By Lincoln McElwee
Summer camps aren’t just for kids anymore, and adults the world over are starting to take note. According to the American Camp Association, an estimated 1 million adults now partake in the summer camp experience each year. And this enthusiasm for camping runs the gamut—as does the age of participants—from nostalgia and summer camp first-timers to adventure hounds and fun seekers.
Some camps seem like an extension of your local sorority, endless alcohol and parties and single adults on the prowl. Others are business- or adventure-minded, and hark back to the days before modern conveniences became such a prominent fixture in our lives.
Regardless of your niche, or your reason for wanting to explore this brave new world of adult summer camps, be sure to do your homework when picking a destination and, above all else, have fun.
Check out this list of adult-themed summer camps. Make new friends. Relive the good ol’ days. Your choice—you’re an adult now. You’ve earned it!
The Graham & Co.
Inspired by the idea of a weekend getaway, this “camp,” located in Phoenicia, New York, will appeal to those looking for secluded old-school charm. Guests can enjoy cozy rooms with Tivoli radios, an outdoor pool, classic films projected on an outdoor screen, and a bar. Guests can also play outdoor games on the grounds, and there are a host of relaxing activities in the surrounding Catskills, such as tubing and swimming. For more information, be sure to visit: http://www.thegrahamandco.com/
This hot spot camp is located in South Kent, Connecticut. It’s one of the more popular adult summer camps, with fully-stocked bars, dance parties, new friends, and great food. Recreational activities include water sports, team sports and adventure sports, running the gamut from zip lining, rock climbing and trapeze to dodge ball, volleyball and waterskiing. There are dinner parties, happy hours and late night campfires to take full advantage of as well. Club Getaway tends to sell out rather quickly, so be sure to visit the website for more details and reservations: http://www.clubgetaway.com/getaways/
This upscale camping experience in South Lake Tahoe will have you wishing you camped more often. Basecamp Hotel offers guests a rooftop hot tub, private balconies and excellent, outdoorsy ambience. There’s even a suite available with a tent over the bed, a faux fireplace and glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling! Guests can engage in biking, hiking, and water sports in the nearby Lake Tahoe surroundings, then be back in time for food, fun and a bit of sophisticate relaxation. For more information, visit: http://www.basecamphotels.com/
Looking for an old-school camp experience? Well then look no further than Camp Wandawega, located in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. With its “Manifesto of Low Expectations,” the camp reminds all potential campers that it’s not some modern-day luxury camp parading as vintage and old-school. Camp Wandawega is the real deal camp experience! Campers have access to a private beach, as well as many recreational activities, including archery, fishing, biking, boating, and horse shoes, to name a few. There are a number of restaurants, bars and grills nearby that serve tasty treats and American favorites, and outdoor grills and smokers are also available at the camp. Visit the Camp Wandawega website for details: http://www.wandawega.com/
Moab Under Canvas
Located just north of Moab, Utah, this luxury camping experience is also just moments away from the entrance to Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. Luxury camping, or glamping, as it’s called, is a way for those who want the activities and outdoors mixed with top-notch accommodations and leisure to have it all. The camp even offers suites and upgraded, deluxe rooms. Recreational activities include mountain climbing, hot air ballooning, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Jeep rentals, scenic flights and Hummer tours are also available. For more information, be sure to visit: http://www.moabundercanvas.com/
Another popular summer camp that urges campers to reconnect by disconnecting from modern conveniences, Camp Grounded offers two locations of fun-filled activities. Whether campers choose Camp Mendocino in Mendocino, California or Camp Pinnacle in Hendersonville, North Carolina, the theme remains the same: have fun, unwind and leave your problems behind! The camp offers a plethora of playshops and workshops, including archery, laughter yoga, wellness programs, stilt walking, cooking classes, and, yes, basket weaving. There’s live music, sing-a-longs, late night shows, and campfire sessions. For more informations and to make a reservation, visit: http://campgrounded.org/
Wine camping is a popular way of combining adventure, destination and education all into one event. Though there are many wine camps around, one of the more popular ones can be found in Long Island’s wine country. At Wine Camp in the North Fork of Long Island, campers enjoy four jam-packed days of hands-on experience learning about wines and tasting what the region has to offer. There’s dinner, al fresco lunches, food and wine pairings, and vineyard visits. Campers can also blend their own wines and work with local winemakers as well. And to top it all off? You get to take wine home—an entire case of it! For more information or to inquire, please visit: http://www.winecamp.org/
Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp
Located in Las Vegas, Nevada, this camp offers both wannabe rockers and those with serious musical talent the chance to rock out with top touring artists. Campers can take part in a one-day experience or, for those with a bit more time, a 3-5 day camp experience at one of the destination camps. Campers can learn and/or perfect their musical know-how while writing, recording and performing original music for family, friends or even perfect strangers at a local venue during one of the destination camps’ live shows. So if you’ve always wanted to be in a band, or go to a cooler version of a band camp, now’s your chance! For more information about services offered, be sure to visit: http://www.rockcamp.com/
Great Horror Campout
Imagine going to a haunted house, willingly. Now imagine the house is a tent in the woods, and you have to stay in this wooded camp for twelve hours. If you’ve imagined this without passing out, you just might have what it takes to endure the interactive horror that is the Great Horror Campout in Sherman Oaks, California! This camp is for those obsessed with horror movies, or those who just happen to like a little fright. If you’d just like a mild scare, you can stay in the Chicken Zone, and partake in watching horror movies, sing-a-longs, telling ghost stories, and other arts & crafts. For those wanting full-throttle fright, book a tent outside the Chicken Zone, where you will be fair game for all of the things that go bump in the night! Outside of the Chicken Zone, campers will engage in a hunt for items that will pit them against other campers, as well as dodging horror movie fiends. There’s a safe word as well, in case things get too real for you. For more information, visit: http://www.greathorrorcampout.com/
Zombie Survival Camp
If zombies are your thing, this survival camp will definitely provide you with the tools you’ll need to survive any zombie apocalypse! The camp, located in central New Jersey, has accommodations and dining quarters, as well as a private shooting range for use. It offers daily training, as well as training for special events and weekends. Even if you’re already set for the zombie apocalypse, survival skills are taught that will also apply to catastrophes other than pesky zombies. For more information, or to book your training, visit: http://www.zombiesurvivalcamp.com/