True confession: I’ve never been to summer camp.
Never. Not even once. Not even a day camp.
What on earth did I do with my unscheduled summers as a child? I remember lots of running around barefoot on our farm, staying up late and sleeping in, riding my bike, lying in fields daydreaming, summer reading… I believe some baseball games were attended and watermelon seeds were spit. There were trips to Six Flags (Log Ride!).
Point being, I (unlike my husband, who spent pretty much every summer of his childhood as a camper, and two as a counselor) have zero nostalgia for the whole summer camp experience. But… I could change my mind. It’s never too late.
Turns out, there’s a whole slew of summer camp opportunities out there–for adults only–and they sound pretty fun (and persuasive). Here are some of my favorites:
Club Getaway (Kent, Connecticut) Set on 300-acres in the Berkshire Mountains, overlooking a lake, this camp offers guests the opportunity to indulge in all their favorite camp pastimes from childhood–water sports, team sports, zip lines, trapeze artistry, zumba and pole dancing, wine tasting–okay, there might be a couple new ones thrown in there. Cuisine is prepared by chefs from the Connecticut Culinary Institute, and cabins feature air conditioning, private bathrooms and daily housekeeping. Also, there’s s’mores! (And drinking!)
Covert Ops Adventure (Miami, Florida) Guests of this camp spend four days learning what it’s like to be a member of an elite Israeli counter terrorism unit. This entry falls into the category of Camps I Am Least Likely to Attend… But Most Likely To Pretend I’ve Attended. Why? Because it sounds really badass. Learn Israeli martial art Krav Maga! Shoot a gun from a moving vehicle! Practice “a proven method of kidnapping, used on terrorists in the Middle East”! Yeah, I spent last weekend at special ops camp, but I can’t talk about it because then I’d have to kill you…
Surf Camp (Maui, Hawaii) Surfing and yoga. Yoga and surfing. In Maui. Seriously, what else could you ask for in a summer camp experience? And if, like me, you’ve never even set foot on a surf board (other than inside your brain)–no problem. This camp’s for all skill levels.
Idyllwild Arts Camp (California) The offerings for adults include painting and drawing, jewelry and metals, hot clay and ceramics, Native American arts, sculpture, printmaking, writing–all in a gorgeous setting on the western slopes of the San Jacinto Mountains in Southern California. There’s hiking, swimming and dancing too. Want to bring the whole family? It gets even better: Idyllwild Arts Family Camp promises a camp experience everyone can enjoy together, including (appealingly) “no cooking, no cleaning, no driving, no hassles”
Coney Island’s Sideshow School (New York) For anyone looking to brush up on their sideshow skillz– you know, like fire eating and breathing, sword swallowing, bed of nails stunts, glass walking, straight jacket escape, snake charming… all in a safe and controlled atmosphere. Summer schedule at the Sideshow School also includes a serious-sounding burlesque master class, taught by Professor Jo Boobs. Sweet! Okay, maybe this is the camp I’m gonna pretend I’ve attended…
Space Camp (Huntsville, Alabama) A classic for “ages 7 to 107.” I visited the U.S. Space and Rocket Center for a field trip when I was in elementary school, and it struck me as a super-cool place, although I didn’t actually attend the space camp. Adult trainees at space camp alternate roles in a hands-on, interactive space mission, train on astronaut simulators like the 1/6th Gravity Chair and Multi-Axis Trainer, and build and launch a model rocket. How great to know you’re never too old to feel what it’s like to be an astronaut!
So which camp sounds the most fun to you?
© Jaime Greenberg and discovered in play, 2012