Finding Inner Peace, At Summer Camp

Finding Inner Peace, At Summer Camp

Pass the s’mores—and make them vegan! A new brand of sleep-away camp caters to wellness-seeking adults.

Illustration Credit: Camping in the Forest by Wei Zhou

Hiking in the woods, dining-hall dinners, campfire sing-alongs—they aren’t just the stuff of childhood memory anymore. You, too, can go to summer camp.

Across the country, the growing trend of grown-up summer camps offers computer captives a chance to get outdoors, get healthy, and ditch their digital addiction. Whether you’re looking to commune with nature, ready to deepen your spiritual practice, or you’re just a kid at heart, check out these adult-focused summer camps and retreats:

Camp Grounded

Check your smartphones and your assumptions at the door when you sign up for Camp Grounded, a summertime, off-the-grid “digital detox” for adults who have a hard time disconnecting—literally. The three-day camp in Navarro, California, offers meditation, yoga, and wellness workshops, plus outdoor activities like stargazing and tea service in a yurt. The dining hall and canteen serve a healthy vegetarian and vegan menu.

Women’s Quest

Women’s Quest offers a variety of summer camps and retreats both across the United States and internationally (2014 adventures include Vermont, Colorado, and Italy), ranging from high-impact cycling to yoga for beginners. Most packages offer a combination of wellness and health-related opportunities, including qigong instruction, access to hot springs and massage services, and, for cycling or hiking tours, stops at sacred sites and temples along the route.

Camp Unleashed

Release your inhibitions at Camp Unleashed, a camp for people and the dogs they love. Pups of all sizes and ages are welcome to join their humans at a camp in either Massachusetts or North Carolina for four days of activities including dog-friendly crafts (participants might make their own pull toys), dog yoga, dock diving and swimming, and off-leash hikes in safe, forested areas.

Living With Spirit

Presented by the spiritual community Ananda Sangha, Living With Spirit brings together young adults ages 18-30 for a two-week getaway in Northern California focused on spiritual practice, service to others, and communing with like-minded devotees. Programs include daily devotional singing, meditation, seminars about yoga philosophy, yoga practice, and an organic, vegetarian diet. Other camps for different age groups are offered in Oregon, India, and Italy.

Life of Yes! Camp

Life of Yes! Sleepaway Camp is a motivational, inspirational non-location based camp experience, focused on building interpersonal connections and learning to be brave and say yes more often. Past destinations have included Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois. The camp spans a three-day weekend, and attendees are required to come on their own and to unplug in order to fully connect with other campers -- phones are taken on Friday and given back Sunday. Campers receive private bedrooms and home-cooked, family-style meals.

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