June 2019

Silly Adult: Camps are for Everyone!

Author: Denise K. James

The summer before sixth grade, my two best friends and I went to Girl Scout sleepaway camp and had the best time ever. I still remember most of the lyrics to the songs we sang, the names of our 19-year-old counselors (who seemed so old to us at the time) and that beautiful reprieve from everyday life as an 11-year-old like it was merely yesterday. We stayed up giggling all night, swam in the gigantic swimming pool all day, and wrote soulful letters to our mothers as if they’d never once reprimanded us.

Adulthood, with its mortgages, day jobs and responsibilities, is not always what it’s cracked up to be, but summertime can and should still be an excuse to get back to those fun-filled basics of life. In fact, as of late, a number of adults-only summer camps have popped up in the United States, including a few in our region, all promising the wholesome, whimsical fun of those days gone by. Sure, you could opt for a Caribbean cruise or a bar crawl or some other “adult” break from reality, but doesn’t a week at camp sound better? After all, getting back in touch with our inner kid can refresh our outlook on life in a way that grownup vacations can’t.

Take it from Dave Kushner, one of the founders of Camp No Counselors, an adults-only camp founded in New York that has truly taken off since its inception in 2013. Kushner, who said he and his close friends were all summer camp enthusiasts as kids, was looking for a fun way to get everyone together and came up with the idea to rent a summer camp. “We invited a big group of 30 friends to make the cost of renting the camp feasible, and we ended up with 100 people that first year!” he said.

Because Kushner and his crew are camp renters instead of owners, they migrate around the country to different locations and have held fun-filled sessions everywhere from Tennessee to California to Florida to Colorado. They use real summer camps that kids attend during the summer—they just wait until the off-season. “We’ll plan our sessions for when the kids aren’t there, in early summer or late summer and into the fall,” Kushner said.

So, what happens at a camp for grownups? Yes, there’s a bit of partying, but there’s also plenty of good, clean fun. “We have arts and crafts, play kickball and have a deejay at night,” Kushner said. “Our saying is, ‘Play like a kid and party like a grownup!’”

Mom and grandmother Susan Edgeworth from South Carolina recently enjoyed attending another camp meant for adults to cut loose: Camp Kid Again in Clayton, Georgia. “Camp Kid Again was an awesome experience for me to feel young again and allow my children who went with me to view me not as “Mom,” but as a kid just playing games and making new friends,” she said.

(Just as a side note, I thoroughly intend to go to camp with Susan and her whole family very soon, maybe even this year, since I’m best childhood friends with her daughter, Kristi. In fact, Kristi is one of the three I mentioned from the camp experience I had at age 11!)

Now, for the question I was dying to ask the adults “in charge” of these types of camps: are all the cabins co-ed? Because, let’s face it, they were not in 1992, and with good reason—boys were icky.

“We give people the choice,” Kushner said, chuckling at my question. “We do get a lot of married couples who attend camp together.” (I had kind of forgotten about married people since I’m single, and I ruefully admitted that that made sense.)

For those of you living in the Lowcountry who are interested in attending a camp for grownups, there are a couple of options. You could pack up and head to Camp Kid Again in Georgia or one of the more far-flung adult camps in the country such as yoga-heavy Soul Camp in New York or California, or you could convince Kushner and his crowd to bring Camp No Counselors closer to home. As of press time, the entire 2019 schedule had not yet been determined. There will be sessions in New York and in California this year, but the rest remains to be seen. That said, interested parties who are reading this article and thinking about how fun this sounds can send an email to Kushner and his crew. “Interested folks can email us and check our website and social media for updates on the plan,” he said, adding that campers frequently come “from all over.”

Susan, an enthusiastic adult camp convert, can’t wait to attend Camp Kid Again this fall. “Everyone needs to go at least once,” she said. “The friendships made will last a lifetime, and I will continue to go back every year for as long as I can. I will be 66 when we go again in September, and I can’t wait!”

Got Cabin Fever Already? Learn More Here!

Camp No Counselors

Camp Kid Again
(720) 393-0717

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