Who Said Camps Are Just For Kids?
By Leah Lancione
Some people may think summer camp is just for youngsters who want to get away from their parents or to make new friends after school is out. But it’s not. There is a plethora of exhilarating day or week-long camps that beckon to enterprising and open-minded seniors and boomers. Even if you have to use the term ”camp” loosely, there are opportunities to sign up for fitness boot camps, biking outings, sailing schools, ranch getaways and so many more. The prospects are endless for all those adults wanting to express their energy, creativity and spirit. Just take it from the famous playwright George Bernard Shaw who once proclaimed, “Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.”
So, now that you’ve decided not to sit back and watch as your kids or grandkids return from camp with a renewed vigor and memories that will last a lifetime, check out a few of our picks. You will be happy to hear that most if not all of these departures from everyday life do not require lodging in matchbox-like cabins, smelling the continuous stench of bug spray, slumbering in sleeping bags or even the stinging of Bactine for the countless scrapes you incurred. However, if you do wish to relive a past outdoor adventure, there are camp-like outings and retreats at dude ranches across the country.
If you are able to spare no expense for your adventurous side, The Home Ranch in Colorado offers horseback riding lessons, cow working and cattle roping, along with less than rough-and-tough-it lodging accommodations. Each luxurious log cabin has such amenities as a hot tub and gourmet meals. If you feel traveling out of state will give you just the vigorous escapade you seek visit firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
And, for those needing to get a head start or to tweak their riding skills before enrolling in a ranch vacation, the Woodland Horse Center in Silver Spring offers adult lessons. For more information, call (301) 421-9156.
Another outdoor camp-like experience that involves bonding, adventure and cultivating life skills is WomanTours, which affords women of all ages and abilities the opportunity to join bike tours to historically alluring and charming towns. One such outing is a bike tour through Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The jaunt from inn to inn starts in Easton and travels through Unionville, the Upper and Middle Hooper Islands, Oxford and more. Another tour option not far from Maryland borders has bikers pedaling through the majestic landscape of Pennsylvania Dutch Country. For more information, visit www.womantours.com
If spending a few days or a week outdoors during warm summer months sounds appalling, there is a camp for adults with a “wild streak” called the Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp. The camp is held annually in different cities across the U.S. This year Hollywood, California, is the designated camp site. This “fantasy camp” offers amateurs or seasoned musicians the opportunity to cultivate their instrument skills, jam with famous musicians, write and record their own original ditty and to perform it live with real rock legends. Past camps have featured the likes of Roger Daltrey of The Who, Joe Walsh of The Eagles, Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson. For more information on how you can “take a walk on the wild side,” visit www.rockcamp.com
True Marylanders know life always seems sweeter when you’re sailing. If you’ve always wanted to learn the challenging but rewarding sport of sailing, enroll in one of the weekend or week-long courses at Annapolis Sailing School, which was the first adult sailing school in the country when it opened in 1959. From the novice sailor to a more advanced recreational skipper, the school can help anyone master necessary sailing skills on a variety of vessels. If you envision yourself and your first mate spending warm summer nights messing around the Bay, visit www.annapolissailing.com or call (800) 638-9192 for more information.
The Chesapeake Sailing School, another school located in the sailing capital of the world, offers two-day weekend basic sailing courses or five-day “live aboard” cruising on a catamaran. Courses are designed to teach individuals or groups of all skill levels how to be competent sailors. So, if you want “ahoy” to be in your new vocabulary, visit www.sailingclasses.com or call (800) 966-0032.
If you prefer to camp out somewhere more swanky and audacious, why not join the countless wanna-be poker stars who enroll at one of the World Poker Tournament Boot Camps. The closest camp is held in Atlantic City, New Jersey, although Las Vegas is another obvious locale. For this fantasy weekend, poker aficionados get to develop their card strategies with world famous poker celebrities like T.J. Cloutier, Clonie Gowen, and Mike Sexton. These and other professional players teach campers through lectures and interactive learning labs. To have a pro poker player offer vital critiques is a dream come true for many, especially since the camp culminates in actual tournaments where campers can test their luck and recently perfected skills. Try your luck and check out poker camp at www.wptbootcamp.com
If none of these examples suit your style, check out www.GrownUpCamps.com or www.ShawGuides.com where more ‘camp’ opportunities abound, including those for sports, the arts, academia and more.