Camp Isn’t Just for Kids: 5 for Grown-Ups

These getaways let you build skills in a fun setting

Did you love summer camp as a child? The sing-alongs. The campfires. Color War. And how can you top the camaraderie of being with peers 24/7?

If you thought that grown-ups don’t get to do such things, think again. In the last few years, adult camps have sprung up around the country; some are offered during summers, others during other times of the year. They offer an array of experiences and are sure to bring out your childlike sense of enthusiasm and fun. If you want to go back to camp (or try it for the first time), one of these listed below could make you a camper in no time:

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The Culinary Institute of America (CIA)

Learn new cooking techniques (or hone the ones you have) at the CIA’s two-, three-, four- or five-day boot camps, which are offered all-year-round. Be sure to bring your appetite, as you’ll choose from camps that focus on barbecue or wine, desserts or even comfort foods. And you’ll get to eat in the extraordinary restaurants for which the Culinary Institute of America is noted.

Locations: Napa Valley, Calif.; San Antonio, Texas and Hyde Park, N.Y.

Price: From $895 for a two-day camp to $2,195 for a five-day camp (varies depending on program and type of food). Accommodations are not included.

Visit:  Enthusiasts.ciachef.edu/boot-camps

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This one is just for women, but it is a camp in the truest sense of the word — campers sleep in cabins and eat their meals in the mess hall. They play (think wheelbarrow races, pass-the-orange, campfires and singing games), challenge mind and body on a high-ropes course (optional) and get serious with workshops about everything from changing careers to meditation to health and wellness. All of this is bundled with crazy, camp-only hilarity.

Locations: Malibu, Calif. in September and November 2015; 2016 locations to be announced in September

Price: $1,195 for four days, including accommodations and meals (but not transportation).

Visit: Campowerment.com

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Adult Band Camp, Interlochen, Mich.

Come together with about 70 other adults to play instruments, polish your musical skills and re-live those marching band/orchestra days at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. This five-day program culminates with a public performance. (Interlochen also offers Adult Choir Camp, Adult Chamber Music Camp and a workshop for singer/songwriters.)

Location: Interlochen Center for the Arts, just southwest of Traverse City, Mich.

Price: $525, Tuesday, Aug. 11 – Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015 (Price does not include lodging or meals, which are available on the campus of Interlochen for an additional fee of about $27 per day for three meals, or $9 per meal. Choose from hotel rooms, residence halls or cabins, ranging in price from $110 to $190 per night. Discounts are offered to Band Camp participants.)

Visit: College.interlochen.org/adultband

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Adult Space Academy

If you grew up watching rocket launches on grainy black-and-white TVs, you might have harbored a long-held desire to be an astronaut. Well, it’s not too late to check it out at Adult Space Academy, a three- or four-day program held at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. It lets you train on an astronaut simulator, participate in a rocket launch (weather permitting) and experience the 1/6 gravity chair, which allows you to yaw like an astronaut in a floating capsule. You’ll hear lectures, build model rockets and leave knowing what it takes to be an astronaut or work in Mission Control.  Camps in 2015 will be held in August and September; they’ll also be held most months of 2016.

Location: U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Huntsville, Ala.

Price: $499 per person for three-day; $599 for four-day (the $50 registration fee is non-refundable), including meals and lodging, at the Center’s Habitat Facilities. Food is served in the Space Camp Crew Gallery.

Visit: SpaceCamp.com/space/adult

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Dorothy Hamill Ice Skating Camp

You can join Gold Medalist Dorothy Hamill for five days of ice skating, conditioning and private lessons with Hamill herself (and other coaches). Lunch is included every day, and there are two group dinners. “Friendships and memories to last a lifetime” are part of the package, according to Hamill’s website, but accommodations are not. No experience is needed, just a desire to be on the ice. Coaches for 2015 have yet to be announced, but past coaches have included former Olympians such as JoJo Starbuck, Peter Carruthers and Randy Gardner.

Location: Scottsdale, Ariz.

Price: $4,500 if you register before July 15, 2015. The price goes up by 10 percent after that and you must register by Sept. 15, 2015. The camp begins on Oct. 18, 2015.

Visit: DorothyHamill.com/skating-camp.html

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