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I Went To Sleepaway Camp For The First Time in My 20s


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 JuiceFYI 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. 


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

The after-thoughts: 

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.

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