Credit: Camp Wandawega
Ah, Summer camp: that first whiff of freedom, that first graze of a girl's boob, that first Bill Murray motivational speech to get you totally pumped up to take on North Star in the hot dog eating contest. It was a glorious time of zany hijinks and adolescent discovery. With canoeing.
Turns out, you don't have to be a kid anymore to go to Summer camp. Now, thanks to a new wave of adult camps, you can spend your hard-earned vacation days eating in a mess hall, shooting a crossbow, or just sneaking out of the dudes' cabin on a late-night panty raid. Or something like that. Either way, here are nine camps you should know about.
Credit: Camp Wandawega
Camp Wandawega -- Elkhorn, WI
Apparently what you get when hipsters take over a former Catholic Summer camp and give it a retro Americana overhaul, this lakeside getaway boasts airstream trailers, teepees, and rustic cabins full of old-school sports gear, not to mention a three-story tree house. Activities range from classic camp faves like archery, fishing, and tennis, to horseshoes, shuffleboard, and -- remember, it's hipsters -- Michelin-starred dinners and bourbon pairings, of course.
Credit: Yellowstone Under Canvas
Yellowstone Under Canvas -- West Yellowstone, MT
Kayaking, hiking, fishing, rafting, mountain biking, and ziplining: if it's an outdoor activity, you'll be doing it at YUC. Just don't tell anyone that the "roughing it" part involves a luxury safari tent.
Credit: Covert Ops
Covert Ops -- Miami, FL
For either two or four days at a "secret location" somewhere in Miami, you'll become a member of an elite Israeli counter terrorism unit. Taught by a real-life former soldier in the Israeli Defense Force, you'll leave knowing how to handle an assault rifle, fire a weapon out of a moving car, take a dude down using Krav Maga, and, most importantly, kidnap people. You know, just because.
Credit: Camp Grounded
Camp Grounded -- Anderson Valley, CA
This restored, '70s-styled, tech-free site brings the nostalgia strong in the form of a communal cafeteria (with locally sourced and organic meals, of course) and separate cabins for men and women. Only difference at CG... sneaking into personal tents is encouraged. Heyyyoohh! Activities run the gamut from archery, hiking, climbing, and swimming, to yoga, campfires and dances (nobody puts Baby in a corner, right?).
Credit: Grain Surfboards
Grain Surfboards -- York, ME
Not only will you spend four to seven days alternately shredding waves and building your very own eco-friendly cedar surfboard, but you'll be in Maine, which in the Summer is worth the price of admission.
Credit: Rock Fantasy Camp
The Rock 'N Roll Fantasy Camp -- Las Vegas, NV
Because you've always felt like your rock star sensibilities are going to waste in Accounting, see what could have been by rocking out alongside The Who's Roger Daltry and Aerosmith's Brad Whitford; both of whom will help you write and record your very own hit in a professional recording studio... then perform it live at the Fox Theater in Vegas. Groupies may or may not be included.
Credit: Space Camp USA
Adult Space Academy at Space Camp -- Huntsville, AL
This three-day camp at the US Space & Rocket Center trains you like a real astronaut, complete with interactive space missions. You'll be building and launching model rockets, defying gravity in Multi-Axis simulators, and testing your mettle on 40ft climbing walls. Also, you get to wear a space suit and recreate the best Ben Affleck scenes from Armageddon. Kidding, of course -- there are no good Ben Affleck scenes in Armageddon.
Credit: Zombie Survival Course
Zombie Survival Course -- New Jersey
Put everything you've learned from The Walking Dead to the test by spending a weekend with a team of NRA-certified instructors and martial arts pros. Not only will you learn how to shoot an entire armory of weapons (including a crossbow!), they'll teach you how to hot-wire a car and collect, prepare, and store emergency supplies.
The Culinary Institute of America -- Various locations
The world is your oyster at CIA, where you can take two-to-five-day cooking Boot Camps; and when you're done learning how to butcher meat in a pro kitchen, you can play a little Ultimate on the quad.
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