This Amazing BC Retreat is Basically Summer Camp for Adults

Pack your bathing suit, bug spray and book bag for a brand new adventure: summer camp for adults


A change is as good as rest – truth. But what if you could combine a change with a rest. Imagine the power of that combo!

This is exactly the thinking behind Quest University Canada Renew Your Quest, a week-long summer camp for adults. But better – as in better food, better accommodations and better campfire conversations.

The program, based in Squamish, BC, at the university’s sprawling campus, began in 2010 to offer adults a chance to spend time learning and challenging themselves – two activities we tend to experience less often as we age, according to Melanie Koenderman, vice-president and dean of students for Quest and co-ordinator for Renew.

“That’s why we call it ‘Renew Your Quest.’ As you get into a career, you can stop trying new things and settle into things you’re good at, or things you are used to doing.”

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But putting yourself in a position of doing something different creates a sense of joy, of aliveness, she says. “There’s an electricity that comes from trying new things and being exposed to new things, and that can be so rejuvenating.”

Weaved into the week of classroom learning is a variety of activities that take advantage of BC’s spectacular natural resources: stand-up paddleboarding, hiking and excursions to nearby Whistler. Eating well is also key. “We’re big foodies, so we go out a lot so that people can experience the amazing food here.”

But the core activity remains learning, a vital component to aging and wellness. Neuroscience research on the power of learning aside, just stepping outside your comfort zone is important to your wellness. In our daily lives, we start making decisions based on societal norms and tend to get swept up in our commitments and priorities, says Koenderman. “So, pausing that,  stepping off the track, gives you a different perspective.”

And you might be pleasantly surprised by how much you enjoy the challenge of learning again.  “For adults who have been out of school, they see being in class as a luxury and treat. And, depending on your job, it can be so rejuvenating and empowering to step out of your daily life and do something completely different.”

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