Send yourself off to these adult summer camps
Camp No Counselors is all about that free feeling when your counselors left you unsupervised for an entire night that one summer after the ice cream social—wait, that didn't happen to you? Want to play game after game of dodgeball, learn to shoot like Katniss and redeem your childhood color war loss? Do it—no counselor will force you to go swim in the lake instead. Want to sunbathe, make friendship bracelets and sit around a campfire? You can do that too—no required activities here besides summer fun. This camp is located just far enough out of Los Angeles to feel like you've escaped the crowds and not so far that you'll get homesick. But who's really going to get homesick when there's an open bar all. weekend. long?
Dates: Oct. 1-4 (sold out), Oct. 9-12
Cost: $450 as part of a group, $475 single registration, $750 for a private, 2-person cabin
You won't find an open bar at Camp Grounded but you will find redwoods, and an utter lack of technology. Camp Grounded's rules are simple: no tech (screens, wearables, even digital cameras), no networking or work-talk, no pets or kids, no drugs or alcohol, no alarms, and definitely no dubstep and glowsticks. It's probably pretty similar to the summer camps you actually attended as a pre-Facebook child. There's more of a range in the activities, from the traditional (swimming, archery, talent show, color wars) to the new age-y (tai chi, sweat lodge, pranayama, silent dinner) to the truly analog (creative writing with typewriters, pinhole photography, charcoal drawing). The idea is to "disconnect to reconnect" through traditional camp activities, wellness friendship and self expression with grown-up kids of all ages.
Dates: May 22-25, May 29-June 1
Date: May 28-31
Location: Big Bear
If you're the kind of person who prefers water colors over color wars, Camp ArtSeen is your kind of scene. An art retreat in a summer camp setting, this Northern California session is about reconnecting with your creative side. Attend classes on jewelry making, painting, drawing, carving, mural painting, and more; if your new friends and collaborators start a game of Marco Polo in the pool, you should probably join in.
Dates: July 24-26
Rancho La Puerta is just over the border in Tecate, Mexico, but it's actually closer to San Diego than Big Bear, and Northern California, for sure. It's also not technically a summer camp—it's more of a rustic wellness resort—but when you're there, you'll be doing camp things: hiking, bird watching, swimming, yoga, scupture, communal meals, and more. Founded 75 years ago, Rancho La Puerta is one of the original wellness retreats. You might listen to lectures from politicians and writers and attend an intimate concert with a famous name after a full day of yoga, spa treatments, exercise and cooking classes. Though the resort has modernized over the years (there's now a small wine bar and Wi-Fi in certain guest lounges), you'll embrace how rustic it is and be way too busy to wish you weren't so unplugged.
Dates: 3-7 nights; ongoing
Location: Tecate, MX