Summer camp for adults is fast becoming the vacation of choice for those who no longer have to plan summer camp for their own kids! There are adult summer camps for outdoorsy types, foodies, music lovers, and more passions – all without sacrificing the creature comforts you’re used to. The adult summer camp trend is growing rapidly, and there are now about 800 camps in the U.S. catering to grownups.
How to find an adult summer camp for you
Food and wine: Culinary Institute of America’s Food and Wine Bootcamps are offered year-round and provide intensive, professional training. For the $895 fee, you can choose courses that last from two to five days, on subjects ranging from bread baking to wine, and pick a campus in New York, California or Texas. Accommodations are not included in the price, and none are offered on campus.
Music and art: Interlochen College in Michigan offers adult summer camp from June through August in creative writing, media, visual arts, choral music, concert band and chamber music. The $275 fee does not include accommodations, but discounted campus housing is available. If you’d rather rock, there is Las Vegas-based Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp for $5,999. You will play and learn with rock and roll “counselors,” for three, four or five-day sessions. While hotel and airfare are not included, you receive meals, studio time, equipment, evening activities, a DVD of your final performance, transportation and a gift bag.
The sporting life: For an adult version of your childhood experience, the YMCA Active Older Adults Camp offers archery, canoeing and square dancing, along with more modern pursuits, such as yoga, rafting and hiking. The fee for the August is $280 and for the money you get lodging and all meals. You must be at least fifty years of age and in good health. The only camp location is at Snow Mountain Ranch, about 1 1/2 hours northwest of Denver, Colorado.
Fantasy and adventure: If you want to rope and ride, there’s Scottsdale, Arizona’s Cowboy College. For the $2,250 fee, you receive meals and accommodations for the six-day session, and lessons in roping cattle, riding techniques and caring for ranch animals. And as this is a working ranch, you will be working as hard as you play.
Dance and theater: Burlington, Vermont’s Flynn Center for the Performing Arts offers tap, jazz, ballet, musical theater and acting classes throughout the summer. Prices are reasonable, ranging from $40 to $300 for classes lasting one day or up to four weeks. The fees do not include meals, transportation or accommodations. There are plenty of restaurants within walking distance of the Flynn Center, but accommodations in the area consist of a modernized hostel and a bed-and-breakfast.
More adult summer camps: Go to Acacamps.org and use the “Find A Camp” option.
What to ask before you go to adult summer camp
- Know yourself: Are you active and outdoorsy? Or do you prefer more leisurely pursuits? Do you enjoy meeting new people, or do you prefer solo activities?
- Know thy neighbor: Some summer camps for adults offer rooms for solo travelers, while others will pair complete strangers. How do you feel about sharing a room with someone you don’t know?
- Know your time limits: You have to figure vacation time, travel time and when the school year starts (including getting the kids their supplies and physicals).
- Know your budget: It’s not just the cost of camp. You’ll likely pay transportation costs and purchase other travel and class necessities. Check your health insurance policy; make sure you’re covered out of state, or consider buying a rider to cover unexpected medical issues.
- Know your family: if your kids or other dependent loved ones are home, do you have someone to take care of them? Factor in the cost of additional daycare, pet sitting, a visiting nurse or home companion.
- Know your goal: Are you going to camp to learn more about wine making? To spend a week sweating on off-road hiking trails? To learn how to start your own business? To become a chef, or just a better cook? Summer camp for adults means meeting new people, enriching your life and expanding your knowledge, while you do something you love.
- Know about tradeoffs: Summer camp for adults can include work and fun. Volunteer vacations combine a good cause with a good time; you can build new homes, clean up trash or feed the hungry, and explore a new place or just relax.
Would you go to a summer camp for adults?