Not a festival. Not a retreat. Summer Camp. Like you did maybe when you were 10. Except this time there’s more grown up stuff like adult beverages and adult interactions. The concept of adult sleepaway camps – no kids allowed – is a growing trend conjuring up all kinds of images of what it would be like if “Wet Hot American Summer” meets “Grown Ups” meets all of your 12-year-old fantasies (plus some fantasies from your 20s, 30s, 40s, etc.).
While some of the camps focus on networking and hobnobbing like Camp No Counselors which boasts an enviable attendee pool of “fashion and food bloggers, media execs, music moguls, financiers, lawyers, doctors and more,” others are designed for special interests like Wine Camp and Adult Space Academy (which we’re glad hasn’t yet become Space Wine Academy…or are we?).
Catering to the yogi-loving, neo-new age set is Soul Camp, an “all-inclusive multi-day, multi-night, adult sleepaway camp for the soul.” Sounding like a hybrid of a retreat, a yoga festival, and a modern hippie commune, Soul Camp treats its soul campers to a mind/body/spirit immersion, or as they describe it, it’s the kind of place “to unplug and rediscover who you truly are.”
And how might one going about doing that in a single long weekend? Yoga class, meditation, “intuition workshops,” and “prana hikes” are all available activities, as well as astrology and some crafty ops like dreamcatcher weaving and mala bead making classes. In addition to that, there’s a TED Talk-y ”Soul-versation speaker series” billed to be both inspiring and empowering, and also probably your more kumbaya-y moment of the camp.
In case you couldn’t find out who you truly are with all of that, there’s also cardio bootcamp, Buti, intenSati, boating, recreational sports and organic farming. Musical performances from the likes of (who else?) MC Yogi have been scheduled in the past, along with “late night” disco dance parties (a typical day starts at 7:30am so the 10pm dance events are for the “late night” partiers) plus…wait for it…talent shows! And feathers. Surely there will be feathers.
It’s basically your dream scenario if you want a chance to let go of your regular routine, join some 300 other like-minded folks in sweating, hugging, and intuiting out all of your stresses, and return back to your normal life by the end of it all with a fresh outlook, some cool new mala beads and maybe a souvenir organic tomato from the garden. That or you’ll set up camp and refuse to leave.
By the way, if all of this sounds a little trippy, we can tell you there is no kool-aid, at least not the literal kind. Soul Camp is completely alcohol and drug free, so if you thought this would be your chance for a soul-searching bender, you might want to choose another adult summer camp experience. We imagine there’s already someone out there cooking up the Yoga, Weed & Wine Adult Sleepaway Adventure. Maybe in Colorado.
What will all of this finding your true self cost? Well, there’s the kicker. A four or five day Soul Camp experience will run you from $1,100 – $1,500 – definitely more expensive than your average Wanderlust and on par with some of the (using the term loosely) affordable yoga retreats. This year there are two dates, September 9-13 for Soul Camp East at Camp Towanda in the Poconos (we kid you not, the actual location of “Wet Hot American Summer”) and October 28-31 for Soul Camp West at Wonder Valley in the Sierras. All meals are provided and accommodations range from a 5-6 person dorm setup to private cabins for those needing soul-healing alone time (for an additional cost, of course).
For more of a taste of what to expect at Soul Camp, here’s last year’s highlight reel.
What do you think of adult summer camps? Would you go to yoga/soul camp?