A unique vacation idea: summer camp — for all ages
The excitement of going off to summer camp doesn’t have to end when you sprout facial hair and start paying the bills.
In fact, there are plenty of summer camps for adults — and families,too — so you can share the experience with your own kiddos without missing out. Best of all, these alternative vacation ideas tend to run much cheaper than a trip for four to Mexico or Disney World.
Here are some big-kid summer camps that have us singing happy campfire tunes:
The Colorado Heritage Camps in Denver are specifically for families with multicultural and adopted children. The camps focus on specific cultures, such as Chinese, Indian or Russian. Even lunch if culture-specific. (See photo.)
Just over $1,000:
At the Frost Valley YMCA Camp in New York, families stay in hotel-style rooms or tents and get to experience a rodeo, classes, a carnival, petting zoo — even a family talent show.
For the adventurous family:
Santa Fe Mountain Adventures in New Mexico offers guided adventures for families in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Go whitewater rafting, on a GPS treasure hunt or trek on llamas. Families can choose from the wide list of activities and get a custom vacation experience — in nature, of course.
Do it YMCA-style:
Many YMCAs across the country offer “intergenerational camps.” For example, the YMCA Camp Nawaka in Wisconsin brings families together to explore nature, learn new skills and learn about the outdoors. The retention rate for this program is high, according to the YMCA, because families enjoy it so much that many return year after year.
Money-saving tip: Click here to enter a contest to win a free week at the YMCA family camp.
Adult cowboys only:
Arizona Cowboy College is a summer camp for adults, where would-be cowboys and cowgirls learn how to ride and rope the range — and eventually a cattle ranch. Learn horsemanship skills and ranching techniques and live like a real cowboy, well, until you go home.
“Active adults” only:
Some YMCAs also offer summer camps for active adults only for “kids” age 50 and up. Check out the Camp Chief Ouray camp in Colorado, which offers yoga, hiking, woodcarving, crafts, knitting, card games — the list goes on.
Pick up a tent at a sporting goods store like REI and go on your own self-guided camping adventure. We especially dig this Kingdom 4 Tent for $279.99 at REI.
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