were unsure of what to expect, and were more or less looking for a relaxing weekend without the unforeseen harshness of camping in September in the Adirondacks.
What we enjoyed was so much more than glamping. The weekend was nothing short of perfect.
When you first arrive at Orenda, the camp literally jumps out of the middle of nowhere, with a random custom sign hanging along a road traveled by very few. Stepping out of the car you are greeted immediately by the unforgettable smell of campfire. If you only get one chance to make a first impression, Orenda hit a home run. With only two couples staying that night, it would’ve been easy to let something like the campfire go until later.
Let it be known that Orenda is not snobbish camping as the name glamping may indicate. We were met at the car by Angie who informed us our tent was at the hill, and we were better off grabbing our bags now because the tent was at the top of the hill. Indeed it was. But worth the walk, as we walked into the tent and it was nothing like you’ve seen if you have been camping, or ever even visualized camping. A queen size bed, wood stove, carpets, lanterns, sitting chairs, and a strong canvas tent tells you that you are in for a different kind of experience.
The grounds and surrounding activities at Orenda are enough to keep you busy for days. Hiking or kayaking are all around you. Archery is on site, and as someone who has never fired a bow, that was fun. The crew will set up a number of different off site activities if you are up for something a little more exciting. Relaxation was our game this weekend.
The grounds of Orenda are beautiful and welcoming. I don’t need to say more. Simply stunning.
The price of camping at Orenda includes three meals a day, none of which disappoint. Two mornings of breakfast included pancakes with blackberries, and eggs and bacon. Lunch is sandwiches of different varieties. And then there is dinner. Mmmmmm dinner. The first night was pork that was purchased locally two days fresh. The second night was free range chicken that was delivered that day. The appetizers were all over the map- pizza, stuffed mushrooms, amazing potatoes- all of it locally grown and purchased. We had five meals at Orenda, and each was unique and delicious. What wasn’t unique, but overly satisfying was popping the S’more’s, roasting sticks included, into your mouth after dinner.
Orenda recently added an outdoor shower that pours hot water down on you as you stare up at pine trees overhead. An amazing feeling, and one not to be missed.
That leads us to the best part of Orenda: Dave. The guy who decided to switch up his life a few years ago and pour his heart and soul into something he loves. It shows all over the place. Where he sees things still missing, we saw perfection. Each acre of Orenda has been massaged, built, cared for, and developed by Dave, his friends, his parents (who spent the weekend there as well) and others. You can tell they love it, and you will see it when you stay there. No one is at Orenda to make a quick buck, send the money up to the shareholders and move on. Each minute you spend there is a minute that Dave and his staff make sure you are relaxed and having fun. We will surely go back again, and likely in the very near future.
Know that there is little electricity at Orenda, the bathroom facilities are porta-johns, and despite the luxury that is all around you, you will have a rough it a bit. But boy is it worth it. A job well done, and the best of luck to Dave. He has a great idea, but what is more important is ability to execute it to an even greater level.
J and M