Sleepaway camps for adults: No kids and plenty of booze

July 14, 2015, 1:00 PM UTC
Courtesy of Camp Grounded

As the ever-growing popularity of Comic-Con attests, kid stuff isn’t just for kids anymore, so it’s no surprise that summer camps for grownups are thriving. An estimated one million adults are attending camp each year, according to Tom Holland of the American Camp Association. “In a hectic world, camp offers an oasis for everyone of all ages,” Holland said. Of course, these camps are timed for long weekends for those workforce members who don’t have the whole summer off–and most of them allow and even provide adult beverages.

“Many adults are finding a camp vacation to be more rewarding than a week at a resort,” he said. “Camp experiences allow adults to spend their vacations building new relationships, learning new skills, or trying their hand at new activities that are both fun and rewarding.” There’s a getaway out there for every kind of 21-and-over camper, from oenophile to aspiring astronaut. If one of the following events is already sold out or if it’s too far away, fear not: in most of these categories, there are others like it in other places.

Camp No Counselors

Locations: Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York

Dates: 3 weekends in August (TN) September 17 - 20 (NY) October 1-4 (CA)

Cost: $575/ individual or $550 with a group + $10 fee

Camp No Counselors offers an adult version of classic, All-American sleepaway camp, only with open bar. Attendance is “curated” for a mix of “fashion and food bloggers, media execs, music moguls, financiers, lawyers, doctors and more.” Campers can set their own schedule, choosing from activities like waterskiing, tubing, water slides, archery, ropes courses, kayaking, arts and crafts and scavenger hunts. Similar classic-style summer camps for adults include: Camp Bonfire, Camp Throwback, and Club Getaway.

Camp Grounded

Locations: Mendocino, Calif., Hendersonville, N.C.

Dates: August 27 - 30 (N.C. location)

Cost: $545 - $645 plus $26 - $29 in fees

Camp Grounded offers a classic summer camp experience, only with the specific theme of “100% IRL" -- In Real Life. That means three days of unplugging from technology, schedules, and business-speak, set among Northern California’s redwoods at Camp Mendocino, or at Camp Pinnacle in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s got play shops, typewriters, color wars, meditation, analog photography, stargazing, and more. Not allowed: digital technology including wearables, strict schedules, “W-talk”, networking, drugs and alcohol, Dubstep and glow sticks.

Campers stay in shared (same sex) cabins with assigned bunks, or have the option to sleep their own tents or rented tents. Healthy food served at Camp Grounded accommodates diets from vegan to carnivore, and all meats served are natural and cage-free.

Wine Camp

Location: Peconic, NY

Dates: April and September, TBA

Cost: $1299 pp, double occupancy

Wine Camp is four days of wine education and appreciation in the wine country of the North Fork of Long Island, set at the Harvest Inn bed and breakfast which is also adults-only. Campers learn about sustainable vineyard management and Long Island’s terroir, and they learn about wine tasting, food pairings, and they get to blend their own wine. Oh and also--there is wine to drink. In fact, campers are sent home with a case of wine for further study.

Wine Camp provides four breakfasts, a dinner at an acclaimed local restaurant, and lunches are served al fresco in the vineyards. There’s also free time to visit the beaches or other local vineyards.

Soul Camp

Locations: Pennsylvania and California

Dates: September 9-13, October 28 - 31

Cost: $1,100 - $1,500

Billed as a “mind/body/spirit immersion," Soul Camp offers yoga, meditation, dance, "breathwork," arts and crafts and flower-crown making. Campers can also attend  “SOUL-versations” from wellness experts and thought leaders in their fields, which sounds like TED talks for yogis. Soul Camp East is located in Pennsylvania’s Pocono mountains and Soul Camp West in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas.

One of the bunking options at Soul Camp East is called Highly Sensitive: “This cabin is specifically designed for those who consider themselves highly sensitive. Your counselor is trained in creating an environment that allows you to take care of YOU.” Add-ons at the camps include a luxury airport shuttle for $100 - $140, a private healing massage ($120), a dreamcatcher weaving workshop ($25), a mala bead workshop ($125), and a private astrology reading ($100).

Space Academy

Location: Huntsville, Alabama

Dates: August 28 - 30

Cost: $499 + $50 registration fee

“You know you always wanted to go to Space Camp,” cajoles the registration copy for Adult Space Academy. These three and four day programs (it’s $599 for the four day) at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center give adults their chance to participate in mock-up interactive space missions and construct a model rocket to launch, and learn the history of space flight. Yes, the 1/6th gravity chair is also included (and presumably a large part of most attendee’s motivation for going).

Meals are served in the Space Camp Crew Galley and lodging is in the dorm-style Habitat facilities. Also on offer at the Rocket Center facility are Adult Aviation Challenge, and Advanced Space Academy.