By Marni Fogelson

Published on May 23, 2016

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Photography by CAMP THROWBACK

Whether you looked forward to your weeks at sleep away camp as a kid or have never so much as seen poison ivy and have no idea what a Color War is, the arrival of summer energizes us. People are generally friendlier, we find ourselves buying the ingredients for s’mores despite lacking a grill, and the phrase “summer vacation” brings anticipation and excitement. If you’re looking to bust out of your typical vacay routine, adult summer camp may be an option for you. 

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Photography by CAMP THROWBACK

These camps, which seem to multiply in number and popularity each summer, have all the things you might attribute to those nostalgic camps of childhood: swimming in a lake, hanging out by a campfire, making jewelry in arts and crafts. Additionally, they have adult upgrades like alcoholic beverages, more freedom, and much better food. Plus, there’s the fact that homesickness is less of an issue and puberty is waaaaay behind us. If your inner child is calling to you, we’ve got six adult summer camp choices that will answer back loudly: adulting does not mean the end of slip-and-slides, nature hikes, and cabin vs cabin competitions.

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Camp Throwback  

Camp Throwback is located in Ohio at a camp that’s been in use for 62 years. Billed as an “alcohol-friendly” four day event, campers are encouraged to BYOB. 

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Between drinks (or perhaps with a drink in hand), there’s hangover yoga, camp classics like arts and crafts, volleyball, and talent nights as well as a cabin againt cabin field day including water balloon toss wars and watermelon eating contests. 

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Camp Throwback describes itself as Parent Trap meets Wet Hot American Summer, which is as appealing a description for good old fashioned fun with a grown-up twist that we could imagine. 

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Photography by CAMP GROUNDED

Camp Grounded 

Camp Grounded has locations in Cali, North Carolina, New York, and Texas, so there are plenty of options no matter where you live.  

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Camp Grounded draws international campers as well, but wherever you come from, you’re encouraged to leave your regular life behind: discussing work is strictly verboten and campers use nicknames to allow more separation from the real world. 

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Camp Grounded is as serious about offering a plethora of programming options is at is about making sure campers have fun: there’s LEGO building, rock climbing, flower crowns, superfood truffle making and ukulele among the 25+ “playshop” offerings. 

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Camp Grounded also has its own “Department of Presence”, a wellness team that leads programs as well as reminding everyone to breathe in the fresh air and chill out. 

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Expect food that’s quite a few notches above typical camp fare, sustainable coffee, and local kombucha on tap at the camp canteen. Photos by Camp Grounded

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Book your trip to Camp Grounded before the summer sells out! 

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Camp No Counselors  

At first glance, Camp No Counselors seems to share some similarities to some dating services; the registration process “curates” the group to ensure diversity and compatibility. 

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Judging from the glowing testimonies of past campers and the fact that groups of friends often go year after year, we’d say Camp No Counselors is doing something right. 

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Plus there are mimosas and Bloody Marys at breakfast, happy hour, and nightly theme parties with open bar in case you need help getting over any shyness. 

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With 10 locations throughout the U.S. (and one in Toronto), there are plenty of opportunities throughout the summer and even into fall, should the summer holidays fly by without the opportunity. 

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While most camps are open to ages 21 and up (with some in their 60s and 70s attending), Camp No Counselors is holding a separate weekend for kids-at-heart who are over 45 in San Francisco.

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Photography by SOUL CAMP

Soul Camp 

For the hippie camper at heart, you may meet your summer camp match with Soul Camp. 

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With a camp on each coast, Soul Camp is an ideal 4-day retreat if you want to reconnect with past interests, delve deep into relaxation, and try new activities. 

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As you might expect, there’s lots of yoga, as well as a dreamcatcher making session, a fearburning ceremony, and Tibetan singing bowls.

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In the spirit of honoring each campers needs, all activities are optional, so you can simply take in the views or snooze the day away by the lake. However you decide to spend your days at Soul Camp, you’re likely to leave rejuvenated.

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Book your trip to Soul Camp!

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Camp Bonfire   

Can’t get away for long? Camp Bonfire, located in the Poconos on Lake Owego, lets you scratch that camp itch over one weekend. 

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Camp Bonfire infuses its old school and simple philosophy of having fun in the woods throughout the camp. 

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Technology use, except in designated areas, does not make the list of programs and plans, making Camp Bonfire a place to actually unplug. 

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The staff still manages to pack in lots of diversions in that short time, including nature-based activities such as hikes, plant prints, forest fairy houses as well as typical camp sports like softball and canoeing. 

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Photography by CAMP BONFIRE

Plus, there are midnight snacks!

Photos by Paul Gargagliano

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Club Getaway   

Club Getaway is located a few hours from Boston and New York but feels worlds away. There are 300 acres to explore in this Berkshire Mountains retreat. 

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While the camp has many of the usual sports and activities, Club Getaway also offers trips to the Appalachian Trail, a local vineyard, and the shops and galleries in the quaint nearby town of Kent. 

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With live music, air conditioning, private bathrooms, and daily housekeeping, Club Getaway sounds more posh than the sweltering and dingy cabins we remember fondly from our summer camp years, but they still have all the team and adventure sports and activities we’ve come to expect from the summer camp experience. 

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Club Getaway also offers a family camp during the summer so that those of us with kiddos can share the camp experience with the next generation.