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10 Reasons Summer Camp is Even Better as an Adult

Summer camp isn’t just for kids. Experience the best parts of camp, but this time as an adult. 

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The Grown-Up Camper Trend

“Grown-ups want to go back to camp because they want to connect with themselves again,” says Negin Sairafi, one of the founders of Camp Reset, an adult camp outside Toronto. “It is so easy in our digital age to be overly consumed with our to-do lists and calendars.”

Adult summer camps attract professionals from all over to bond over a shared nostalgia. “The opportunity to rediscover my childhood was very appealing, the chance to go back to a life that was more simple and where play took centre stage,” says 38-year-old Torontonian Susan Debreceni, who has attended Camp Reset.

Grown up camps fill a need to get back to basics and offer an experience full of new friendships, wellness activities, gourmet food and of course, partying with no counsellors to say lights out.

Read on for more reasons to pack your bags for adult summer camp.

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Make New Friends

When you’re a kid at camp, you might make a friend and then build your friendship slowly as you reunite yearly in your cabin. “We recognize that the older we get, the harder it gets to make new friends,” says Sairafi. “[At camp] you’re surrounded by like­minded people, in an environment that breaks down social norms so the possibilities are endless.” Adult camps offer a shared bonding experience but thanks to technology you have the opportunity to stay in touch once you pack up.

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Do a Digital Detox

Harken back to a time where there were no cell phones to check, Instagram account’s to update or work emails to answer- life was about roasting marshmallows over the fire and spending all day in the lake. Many camps, Reset included, ask you to check your devices when you arrive so you can really turn off and tune out.

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Embrace Nature

Not all camps are simply fun and games either – SOS Wilderness Camp in Northern Saskatchewan takes adults on outdoor survival courses where you can learn how to find your own food and water. It’s definitely not “glamping” but you’ll be happy you did it should you ever get lost in the woods.

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Learn New Skills

Many adult camps simply offer general debauchery but others offer skill-building courses like cooking, pottery, science classes or music. Hone your talents or pick up a new set that you can show off when you return to the office.  And you don’t need to choose anything professional either-many camps offer to teach participants things like yoga, ropes courses and arts & crafts.

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Party Hard

The fun and games never have to end at adult camps like Camp No Counselor, which offers theme parties, where campers can don getups (think superheroes or cowboys), and indulge in an open bar. Funky cocktails and local craft beer sponsors make for an experience that will suit more mature palettes.

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Stay in Luxury

Run-down cabins filled with creepy crawlies are fine when you’re a 10-year old but why stay in the dumps when you can bunk in a high-end version? Unroll your sleeping bag in state-of-the-art facilities at grown-up camps that offer ice cream shops, movie theatres and pristine beaches.

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Eat Gourmet

Forget cafeteria food, grown-up camps offer grown-up meal options. Camp’s like Two Islands Weekend enlist A-list chefs from Southern Ontario to cook up delish meals like a seafood boil and taco bar.  They also accommodate vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian diets so you don’t have to subsist on granola bars hidden in your backpack.

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Skip Vacation Planning

Booking and organizing your vacation can take more time than the actual vacation itself and can often add a lot of pre-vacay stress. Adult camps offer the freedom to simply show up and have fun, no prep required. Pick from an assortment of activities each day that simply require a bathing suit and towel.

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Play All Day

Sign up for a Beyoncé dance class, make a friendship necklace, play zorb soccer or enjoy some stand up paddleboarding at camps like Two Islands Weekend. This type of getaway is perfect for the active types who can’t sit still but also suits those who like to simply chill. There’s an option for everyone-and no one to call your parents if you don’t feel like participating.

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Embrace Nostalgia

The best part of camp as a kid was that feeling of getting away from the every day-and your parents. “I came back feeling completely reset with a fresh attitude and inner motivation,” says Debreceni of why she loved the grown-up version and has already signed up to go back again next year. “I never anticipated how life-changing attending an adult summer camp would be.”

Related:
Your Camping Essentials Checklist
10 Great Places to Go Glamping in Canada
Canada’s 10 Best Summer Camps for Grown-Ups