Summer camp has grown up.Sure, you can still send the kids there, but there’s no upper age limit.
Nationwide, more than 800 camps cater to the adult crew. On the grown-up agenda: nature retreats, intensive cooking courses, triathlon camp, and cowboy college.
“In this world of being the best one can be, people really want more out of their vacation time,” says Nancy Diamond, managing principal of the Camp Professionals, which offers consulting services for camp owners and operators.
In 1996, she launched the directory grownupcamps.com, which she spent 13 years running. “Maybe you’re finally going to learn about something you always wanted to learn about, or a passion you always wanted to fulfil. It’s a chance to take the time to take care of yourself.”
That inner rock star is itching to come out. At Rock Camp, you'll be placed in a band based on skill level, and learn to play (or perfect) an instrument. You'll write and record an original song, and perform it live at the MGM Grand Hotel.
Next up: A session from October 10 to 14 that features Gene Simmons, Zakk Wylde, Vince Neil, and Sebastian Bach, among other rockers. Of course, rocking out alongside big names comes at a cost: Packages range from $6,999 to $8,999.
Saddle up and adopt the cowboy life at this dude ranch. You'll embark on horseback trail rides and try your hand at arena activities like barrel racing, pole bending, and calf riding. Also on the lineup: archery, hay-wagon rides, hiking, campfires, and skeet shooting. A six-night stay costs around $1,300.
Spend five days hitting the waves at Endless Summer Surf Camp. It's open to surfers of all skill levels, and all equipment is provided. Emphasis is on ocean awareness, surfing techniques, surf etiquette, and learning the ways of the waves. Day camp is $495; overnight camp goes for $895.
The zombies are coming. You want to be one of the survivors. To prepare for the apocalypse, sign up for this weekend training course. You'll learn how to find and create shelter, use fire-arms (including a handgun, shotgun, and rifle), and build and lead a team. You'll also be trained in self-defence and melee weapons. The course, led by NRA-certified firearm instructors, costs $425.
Olympic gold medalist Dorothy Hamill hosts Figure Skating Fantasy Camp, a weeklong retreat that revolves around skating and conditioning. The program culminates with a group performance open to the public. This year's camp, open only to those 21 and up, runs from August 19 through 24, and costs $4,100. Beginners are welcome.
Defy gravity this summer. During a three-day session at the U.S. Space and Rocket centre, you'll train on a multi-axis simulator and 1/6th gravity chair, scale a 40-foot climbing wall, and learn flight dynamics and wilderness survival. It's $549.
Improve your game with trainer Nick Bollettieri, who helped develop stars like Venus and Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. You'll get on-court training, video analysis of technical performance, and one-hour sport massages. In July, prices hover between $825 and $925 for three days, and $1,280 and $1,435 for five days.
Doctors, lawyers, techies, trekkies, mums, and dads have all flocked to the slopes for this weeklong adventure. It has expanded in recent years because its adult program has become so popular, and now, 50 per cent of all sessions are for those 21 and older. In addition to snowboarding, you can ride mountain bikes, attend a skateboard clinic, and participate in trampoline and foam pit clinics.
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