Adult summer camps

The extremely fast-paced and ultra-connected world we live in these days seems to be causing people to take less and less time for themselves. Most people don’t stop and smell the roses much, they don’t know how to enjoy life the moment, they feel guilty about having a hobby. That’s where adult summer camps come in. These adult camps are spaces carved out of busy schedules that offer adults the opportunity to reclaim these lost parts of life, even if it’s only for a few days.

The camps provide many things, and there are different camps for different styles. Some include a broad range of workshops and traditional camp activities that can get pretty in-depth if you want them to. Others are simply a way to relax and connect with others (while disconnecting from the digital world) in a meaningful setting. If any of this sounds appealing to you, adult summer camps are probably worth looking into. After all, there’s a good reason why summer camps are such an attractive option for children: they provide community, skill-building, and an atmosphere that is carefree. We all can easily benefit from this, adults and kids alike.

These five adult summer camps from the Northeast to California will give you a good idea of what’s out there. Whether you’re looking for yoga, woodworking, hiking, or just plain chilling, there is something for everyone.

Camp Halcyon

Camp Halcyon in Wautoma, Wisconsin has a reason for its name. The definition of halcyon is “a period of time that was idyllically happy and peaceful.” This should easily bring up memories of the old childhood summer camps of yesteryear, full of fun, relaxation, and being free. Along with the traditional activities of arts and crafts, water sports like canoeing and fishing, and archery, there is also beach yoga, wine tasting, and beer making, to name a few of the options offered. All food and drinks are included, and that means a delicious three meals per day, not to mention an after-hours bar that has late night snacks.

All that being said, this is no “glamping” experience. Rustic camp conditions should be expected rather than luxury camping. There are two summer sessions and one winter session (in October, not fully winter yet in Wisconsin, though it will be cold enough). Expect to unplug from everyday concerns and engage in meaningful connections around a campfire with a beer in hand from a local brewery, if you’re so inclined.

Camp Bonfire

Camp Bonfire is a place to be yourself, to digitally detox, to make real, lasting memories, and unleash your inner child. None of that is too hard to do in the beautiful setting of Lake Owego, located in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. There are numerous activities, some more traditional, like swimming and archery, but there is also Thai massage, lemon jousting, and card printing, for example. On the more simple and fun side, this adult summer camp even has a giant swing and an adult version of Hungry-Hungry Hippos. You can partake in all or you can spend your days lounging in hammocks or strolling in the woods; it’s up to you.

Lodging, food, and beverages are included, though the camp likes to remind people that for those looking to day drink and party, this is probably not the right place. The focus is on engaging in meaningful conversations and making real connections with what they call “large talk,” the opposite of “small talk.” Adult beverages are provided in the evenings.

Camp No Counselors

Camp No Counselors might be the place for you if you like the sound of a childhood summer camp but with alcohol added into the mix. This camp has various locations in the US, from San Francisco to Chicago to Miami. There are lots of fun camp-style activities, making friendship bracelets, tie-dying, and tubing included, but the activities do not stop at nightfall. Evening events continue with themed dance parties, for example, which starts at happy hour, but ends only when the action dies down.

In terms of accommodations, cabins are comfortable with bunk beds, though pretty no frills, except for the camp option that is only for those 45 years of age and up, where private rooms and additional amenities are included. Food comes with your camp ticket as well, mostly conventional camp fare, and alcohol flows freely, including breakfast mimosas if you dare.

‘Camp’ Camp

‘Camp’ Camp is an LBGTQ adult summer camp in southwestern Maine. The intention is to return to simpler times, getting in touch with the outdoors and connecting in meaningful ways with others. All this happens with a full program of activities, which includes hiking, pottery, barn dancing, creative collage, figure drawing, and sailing. There’s even a late-night canoe trip inspired by the fact that adults don’t have curfews like their childhood counterparts. The food at ‘Camp’ Camp is not mess-hall style, but prepared by professional chefs with both taste and health in mind. Many ingredients are locally-sourced. Even more, know that your camp purchases are going to a good cause, as a part of camp store proceeds are given to an LGBTQ organization, which varies year to year.

Interlochen Center for the Arts

Located in Interlochen, Michigan, Interlochen Center for the Arts is an adult summer camp’s session is at the same time as the infamous camp for youths, though it’s in a different area of the campus. Interlochen offers a wide range of classes for adults in many artistic vocations, such as creative writing, painting, drawing, a variety of musical instruments, chorus, and weaving. Some classes are taught by full-time faculty, while others are specialty instructors that rotate.

Lodging and meals are not included, but a discounted rate at on-campus dorms is available for anyone registered in a course. This is less like a traditional summer camp, though it can easily begin to feel like it if you are staying on campus.