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Get Away and Play at Summer Camps for Adults

5 places around the country where grownups can have adventures

kayaking at ESCAPE Camp


Kayaking is one of the many outdoor sports available at ESCAPE Camp.

Why should kids have all the summer-camp adventures? These five very different places are just right for adults who want to learn new skills or enjoy the outdoors (or do both) with other fun-loving grownups.

campers performing at SummerSongs Camp


Singing Camp

Each summer in late-July, a group of 70 singers ages 30 and up come together in Stony Brook, New York, (30 miles north of New York City) for SummerSongs. The week-long retreat in the Hudson River Valley, led by a faculty of nationally known songwriters and touring musicians, allows music lovers to immerse themselves in songwriting, singing and performance.

group of women standing in front of waterfall

Active Older Adults

Outdoorsy Camp

Adults over 50 who are looking to relive their childhoods, or perhaps experience an old-style summer camp for the first time, can attend the five-day Active Older Adults camp in late-August at Camp Chief Ouray. The 5,150-acre YMCA camp with mountains, valleys, streams and meadows is located in Granby, Colo., near Rocky Mountain National Park and about 1.5 hours northwest of Denver. The fun includes activities such as hiking, rafting, archery, canoeing, fishing and much more.

Fees are $345 for campers ages 50 to 64, and $325 for those 65 and older. You stay in double rooms with full bathrooms in one of the Snow Mountain Ranch lodges. (If you don't have a roommate, you'll be assigned one, or you can choose a private room for an additional $175.) Registration for the camp opens after the first of the year. Call 970-887-2648.

adults practicing archery



In its 38th summer season, ESCAPE camp, a week-long sports and fitness camp for adults, is held at Amherst College, nestled in the picturesque Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. You can choose from more than 30 activities, including morning walks, canoeing, kayaking, water volleyball, rock-wall climbing, stand-up paddling and yoga — with active days capped off with a social hour (adult beverages included).

Overnight campers can spend a week on campus in a single or double dorm room for $1,400 (for either single or double occupancy), which includes meals, lodging, a fitness evaluation, instruction and activities. The price is adjusted for day- and partial-week campers. Complete an online form to receive more information about next summer's camp (June 7-13, 2020).

women cooking at The Best of Bootcamp with Chef Hans Welker, Culinary Institute of America

Culinary Institute of America

Cooking Camp

For foodies or anyone who wants to improve their cooking skills, the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) offers a series of two- to five-day boot camps at its locations around the country. During the five-day Plant-Powered Cooking Boot Camp in Hyde Park, N.Y., for instance, boot campers work side-by-side with CIA chef instructors to learn about the ingredients behind a plant-based lifestyle, including unami-rich mushrooms and protein-packed legumes, as well as recipes and cooking techniques. Another popular option is the two-day Grilling and BBQ Boot Camp in San Antonio, Texas.

$2,500 for the plant-powered camp; $925 for the grilling and BBQ camp. One catch: Accommodations aren't included. (Most attendees stay at area hotels.) Call 800-888-7850.

people swimming at Quimby Camp


Classic Camp

The 125-year-old Quimby camp on 1,000 acres in Vermont's Great North Forest aims to help all generations unplug — and to make it truly easy to enjoy the vast and unspoiled wilderness around it. You stay in one of 19 cabins, each named for fly-fishing lures, and can pack your daily schedule with activities from massages to baking classes. There are bikes and canoes on hand, as well as counselors to take your kids or grandkids fishing or hiking, should you feel like doing something else (say, sitting in your cabin's screened porch, spotting loons on the lake with a novel in your lap.)

Cabins are $100 to $160 a night (including breakfast) for early and late summer. Some cabins have kitchens. During the summer high season, it's all-inclusive, with rates about $210 to $230 a night per person (including a cabin and all meals). The camp also offers “get to know you” discounts of up to 25 percent for first-time visitors. Call 802-822-5533.

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