In fact, it's the way the middle class used to do summer.
There's a long history of groups of families getting together to buy a piece of land upstate or a string of bungalows on the beach. They'd basically set up their own camps, arranging outdoor activities like fishing, swimming and tennis, and social events like campfires and dances. Kids spent their summers playing with other kids.
Labor organizations built permanent summer camps for their members, like Unity House, owned by the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. In 1919, the union bought a lodge on a lake in the Poconos, built cabins and facilities, and created an affordable summer resort where workers and their families could rent rooms or bungalows. Unity House ran outdoor activities and educational programs, theaters and guest lectures until its closure in 1989.
Workmen's Circle, a fraternal organization that was part of the Jewish Labor Committee, also built a family camp in the early 1900s, called Circle Lodge, in Hopewell Junction, NY. It's still running. Members can still rent bungalows, and the camp runs outdoor activities and Jewish cultural programs.
These were not time-shares. These were complete summer communities. The difference is subtle, but important. A time-share is about an individual family getting a condo unit for a week or two of vacation -- they just take turns with hundreds of other part-owners of a resort complex. "Ownership" typically means buying a license or an investment share in a property run by a larger company.
The group vacation retreats, on the other hand, were about a collective vacation experience. People knew they'd be coming back with the same families, year after year, so they had to build a sense of community. And the property was held by the families, or the labor union, as a group asset.
By coming together, families who weren't wealthy could own a slice of summer. It's not so different from freelancers joining forces so they can all work in a nice office. They, too, gain a new community and can enjoy some of the perks that bigger (or wealthier) companies can afford. Sure, not having your own private office takes getting used to, but the success of co-working spaces shows there's an appetite for this kind of sharing.
Collective vacations aren't just a quaint experiment from the past. Some of these original summer retreats are still going strong, like the cooperatively-owned Bay Terrace Country Club, in Bayside, Queens. It was started in 1960 when 400 families got together to build a pool. Now, members enjoy summer in the middle of Queens with a pool and water slides, a swim program, sun decks and social events. Unlike a typical country club, Bay Terrace is a cooperative, so members own the club and run it together. They are not the 1%. They offer coupons for discounted summer membership and special rates for single-parent families. They host a flea market. Some members say the term country club is misleading, because it makes it sound "fancy, like a golf club." There's no golf here.