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Summer Camps for Adults

Summer Camps for Adults
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Photo: Courtesy of Vista Verde Ranch

By Kitt Walsh

I belong to the local Rec Plex i, where I go daily to swim, take balance classes and walk the track. Sometimes, I confess, all this effort seems like drudgery. But now that it is summer, all the kids are out of school and many of them are enrolled in day camps at my Rec Plex and it is easy to see (and impossible to avoid hearing) just how much fun they are having.

They made me think back to my own days at camp and all the fun I had: campfire songs (and s’mores), ghost stories, learning to canoe, hitting the archery target, games of Capture The Flag, giggling with other girls after lights out—fond memories all.

I also remember coming home tan and fit and it got me to thinking, there was no drudgery involved, yet I used every muscle in my body. So were there such camp experiences for we over-50 adults?

You bet.

Here are four different types (all with programs late in the summer, so you still have time to sign up) and there are lots more. Get on the internet and enjoy your second childhood.

Sleep Away YMCA Camp for Adults

Camp Chief Ouray, Granby, Colorado

This is one of many YMCA sponsored camps for older adults (in fact, you must be over 50 to attend!) The camp asks, “Why should the young have all the fun?” and answers by inviting you to experience the beautiful mountains along with Arts & Crafts,

Woodcarving & Leather, Tie Dye, Dance & Music, Archery & Riflery, Low Ropes Course, Zip Lining, Canoeing, Exercise Classes, Fishing, Rafting, Climbing, Horseback Riding, Theme Nights (like Game Night, Carnival, 50’s Sock Hop), BBQs & Square Dances, Skit/Talent Night, and even Vespers

All the campers are housed in one of the Snow Mountain Ranch lodges. Bedding and towels are provided. No more than three single people or one married couple per room and there is an additional fee for a private room ($150). Camp begins at 2 pm on Fridays for check-in and ends on a Wednesday. Aug 28-Sept 2. Senior rate is $325, Non-Senior rate is $345.

More info at: or contact 970-887-2648 or to receive a brochure and registration information.

Unplug From Digital Noise

Camp Grounded-Hendersonville, North Carolina

This camp bills itself as a place where growups go to unplug, get away and be kids again.

Trade in your computer, cell phone, email, Instagrams, clocks, schedules, work-jargon, networking events and conferences for an off-the-grid weekend of pure unadulterated fun in the redwoods. The camp promises over 50+ Playshops, Arts & Crafts, Yoga, Typewriters, Capture the Flag, Color Wars, Meditation, Swimming, Talent Show, Camp Dance, Campfires, Archery, Rockwall, Kickball, Stargazing, Hiking, Healthy Meals, Sing-A-Longs, Face-Painting, Analog Photography, Counselors and more. The most interesting thing about this experience is that talking about work is strictly prohibited. Campers use Nicknames and are asked not speak with others about their work, careers or anything related to a J-O-B back in the “default world.” This gives time to play games and learn more important things about one another – like, “what’s your favorite meal that grandma made growing up?” or “when was the first time you fell in love?”

Nestled in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, the iconic 88-year old Camp Pinnacle is located just a few miles from Pisgah National Forest, Dupont State Forest, and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Enjoy the nostalgia of having bunkmates in your cabin, telling stories on your porch and in your private tree houses. Organizers promise you’ll “dream deeply under the stars in your new home away from home, as the smell of campfires and sounds of sing-a-longs put you to sleep.

Thursday, August 27, 2015 – Sunday, August 30. Between $500-$600 depending on which Girl’s, Boy’s or Co-Ed bunk you choose.

More information at:

Lose A Few Pounds

Shane Diet & Fitness Resort -Catskills, NY

Shane has two resorts for adults, but the one in the Texas Hill Country is being renovated till next summer, so tie yourself to Honor’s Haven resort in the beautiful Catskills for some old-fashioned fun and some new fangled weight loss.

At Shane Diet & Fitness, you not only get the usual fitness classes and weigh-ins, but the chance to hike, swim, dance, take cooking classes, get a tan, finally get picked for volleyball and generally let your hair down, while taking those pounds off. The owners are quick to point out that this is not a boot camp—more like a healthier version of vacation. The resort is located on 250 acres in a valley surrounded by scenic mountains. 100 miles northwest of New York City.

Guests have total access to the resort and spa’s facilities like the indoor and outdoor pools and Jacuzzi, a state-of-the-art fitness center; outdoor tennis courts, basketball and volleyball courts; a softball field, and more. The spa even has a steam room and sauna.

Guests at the resort range from 18-71 years old and everyone comes back from their week away not only rested, but armed with a personal nutrition plan, exercise guides and goals (set with the highly trained staff) to keep you moving even when you are faced with that pantry full of Cheetos back at home.

The cost is $1700-$2450 (based on your choice of accommodations) for a week in August.

For more information, visit

Herd Some Cattle

Vista Verde Ranch Clark, CO

Situated in the middle of a national forest in Northwest Colorado the ranch offers lodging in authentic log cabins and serves gourmet food—and it has horses…and cattle. Originally built as a private ranch in the 1920s, Vista Verde became a dude ranch for guests (from June-September only) in the 1970s. The rest of the year it is a real working ranch.

Campers get a horse and learn to communicate to their animal, while improving their riding skills all week. Just bring your own hat and jeans—they will loan you boots and helmets. The big thrill is the fact that you get to ride all over the ranch’s 16,000 acres looking for the resident herd of cattle and maybe get to be in an actual roundup. Got any John Wayne fantasies? This is your chance.

There are only about 25 guests per week and the place is luxury itself (they even have a well-stocked wine cellar) so the price shouldn’t surprise you.  A weeklong stay for Cattle Round-up weeks Aug 30-Sept 27 is $3975 per person.

More info at

Enjoy your summer, kids




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