Just because you’re a grown up doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy summer like a kid. Nowadays, you can make an escape to an adult summer camp and enjoy the familiar smell of the campfire and joyful splashes in the lake. But if outdoor activities aren’t your style, there are also cultural getaways where you learn how to cook or live out your Broadway dreams. Regardless of where you go, the idea is the same; these places remove you from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and encourage you to forge new friendships.
Many summer camps for adults are throwbacks to youth activities, but with a grown-up twist. One organization, aptly called Camp Throwback, explains that it’s “the week away at summer camp you’ve always secretly wanted.” But, they point out, “with more booze, sensitive guys around the fire with guitars, team activities and hangovers.” Activities include a massive field day as well as camp trivia.
Of course, you don’t have to roast s’mores to get the most out of a camp. Attend The Raymond Blanc Cookery School, for instance, and you’ll sharpen your culinary skills alongside other eager attendees. Or, if you want to live out your fantasies as an astronaut, there is an Adult Space Camp that gives you a hands-on experience of what it's like to control a spaceship.
Want to feel like a kid again? Check out these summer camps for adults that offer the carefree fun of youth with a grown up twist.
Camp Throwback, Clarksville, Ohio
Here, you can relive your glory days with nostalgic camp activities. Camp Throwback is four days long and includes theme parties, talent night, a field day, and karaoke.
Camp Bonfire, Poconos, Pennsylvania
Another nostalgic homage to the “best parts of summer,” Camp Bonfire promises an “all-inclusive escape to nature, community, and play.” Although it includes outdoor activities you enjoyed long ago, they boast that their food tastes much better than what you're previously used to.
Soul Camp, Various locations
Soul Camp focuses less on the typical camp activities and nourishes your mind and body. Leave behind your cellphone and bond with attendees during workshops and seminars from wellness experts. Yoga, meditation, dance, and “energy work” are just a few of the activities they offer. If you opt for multi-day camp, the evenings offer talent shows, live entertainment, and an activity called “fear burning.”
Adult Space Camp, Huntsville, Alabama
Did you ever want to go to Space Camp as a kid? You’ve now got a chance to go with Adult Space Camp. During this two-day getaway, you assume the role of an astronaut trainee and get hands-on experience—feel what it’s like to go on interstellar missions.
Dirty Dancing Weekend, Pembroke, Virginia
The recent TV remake of Dirty Dancing might’ve been a flop, but that doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying a weekend at Kellerman’s Mountain House. Located in the same town where the iconic movie was shot, the events include dance lessons and a party in Mary's Barn.
Camp Bacon, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Touted as a place for foodies, Camp Bacon revolves around one of our favorite pork products. The day-long event will educate you on the history of bacon and expand your palette. “We share with you new ways to appreciate bacon,” they write, “and talk about how what we feed the animal impacts the flavor of the meat you are eating.”
Zombie Survival Camp, Ontario, Canada
For a weekend, live like you're in an episode of The Walking Dead. Zombie Survival Camp spends the first two days prepping you for Sunday’s big event—a zombie outbreak simulation.
Ace Camps, Various locations
Looking for an unconventional travel experience? You and your group will journey not only to a new place, but you'll meet the locals and participate in learning or improving a skill. London, Cape Town, and Mexico City are just a few of the trips available.
Wanderlust, Various locations
Yogis, take note—this could be the ideal camp for you. Wanderlust Festivals celebrate “mindful living” with exercise and meditation instructors, music, and inspiring speakers. They’ve even got DJ-powered yoga classes!
Camp No Counselors, Various locations
Camp No Counselors is a three-day excursion that features a bevy of outdoor activities. It is “choose your own adventure” style with things like beach volleyball, flag football, dodge ball, yoga, hiking, and much more. “We’ve distilled our favorite elements of the camps we attended or worked at,” they explain, “into an incredible weekend that combines the best aspects of childlike playing with the freedoms of being an adult.”
Surfing Australia, Casuarina, Australia
Enjoy instructional surfing at one of the best beach locales in the world. This isn’t for total newbies—surfers should have two to three years experience under their belt. But, with video coaching and strength training, you’ll definitely improve your techniques to become an even better surfer.
Broadway Fantasy Camp, New York, New York
Play your greatest role to date when you attend the Broadway Fantasy Camp. Touted as a VIP event for Broadway enthusiasts, get behind-the-scenes access and sing some of your favorite songs—in full costume!
Adult Band Camp, Traverse City, Michigan
Join more than 70 adult musicians from around the world gather for a nearly week-long camp. There, you’ll perform music in an ensemble while attending master classes and coaching sessions.
Wine Camp, Long Island, New York
If you love everything about wine—but are eager to learn more—this four-day adventure will afford you a hands-on opportunity to taste many fine varieties while learning to blend your own. At the end, you’ll take home an entire case (12 bottles) to share with your friends and family.
The Raymond Blanc Cookery School, Oxford, United Kingdom
You don’t have to be a master chef to participate in The Raymond Blanc Cookery School. Designed for all experience levels, the variety of courses feature many recipes that are near and dear to chef Raymond Blanc’s heart—including macarons.
Camp Grounded, Mendocino, California
Camp Grounded encourages you to unplug, saying that you need to “disconnect to reconnect.” It too includes a variety of outdoor activities like swimming and archery, but with a special emphasis to let go of the digital ties that bind you.