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Summer Camps for Boomers Growing in Popularity

Programs provide a chance to relive youthful activities

Boomer Summer Camp

Courtesy of Camp Meraki

Camps geared toward boomers offer crafts, canoeing, archery and other traditional summer camp experiences.

Many boomers still look back to summer camp experiences as among their fondest memories of growing up. That’s why many former campers are signing up for a growing number of adult summer camps that strive to re-create those fun times while providing a much-needed break from work pressures and electronic gadgetry.


MarketWatch reports that about a quarter of the 2,400 camps affiliated with the American Camp Association, an industry group, now offer programs for adults. One example is Camp Meraki, near Austin, Texas, where campers participate in crafts and activities such as canoeing, archery and tie-dyeing T-shirts.

There’s also Camp Bonfire, an adult-only camp in the Poconos, which has hosted campers in their late 60s and 70s. And there's a weekend program at Camp Ocoee outside Chattanooga, Tenn., that is run by a partnership of the YMCA and Boomers Together, a community group of older adults. The latter offers activities that include “swimming, hiking and scary stories around campfires,” plus the chance to collect “big kid” merit badges for activities, according to the Boomers Together website.


But adult camp isn’t all about nostalgia. One 69-year-old retired teacher who attended Camp Ocoee took advantage of the opportunity to try a high-ropes course and scratch an item off her bucket list.

According to MarketWatch, many of the adult summer camps offer accommodations for older adults with disabilities, such as a Camp Meraki camper with Parkinson’s who participated in canoeing.

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