Family Circle: Camas a top town for families

City makes magazine's top 10 list

By Erin Middlewood, Columbian special projects reporter



Family Circle's best towns for families (in alphabetical order)

Apex, N.C.

Boerne, Texas

Brecksville, Ohio


Elmhurst, Ill.

Franklin, Tenn.

Lake Mary, Fla.

Westborough, Mass.

Westfield, Ind.

Woodbury, Minn.

People in Clark County have been saying it for years, and now Family Circle magazine is spreading the word:

Camas is a great place to raise a family.

Family Circle's August 2014 issue, on newsstands Tuesday, names Camas as one of the 10 best U.S. towns for families.

"Simple pleasures like hiking along the Columbia River Gorge or catching a summertime parade add charm to this picturesque Portland suburb," according to the magazine.

It's the eighth year Family Circle has ranked the best towns for families, said Suzanne Rust, the magazine's lifestyle editor.

"It opens people's eyes to smaller places not on everyone's radar," Rust said. "It broadens the scope of what it means to be happy in this country."

Family Circle worked with Onboard Informatics, a New York City research firm, to compile the list. The magazine began with 4,200 cities with populations between 10,000 and 150,000, and then culled those with a high concentration of households with median incomes between $50,000 and $100,000.

Camas has about 20,000 residents and a median income of about $80,000.

The magazine then measured the towns against family-friendly criteria: affordable homes, quality schools, access to health care, green space, low crime rate and financial stability.

The magazine article features Camas residents Steve Carter, 53, a retail manager, and wife Bonnie, 45, and their four sons.

The family appreciates the school system, as well as the simple pleasures Camas offers, according to the article. "That includes hiking along the beautiful Columbia River Gorge or catching the parade at the summertime Camas Days festival, when reps from Georgia-Pacific (which operates a paper mill in town) toss rolls of TP at the crowd."

"It's corny yet fabulous," Bonnie Carter told Family Circle. "Everybody waits for that float."

Pacific Northwest towns have made Family Circle's list before: Lake Oswego, Ore., in 2012; Maple Valley in 2011; and Kenmore, Wash., and Sherwood, Ore., in 2009.