Relive the best parts of your childhood at these sleepaway destinations for grown-ups.
As Wet Hot American Summer returns to our screens, we’re reminded of two things: the unrelenting march of time (to which Marguerite Moreau seems somehow immune), and how friggin’ awesome summer camps were. Over the last two years, nostalgia and fondness for those childhood vacations has given rise to a new trend, the adult sleep-away camp. Modeled on classic camps for kids, most of these getaways are dominated by thirtysomethings reveling in good, clean, pre-digital era fun. At a number of camps, work is a taboo topic and devices are banned; some focus on health and wellness, others offer dance parties with open bars. Whatever your preference, here are some places where you can go be a kid with other grown ups.
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Camp Grounded, CA and NC
“Disconnect to reconnect” is the motto of this tech-free and booze-free camp, which encourages you to be social without the aid (or crutch) of social media. Around 450 people attend each four-day retreat, which offers grounding sessions on meditation and mindfulness alongside classic camp pastimes like capture the flag, sports and the all-important talent show.
Camp Back Burner, OK
Outdoor-loving travel company Back Burner Adventures will launch its inaugural three-day camp in 2016. Alcohol, electronics and work of any sort are strictly verboten, so you’ll have a great opportunity to get back to nature—you just won’t be able to Instagram yourself doing it.
Soul Camp, CA and NY
Prepare to geek out: This year’s New York camp is actually being held at Camp Towanda in Pennsylvania, where the original Wet Hot American Summer movie was filmed. But unlike Camp Firewood, this four-day retreat is more of a mind-body-spirit bootcamp. Think cardio and dance classes, numerology and astrology sessions, meditation and breathwork, as well as talks from wellness experts.
Camp Wandawega, WI
More Moonrise Kingdom than Wet Hot American Summer, this restored former lake resort looks much like it did fifty years ago when it was hosting Latvian kids’ summer camps. The old-school facilities are still intact, including a tennis court, boating dock, archery course and shuffleboard. When they’re not being used for photo shoots and private events, you can rent one of the resort’s vintage cabins through AirBnb.
Camp No Counselors, NY, CA, IL and TN
Best suited to “work hard, play hard” types, these fun-focused three-day camps boast breakfast cocktails in the morning, athletic activities in the afternoon, and themed DJ parties at night. Expect to make friends—organizers curate the hundred or so attendees, then arrange them into color war teams that bunk together throughout the weekend.
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Camp Throwback, OH
This heavily nostalgic getaway is essentially your childhood camp with alcohol compressed into four days. Bond with 120 of your new BFFs over bonfire singalongs, sloppy joes and badly woven friendship bracelets. Debauchery is perfectly acceptable here; hangover yoga is built into the morning schedule, and drunk field day is always a camp highlight.