If you were a camp kid, chances are summer makes you nostalgic for lanyard whistles, Capture the Flag, kickball, and even smelly cabins. Good news: There are a growing number of summer camps popping up for adults, and they’re crazy fun. What’s more—they make fitting in exercise and even extra steps a no-brainer. Here are a few to check out, no matter your fitness level. There’s still time to sneak into some August sessions, or use these as inspiration to DIY a “staycation” camp with your best buds.
For Finding Zen
The Inspiration: Camp Grounded (campgrounded.org). With four-day sessions offered in North Carolina, Texas, New York, and California, this camp offers healthful (gourmet!) camp meals, live music, a talent show, archery, and land sports like kickball, frisbee, Capture the Flag, and more. Most importantly, smartphones and computers are prohibited, so you’re forced to truly disconnect. Ink your name on your undies and bunk up with your new best friends.
The DIY Steal: Create a four-day weekend, and invite your favorite group of friends to stay with you at a hotel (or kick the family out and do it at home). Each day, choose a different active pursuit such as a hike, a vinyard stroll (while wine tasting, of course), an afternoon of meditation and yoga, or an all-night pajama dance party). The only rules: No work chatter and ditch those smartphones.
For Getting Active with Your Better Half
The Inspiration: Kimpton’s Camp Taconic (taconichotel.com), an adult-only summer camp at the Kimpton Taconic Hotel in Manchester, Vermont that offers a special “couples” rate. After your bugle-call wake-up, you’ll hike, kayak, and tube through the mountains and Battenkill River. And you’ll close the day with S’mores and scotch around the fire.
The DIY Steal: Plan an overnight camping trip with your significant other, log lots of steps on the trails, and reward yourself with a campfire meal and cocktail at the end of the day. The moon is the perfect sub-in for candlelight.
For Picking Up Your Pace (and Counterbalancing Summer Indulgences)
The Inspiration: ZAP Fitness Running Camp (zapfitness.com) in Lenoir, North Carolina. With four-day and week-long options, this summer running camp is led by real athletes, and is appropriate for runners of all levels—from the on-and-off walker to the regular 5K-er who wants to step it up and run a full marathon. Runs are balanced with yoga and lectures on how to create a proper training and nutrition program. They’ll even shoot video of you running (humbling, no doubt) so they can tweak your form. Each day ends around the campfire.
The DIY Steal: Find a local trainer or running coach and schedule some time one on one or with a friend, and plan to spend a few days getting set up with everything from great running shoes, proper form and a training schedule. Track your heart rate during sessions to help nail your pace, and by the end of your mini-camp you and your running buddy will be race ready.
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.