Remember summer camp? Long afternoons of nature walks or horseback riding, launching from a rope swing into a lake, singing goofy songs around a fire at night. Those days may seem like a distant memory, but it's not too late to relive them. Adult summer camps are becoming a ritual for more and more under-rested, overconnected grown-ups – places where you can play capture the flag or learn to carve a kayak instead of checking your email by the pool.
According to the American Camp Association, 1 million people over the age of 18 went to summer camp last year. And adult camps in the U.S. have grown some 10 percent over the past decade. "Put eight people in a bunkhouse with no phones and they become a mini tribe," says Levi Felix, 29, who co-founded a tech-free retreat outside San Francisco two years ago. "You become mindful about yourself and the people around you." Here are six camps where that authentic kind of connectedness – with new people and new skills – will leave you feeling like a kid again.
Glamping in the Park
Camping doesn't have to mean waking with a stiff neck in a damp sleeping bag. Yellowstone Under Canvas is a safari-like experience at a fraction of the price. Luxury tents have beds covered in high-thread-count sheets, a leather sofa, a wood-burning stove, and indoor plumbing. "Our family does a lot of camping, but I had never heard of glamping," says David DuPree, 41, a defense subcontractor who visited last June with his wife and two sons, ages 8 and 10. While the boys earned Junior Ranger badges in a two-day course identifying trees and animals, DuPree and his wife hiked. "When you get back, the staff has a bonfire going, someone is playing guitar, and everyone is hanging out. It's really special."
Go: 90 minutes south of Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport.
Credit: Courtesy Lone Peak Hospitality
Cost: From $89/night for a two-person tent; up to $425/night for a suite with a tub.