No matter how old you are, it’s never too late to have a great answer to the age-old question, “How did you spend your summer vacation?”
Whether you feel nostalgic about those early years when singing songs by the campfire, or simply need to escape where your phones lose reception and meet new friends, a summer camp for grown-ups may be a good answer.
It’s the place where you can forget about your everyday adult worries and go back to your carefree childhood days: an opportunity to focus on passions that sometimes don’t fit into your busy schedule, a chance to be in nature, take a nap under a tree, journaling, work out, clear your minds, refocus on your priorities, refresh your outlook and have fun.
From New York to California, summer camps in the US are growing in popularity with adults signing up to these one-of-a-kind destinations to experience arts and crafts, play field games and make tons of random new friends.
Many of them evoke traditional summer camp themes: you sleep in a cabin, have campfires, eat in a mess hall, and do classic activities such as tie-dye. Others are like wellness retreats in the wilderness, with a full range of offerings such as power yoga, hiking or archery. What’s sure, they will help you release your inner child.
As Michelle Goldblum, co-founder of wellness-oriented Soul Camp, states camp is about rediscovering our more authentic selves, something that came more easily to us as kids: “Camp was a simpler time, and so many of us are wanting a taste of that yet again. Adults are longing for the opportunity to show up as they truly are – not the role they play or the title they have, but just as themselves.”
So to help you decide where to spend your week of holiday this summer, we’ve rounded up 5 adults-only summer camps in the United States that will help you feel young again.
Better known as “your transformational playground to learn, connect and grow”, Campowerment is more than a camp: it’s an all women’s empowerment retreat, offering personal development, wellness, mindfulness workshops and tons of activities from dusk till dawn. Camp founder Tammi Leader Fuller has created an environment where every woman can reimagine herself. Get ready to forge new friendships with other women, engage in deep conversations as well as participate in karaoke, pie-eating contests, and outdoor adventure activities, all while learning tools and tips from experts meant to inspire you to live your best life. Camps run in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania and Malibu, California.
This sleepaway all-inclusive camp is great for those looking for a short but empowering and relaxing holiday. Ideal for nature lovers looking for a bit of camaraderie, you will enjoy plenty of outdoor adventures with the benefit of a prime location on Lake Owego in the Pocono Mountains. The Camp Bonfire offers activities like archery, rock climbing, late-night campfires, canoeing, capture the flag, arts & crafts, writing poetry, sing-alongs and many more. You can mix and match your schedule and do what you want. Their motto? “We believe that great joy can be found in nature and each other”.
Active Older Adults Camp
For kids ages 50 and up. The choice is yours – be as active or as relaxed as you like in a fun and supportive environment at Camp Chief Ouray. The 5,150-acre YMCA camp with mountains, valleys, streams and meadows is located in Granby, Colorado, near Rocky Mountain National Park and about 1.5 hours northwest of Denver. The fun includes activities such as hiking, rafting, archery, canoeing, fishing, woodcarving & leather, and much more.
The Tony Minieri Needlepoint Retreats at Stitching Fox will help you hone your skills while socializing with other like-minded people. Included in the session are a discussion of essential tools, easy and proper ways to thread a needle, beginning and ending threads, how to mount the canvas on the stretcher bars (and why to use them), compensation and other techniques. Not to mention, you’ll spend a weekend in Mill Spring, North Carolina surrounded by the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains.
An exciting environmental education experience for grown-ups in the cool green mountains of the George Washington National Forest of Virginia. With a mix of hands-on field studies, classroom lectures, and crafting projects, you’ll take part in bird walks, animal tracking, folk singing, several short hikes, and stargazing. The structure of this Nature Camp is informal, with questions and input from other instructors and attendees encouraged. Field investigations will be complemented by discussions, workshops, and several craft activities.
If you’re looking for a camp to meet a specific interest, try the American Camp Association’s online tool. Please, note camps usually fill up in advance and may sell out, so don’t wait to register.