I am totally jealous of my kid. I covet her summer in a way I would a winning lottery ticket or a first-class seat to Paris.
While I’ll be tethered to a glowing metal box, pounding my fingers upon a myriad of keys branded with letters and numbers, in a few weeks my girl will be learning to animate clay figures, fine-tuning her unicycle riding, honing her creative writing skills, tinkering away at a Maker camp and spending a glorious week in the redwoods with her peers.
Week after fun-filled week, my dear daughter will be having the time of her life, while her parents (my working-stiff husband and me) will be toiling away to keep a roof over our heads, food on our table and to afford to pay for all the summer magic she is about to have.
Seriously, we parents need to have fun, too. Why can’t my husband or I or both of us run off to our own camp? A place where we get three meals a day, learn a new skill or craft and have s’mores by firelight?
There are options, it turns out, and some pretty awesome ones. Here are eight ideas for you and, yep, one of them is space camp (I know!).
Where: Camp Graham in Clarksville, Ohio
When: August 11-14, 2016
Popular blogger Brittany Gibbons of Brittany, Herself created Camp Throwback to celebrate the summer camps of our youth. “Archery, arts & crafts, sloppy joes, waterfront, campfires, s’mores, field day, all these things are happening, plus booze,” she announces on her website. “It’s like 'The Parent Trap' meets 'Wet Hot American Summer.'” The schedule includes highlights such as Hangover Yoga, Dodgeball and a Camper Talent Show.
Where: Austin, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Michigan, Nashville, New York, Miami and Toronto.
When: Various weekend dates
Camp No Counselors’ mantra is “Play like a kid, party like a grown-up.” This all-inclusive sleepaway camp for grown-ups offers standard camp fare such as art & crafts, archery, and talent shows. But when they say “party like a grown-up” they mean it. At breakfast they serve mimosas and Bloody Mary’s, at lunch there’s beer and wine and from happy hour until the end of the evening they have a full service open bar. Regular sessions are mostly populated with people in their twenties and thirties, but they also just started to offer weekends for the more “seasoned campers”: those over 45.
Where: Sonoma County, CA
When: September 20-22, 2016
If you’re an avid wine drinker, or just want to learn more about the process from grape to glass, then you might want to consider the Sonoma County Grape Camp. Here, “[C]ampers have the opportunity to harvest grapes in some of the region’s most spectacular vineyards, taste and tour through a variety of our wineries, blend world-class wines, savor farm-fresh, gourmet meals from renowned chefs, and relish in the stories of our winegrape growers and winemakers.”
Are you in the market to “[R]enew your mind, body, and spirit on a journey to true wellness?” I can’t think of a single harried mother who isn’t. While Rancho La Puerta, where they've been providing relaxation, rest and reflection on their 3,000 acres since 1940, isn’t a “camp” per se, they have all the makings of one. You can spend the afternoon painting watercolors, sculpting, or making your own jewelry, or by taking a fitness or yoga class, go on a hike or indulge in a massage. They also have visiting chefs providing culinary experiences, concerts and special classes like iPhoneography & Smartphone Photography and Yoga & the Spirit of Poetry.
When: May through October
While Camp No Counselors is all about mixing old school camp activities with partying, Camp Grounded mixes old school camp activities with getting in touch with your inner self. Along with talent shows, arts & crafts and archery they offer meditation, yoga, sweat lodges and wellness tipis. They emphasize a digital detox, no laptops, no phones or clocks—a place to "unplug and get away."
Where: Brasstown, North Carolina
Would you like to delve into blacksmithing tomahawks and axes, playing the autoharp, learning gluten-free homestyle cooking or get into the fine art of traditional split-oak basketry? These are just a few of the 860 week-long and weekend classes that the John C. Campbell Folk Camp offers each year. Their adult-only classes in craft, art, music, dance, cooking, gardening, nature studies, photography and writing are led by experts in the field. Along with the classes, they host events like square dancing and yoga. They’ve been offering classes since 1925, so they really know what they’re doing.
Where: New York and California
When: Aug 24-29 and October 25-29.
Soul Camp is a “sleepaway camp for the soul.” The focus of Soul Camp is on nourishing the body, the mind and the spirit. Their offerings include “[K]undalini yoga, oneness meditation, dance, cardio, bootcamp, stand up paddleboarding, breathwork, dreamcatcher creating, energy work, essential oils 101, mala-bead making and more.”
While they also have traditional camp activities—talent shows, s’mores and sing-a-longs—they also have something called fear burnings. This camp is not for the partier, since drugs and alcohol are strictly prohibited.
When: July and September
Did you beg and plead for your parents to send you off to Space Camp when you were a kid but they never did? You can have those space-y dreams of yours fulfilled at Adult Space Academy. The camp includes “[M]odel rocket construction and launch (weather permitting), training on our astronaut simulators, including the 1/6th gravity chair and Multi-Axis Trainer, plus hands-on spaceflight history education amid one of the world’s largest spaceflight collections.” Lodging is on-site in their Habitat facilities.
All these camps and you don't to write home to mom (but maybe the kids?).