Would you go back to sleepaway camp if you could? Would you take the opportunity to go for the first time if you missed out as a kid? #FOMO
Well whether you answered yes to any of the above, or no, – go for it. I went to sleepaway camp for the first time ever as an adult, and am extremely confident that you can too. I went through Camp No Counselors, whas is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a camp for adults, with no counselors. Color war, talent show, campfires, s’mores – it was all there. There were ‘non-counselor’ staff members, but they became my friends and are some of the coolest people I've ever met.
Photo Credit: Liraz Photography
Day 1: The first impression
When my roommate first asked if I would go to adult summer camp with her, I was instantly hesitant. Sleeping in a cabin and sleeping among critters — no thanks. We started local at the Boston camp, which took place in nearby Maine. My roommate and I hopped on the provided buses for both. We were instantly greeted by A BONFIRE WITH S'MORES, friendly non-counselors, and zany fellow campers. My first impression ended up being a clean cabin (seriously, not one spider attack for me #blessed) and the sense that this was going to be great. Plus, our cabins had fellow color war team members — instant #squadgoals.
We had to write answers to questions on our name tags every day — my first one being 'who is your doppleganger?'— that made everyone surprisingly easy to remember. I was Game of Thrones favorite, Daenerys / Mother of Dragons, of course. It was clear from day one that everyone was there to have a good time – and there was every type of camper (adventurers, sleep-on-a-hammock-all-day’ers, the crafty ones, etc).
The first impression was what immediately sold me. It sold me so well that I went back a second (Nashville) for a birthday weekend. And I’m pre-registered for a third (Austin) . . . so yes, I’ve definitely caught the Bug Juice. FYI it's definitely an adult summer camp - 21+ (hint: graduation present) and fellow campers ages 21-35+ is the norm.
Day 2: Activities for days - no Netflix
My roommate and I participated in the ‘friendship walk" on the first day of each camp, filled with funny questions and a tour of the campsite got to experience a giant water blob that I’ve had on my bucket list since Disney's Heavyweights, and so much more. So did I have fun? Seriously, there was everything available from zipling to rock climbing, to tubing, and more. There's also arts & crafts and open swim if you're more #chill.
. . . add in the themed parties
The ~ themed parties ~ were also great opportunities to get to know people. The themes I got to enjoy across my camps were Superhero + Woodstock (Boston) and Jurassic Party + Space Jam (Nashville). Everyone was notified way in advanced. I'm definitely committed to thinking more outside the box next time . . . I was NOT the only Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century at the Space Jam.
Day 3: COLOR WAR
Color war is extremely serious, and each day leading up had mini challenges to give your team a head start. We all got t-shirts in our team color, too. Color war day at both camps were some of the most high-energy days I've ever experienced. Color war days included:
- A giant apache relay race (I did human pyramid at both camps - highly recommend)
- A lip-sync battle - I joined the Spice Girls routine in Boston, and then won first place as Gwen Stefani in Nashville
- A flag-design contest
- Side-sport tournaments
- . . . and then the giant apache relay race which ended with a giant game of 'flip and slip. That's right, everyone on the team had to go down the giant slip 'n slide and flip a cup on a giant 'flip cup' table.
The prize for winning was a champagne shower: spoiler alert.
Photo Credit: Amy Pinard Photography
I am now part of a family. I’m constantly staying in touch with those that I met, and have a ton of inside jokes and memories only CNC campers can understand. Mooses and alpacas will never be the same (you’ll have to go to camp to figure that one out!). I also realized that I can check places off my bucket list with these trips — I took the time to explore Nashville before the second camp, and plan to do the same for Austin.
Photo Credit: Amy Pinard Photography
P.S. I’m in no relation to Non-Counselor + Director of Community Engagement, Dave Kushner– that we know of yet! Thanks CNC for giving me the best big brother I never had.