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8 Best Adult Summer Camps for Grown-Ass Men

Remember the glory days of summer camp? Of melting marshmallows over a crackling fire, capsizing a canoe full of friends, making horrible handicrafts, and kindling your awkward first romance? These adult summer camps recapture all the fun of your misspent youth but with a lot more day drinking and debauchery. Here are eight amazing summer camps for (mostly) grown-up men.

Camp Halcyon

Wautoma, Wisconsin

Camp Halcyon

Halcyon is defined as “a period of time that was idyllically happy and peaceful,” and Camp Halcyon proudly adopts that definition as their mission statement. The Wisconsin-based retreat is arguably the most straightforward on this list with a purposeful rustic atmosphere that provides only the essentials. Every shared “cabin shell” is designed to take guests back to a simpler time. There is no electricity, and virtually everything is done as a group. Tthe camp focuses on canoeing, hiking, and other outdoor activities by day. After dark is when the real, grown-up fun begins with a premium after-hours open bar, cigar tasting, nightly s’mores buffet, and plenty of local snacks and craft beer on tap whenever you want them. The best part? The four-day experience includes all events, activities, gourmet food, and booze for less than $500.

Ruschmeyer’s

Montauk, New York

Ruschmeyers

From the no-frills, boho-chic cabins to the gourmet farm-to-table restaurant to the morning yoga sessions on the lawn, everything about Ruschmeyer’s feels plucked from a Wes Anderson flick. It’s a seasonal summer camp unabashedly designed for Long Island hipsters and those aspiring to be same. Like any legit summer camp, there are plenty of leisurely daytime activities including ping-pong, paddleboarding, and hammock napping. However, this too-cool adult retreat takes cues from its Montauk surroundings with an upscale beer garden, a swanky late-night bar, recovery brunches, and a communal garden for when you need a literal safe space.

Camp Bonfire

Lake Owego, Pennsylvania

Camp Bonfire | Summer Camp for Adults

Most adult summer camps lean heavy on the “adult” part with an atmosphere that’s more boozy bacchanal than boyhood bonding by the bonfire. Camp Bonfire promises a return to the simple group experiences that made adolescent summer camp fun. There’s some after-dark boozing to be found, but that’s not the focus. Even small talk and technology are frowned upon. Here, it’s about making legit connections with strangers through outdoor activities like rock climbing, archery, and canoeing, plus relaxing pursuits like lawn games, Quidditch, and human Hungry Hungry Hippos. Yes, that’s a thing. Nothing is compulsory, however, so guests are free to do what they want with their time.

‘Camp’ Camp

Southwestern Maine

Camp Camp

For more than 20 years, ‘Camp’ Camp has billed itself as “America’s premier summer camp for LGBT adults.” The all-inclusive Maine getaway promises all the trappings of most any grown-up camp. Traditional daytime activities include kickball tournaments, sailing lessons, pottery making, and swimming in the beautiful on-site lake. After dark, campers can partake in nighttime canoe trips, gourmet alfresco dinners, night hikes, karaoke, and ice cream socials. Because there’s no curfew, basically anything goes. The focus here is on acceptance, camaraderie, and building long-lasting friendships within the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.

Soul Camp

New York and California

Soul Camp’s retreats in New York and California focus on health, well-being, and self-transformation. The camps bring together the best experts in the wellness industry to help guests digitally detox and spiritually recharge. Campers partake in many of the same structured activities found at any traditional youth camp including morning reveille, daily flag-raising, and a first-day orientation in their bunks. However, most of the itinerary is kept open with regular yoga sessions, dreamcatcher-making, talent shows, and color wars. It’s designed as a return to basics — an escape from adulting back to the simple joys of childlike creativity and fun. The camp is taking a break for 2019, but the bicoastal getaways are slated to return in 2020.

Camp No Counselors

Camp No Counselors - Adult Summer Camp - 2018 Official Video

Nationwide

You may not be a fan of all-inclusive vacations, but a trip to the aptly named Camp No Counselors is no typical all-inclusive. Imagine a week of college without any of the classes or responsibility. Every day delivers a menu of awesome activities that you can choose to do or not — your call. Think ultimate frisbee, wakeboarding, and obstacle courses. Free-flowing booze here adds an entirely new layer of fun and danger that you definitely didn’t experience at youth summer camp. Meals range from gourmet waffle breakfasts to taco nights, and all feature endless alcohol. Since launching a few short years ago, the company has expanded to nearly a dozen locations in the U.S. and Canada. Wherever you happen to be on the continent, you’re not far from one of their campgrounds. The best part? Every last thing is included, so you can leave your wallet at home.

Club Getaway

Kent, Connecticut

The uninspired name aside, Connecticut’s Club Getaway is a proper summer camp in every sense of the word, but with a whole lot more day drinking, raving, and extreme sports. You’ll find all the usual campground-inspired trappings here from campfires with s’mores, lakefront cabins, canoeing, and craft-making sessions. However, the program at this 300-acre Berkshire estate also features massive Flip Cup tournaments, a giant bungee trampoline, burlesque classes, an aerial park, and after-hour silent raves in the woods. Most of their camp programs center around a theme, from Gen X and Young Professionals to LGBT-friendly weekends and Thrillist-inspired sessions. No matter which one you choose, don’t expect to sleep for a few days.

Camp Wandawega

Elkhorn, Wisconsin

If Camp Wandawega sounds like a kitschy, made-up campground out of a National Lampoon’s movie, that’s the point. The husband-and-wife owner duo bought this abandoned campground 90 minutes north of Chicago with dreams of converting it into a DIY summer camp for adults. That’s exactly what it is today. Guests pick their style of accommodations which ranges from treehouses to hillside cabins to authentic teepees to a vintage Airstream travel trailer. Every “room” is adorned with lakehouse-inspired tchotchkes from stuffed animal heads to Mason jars full of random baubles to horseshoes on the wall. Instead of a planned campground program, however, this is a no-frills, freestyle, self-serve experience. Guests can help themselves to any or all of the activities here, from canoeing the lake to hatchet throwing to volleyball to hiking the more than 20 miles of nearby trails.

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Mike Richard
Mike Richard has traveled the world since 2008. He's kayaked in Antarctica, tracked endangered African wild dogs in South…
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