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Point Sebago Resort, Maine

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

“Number 32, your onion rings are ready,” a voice chirps over the PA system. Meanwhile, groups of T-shirt-clad counselors are lining up small fry for scooter races. It’s just another summer day at Point Sebago Resort, where adults can play golf on one of the finest courses in the state of Maine, while kids “hang” with their own kind in an award-winning program. It would take the most energetic of souls at least a week to sample the 75 to 80 activities offered here each day during the summertime.

“This feels more like a theme park than an RV park,” said one first-time visitor, and it’s hard to argue, especially after catching sight of the resort’s character mascots. Instead of Minnie and Mickey, or Chip ’N’ Dale, Point Sebago has Chippy, Rocky, Squeaky, Mortimer the Moose and Stinky (a skunk, what else?) ready to join the kids for a rollicking game of Simon Sez or Pillo Polo. Indeed, the air smells of french fries, not wood smoke, and a family-friendly atmosphere pervades during school’s-out season. The hub of activity is Chippy’s Pavilion on the lakefront, where guests rent pleasure boats, sign up for kids’ activities, shop at the general store or grab a bite at the Outdoor Cafe and Snack Bar.

Get past the hustle and bustle of Chippy’s, however, and other facets of this dazzling resort emerge. First, there’s the location. Anyone who thinks the beauty of Maine begins and ends with the rocky Atlantic coastline hasn’t visited the less-touristy lakes region in the southwestern part of the state, 125 miles north of Boston. Here, stands of white birch and pine lead to sparkling deep-blue lakes.

That the rest of touristdom hasn’t discovered this outdoor playground makes it all the better for those who have. The region still boasts small cottage colonies and villages seemingly frozen in time, where the bait shop-cumsnack shack serves as the local hot spot, and boat ramps and pebbly beaches draw local folk and cabin-dwellers on sultry weekends. With a staff of 400-plus, and a typical guest roster numbering 3,000, Point Sebago Resort boasts a bigger population than Casco, its home town!

The resort occupies a prime spot in this woodsy paradise. The sprawling 775-acre facility is set on the shores of Sebago Lake. From the lake, boaters can access some 55 square miles of water via the Songo Locks. RVers are invited to BYOB (bring your own boat) and use the resort’s free launch ramp, or rent a fishing boat, a powerboat, a small sailboat, a kayak, a canoe or a pontoon boat. Then there’s the Point Sebago Princess, the resort’s custom-built 95-passenger cruise boat, best enjoyed by sunset or moonlight. Some guests might be tempted to take a waterskiing lesson. (Be warned: The Baywatch-type kids who teach this make it look easier than it is.)

As for fishing, Sebago Lake boasts landlocked salmon as well as bass. If the thought of landing a record-breaking bass sets your heart-a-thumping, consider visiting in late August or mid-September, when the resort plays host to the Champion Bassmaster and Northeast Bass Association tournaments each year. If you don’t have a Maine fishing license, you can buy one here.

Back on land, golfers have discovered that Point Sebago’s 18-hole, par-72 championship course is challenging, playable and pretty, to boot. Set amid 500 acres of birch forest, the course is considered one of the finest in Maine. A round will set you back about $50, including cart rental. The resort offers golf clinics and schools, a new golf academy staffed with PGA professionals, a pro shop and dining facilities. Golfers may opt to sign their small fry into the daylong kids’ camps, and make it to the course for a 9:30 a.m. tee time. Tennis is yet another option at Point Sebago. Use of 10 all-weather courts is free to guests. Lessons are available, too.

Arguably, the children’s programs are what make Point Sebago Resort a standout among RV campgrounds. Offered free to guests, these camps and activities, run by counselors, are designed for ages 3 to 19. Since that’s a pretty wide age range by anyone’s standards, groups are ranked by age, ski-resort style. For the tiniest tots, there’s Chippy’s & Rocky’s Morning and Afternoon Camps (ages 3 to 5), featuring a playhouse, an outdoor tot lot and a kindergym. Youngsters play games, construct craft projects, gather in a circle for storytime and even get some tot-ercise (as if they need it). Kids from 6 to 8 are considered Discovery Dynamos here, and get thoroughly exhausted and happily dirty playing Nerf soccer, kickball and Twister, racing sailboats, taking nature hikes, doing creative dancing and other wild-and-woolly activities.

Kids 9 to 12 can choose from activities offered by the hour, like atomic dodge ball, kayak races and the ever-popular candy-bar bingo. Games and contests are conducted by the hour for the teen set, as well. Young teens can take part in the Teen Adventure Program, with options like golf clinics and team-building challenges, while the older bunch (16 to 19) can meet at sports activities and entertainment offerings, like laser karaoke. They even get their own dance cruise aboard the Point Sebago Princess.

So what are mom and dad doing while their teens and preteens party? A whole lot of nothing if they choose! Otherwise, there’s plenty of after-dark action at Point Sebago. For families with young children, the resort offers old-fashioned fun, such as square dancing, puppet shows and sing-alongs. Each week during the summer, there’s a carnival on the beach, a don’t-miss event for families.

Adults without kids — or who wish to avoid them — can seek the haven of the Sebago Lounge. That is the place to relax with a cool beverage and take in the evening’s entertainment. Perhaps it’s Comedy Night or Murder Mystery Night, or maybe there’s a guest hypnotist on the bill. There’s even an Adult Novelty Night, which seems to be one of those things that fall under the category of, “If you have to ask, you probably shouldn’t go.”

A recent emphasis has been on activities designed for the entire family, says general manager Don Toms. “In the past, we noticed that parents wanted to drop their kids off at activities, but now we’re seeing that families want to play together,” he says, noting that turnout is strong at all ages activities, such as the Pirate’s Adventure Cruises, Chippy’s Family Breakfast and family talent shows. And it’s not just mom, pop and the kids. “A lot of grandparents come with the whole family.” Toms says camping families tend to rendezvous here, year after year. “Family reunions are big, too,” he says.

Even though most guests are likely exhausted after a day of waterskiing, kayaking, swimming and golfing, everybody has to eat. Though nothing beats the taste of a meal cooked over a campfire, Point Sebago offers an enticing option: dinner cooked by someone else beside the lake. The Lakeview Restaurant serves family fare, with the Terrace Room set aside for child-free dining. Specials include the Down East lobster bake (if you’re not up for boiling a pot of lobsters in your rig) or prime rib.

So what’s it like to stay here? Absolutely a blast, if the idea of a full menu of outdoor activities is appealing. Point Sebago should also be a must-stop for any RVer who’s nutty for golf (ask about special golf packages). And, of course, this resort is a natural for anyone who is traveling with kids or grandkids and would rather not bear the responsibility of single-handedly keeping them occupied and amused for the duration of the vacation. A serene wilderness experience this is not, although there are several wonderful places in Maine where you can find exactly that, should you wish it.

However, there are some fairly quiet sites among the 150-plus that are suitable for motorhomes. The sites along upper Blue Road and upper Green Road back up into the woods and are relatively peaceful. The shaded gravel sites include a mix of pull-through and back-in; size and levelness vary. Most are fairly spacious. All sites offer water and electricity (20, 30 or 50 amps) and some offer sewer hookups. Propane and a pump-out service are available. Security is gated, and facilities are spanking-clean and in good repair. Tents and RVs are intermingled here, as are Point Sebago’s rental units. The resort also offers rental cottages and runs an ownership program.

“We’ve got 50 to 60 activities counselors, whose jobs are strictly to entertain you,” Toms says. “Plus, there’s our great location, the lake and the sandy beach. You just can’t beat that combination.”

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