I Went To An Adult Summer Camp
10 Summer Camps for Grownups
Strap on your spurs, saddle up your stallion and get ready to giddyup with the help of professional wranglers at the Rockin' R Ranch in Antimony, Utah. You'll live the rugged cowboy life for six days, driving cattle on horseback through mountain ranges and prairies. At night, you and your fellow cowboys and cowgirls will sit around the campfire, cook your meals, tell stories and sleep under the stars or in a tent. This camp is recommended for people who've had some prior riding experience. The ranch offers three cattle drives a year, July through October. Cost: ,300 for six nights; includes meals and equipment. Visit RockinRRanch.comfor more information.
Wilderness Survival Camp
Imagine you're lost and alone in the woods at night. Your cell phone slipped out of your pocket, and even if you had it, you couldn't get a signal anyway. It's you vs. the wild. What will you do? At Lifesong Wilderness Adventures' First Circle Survival Camp, you'll learn how to survive this exact situation in the Siskiyou Mountains of Northern California. With the help of a guide, you'll learn the basics of survival, which includes recognizing animal tracks, constructing a dwelling from nature and making a fire. Camp is held May through September. Cost: 5 for seven days, or Mini Survival Camp, 5 for a weekend; includes everything but a tent (there are rentals or you can bring your own). Call 530-859-0539 or visit LifesongAdventures.comfor more information.
Murder Mystery Camp
Put your sleuthing skills to the test while on a Clue-like whodunit vacation. At The Harry Packer Mansion in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, murder and mayhem unfold as soon as you check in. You'll be assigned a character, along with other guests, based on one of the family members who lived in the mansion during the 1870s. Once the crime is committed, inspector Bob (a.k.a. owner Bob Handwerk) will reveal clues at every meal to help you deduce the details of the crime—including who did it. Murder mysteries take place every weekend. Cost: 5–0 per couple (depending on the room) for two nights; includes meals and lodging. Call 570-325-8566 or visit MurderMansion.comfor more information.
Trade yourGuitar Herocontroller for a real Les Paul, your business suit for leather pants, and let your inner rockstar take center stage. At Rock Boot Camp you'll be "almost famous" for one weekend as you live the rock star life (groupies not included). At camp, rock musicians ages 13 and up (with at least three to six months of playing experience) form bands based on ability and rehearse for a concert held at the end of the weekend. Bands get to pick a name and song while receiving instrument-specific instruction from pros and learning the inside scoop on the music industry. Camp runs year-round and is held one to two weekends every month in different cities. Cost: 9. Call 866-448-3007 or visit RockBootCamps.comfor more information.
Ground control to Major Tom or Jane: What if you could experience the thrill of blasting off into outer space? If you thought you'd grow up to be an astronaut but got sidetracked along the way, Space Academy in Huntsville, Alabama, lets you live the dream. From the moment you slip on your flight suit, astronaut training begins. Using NASA-engineered equipment, you'll (virtually) experience the excitement of a launch, the sensation of walking on the moon and the feeling of a craft tumbling out of control. Additionally, you'll learn about the history and future of the space program from former astronauts. Cost: 9 for three days or 9 for six days; includes meals and lodging. Call 800-637-7223 or visit SpaceCamp.comfor more information.
Move over, Indiana Jones, because you are about to begin your own adventure into antiquity. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in Cortez, Colorado, offers adults the chance to get down and dirty alongside archeologists during its Adult Research Week, where you'll dig, sift, sort, clean and record ancient artifacts as you excavate a Pueblo village from 1200 AD. Previous campers have unearthed things like pottery, animal bones and stone tools—so who knows what you will find? Campers stay in modernized Navajo log cabins, and camp is held May through October. Cost: ,400 for six nights; includes meals and lodging. Call 800-422-8975 or visit CrowCanyon.orgfor more information.
Have you ever thought about running away and joining the circus? Well, now's your chance! For one week a year (typically in late June), Camp Winnarainbow in Laytonville, California, makes this fun-filled fantasy a reality. Spend six days clowning around while learning improvisational acting, juggling, stilt walking, unicycling, tightrope walking, mask making, magic, martial arts, songwriting and more. Campers can bring their own tents or sleep in teepees. Cost: 0 for six days or 0 per day; includes food, lodging and activities. Call 707-984-6507 or visit CampWinnarainbow.orgfor more information.
You're riding a wave, the wind rushing through your hair as sea spray trails in your wake . . . No, this isn't a daydream—this could actually be you at SwellWomen Surf Retreat in Maui, Hawaii. Escape to white sandy beaches, turquoise waters and the spirit ofalohaat this wellness adventure camp. No prior surfing experience is required, just a willingness to learn. You'll stay in a luxurious resort and get two surfing lessons each day as well as optional yoga classes. The resort also offers a variety of other activities like snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing and hiking. The retreats are offered March through August, about six to eight times a year. Cost: ,795 for six nights, including lodging, meals, yoga and one massage; or 5 for a two-day surf pass, including surfing lessons, lunch and access to the resort's pools. Call 800-399-MAUI or visit SwellWomen.com for more information.
Ghost Hunting Camp
Curiosity piqued by the paranormal? Grab your best ghost-busting getup and head to the Spirits of Butler Paranormal Program in Carrollton, Kentucky, where a professional ghost hunter will teach you how to detect apparitions and summon spirits. Your training ground: the (supposedly) haunted Butler-Turpin historic house and surrounding cemetery, which date back to pre–Civil War times. During this two-day experience, you'll see visuals and hear audio recordings of ghosts, learn to use dousing rods and pendulums as well as check for motion and heat to find the paranormal. You'll also partake in a bonfire and séance. The next event isn't until early Autumn on October 24–25—right around Halloween when the spirits come out to play. Cost: per person, 9 per couple; includes meals and lodging at General Butler State Resort Park lodge. Call 866-462-8853 for more information.
We heard through the grapevine that Veramar Vinyard in Berryville, Virginia, offers a weekend "crush" course in what it's like to live and work at a vineyard and winery. During this three-day experience, you'll learn about wine appreciation, wine making and food pairings, and get hands-on training on picking, crushing and pressing grapes, as well as bottling, labeling and more. Not to mention, you get to drink all the vino you want during tastings throughout the weekend. The camp is offered one weekend a month, May through October. Cost: 0 per couple; includes meals and lodging.
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