Growing up in England my experience of Summer Camps was limited to school trips and Brownie/Guide camps and what I saw in American movies.
As a single parent, in Canada, summer camps were a life-saver for me in the exceptionally long summer holidays for my daughter.
Unlike most people’s expectations most University Professors do not get the long summers off, but rather we get the same amount of leave as other North Americans. Typically, 20-22 days per year which is also less than most people in England will have.
Some of us teach throughout the summer to better balance our teaching workloads throughout the year, and others use the summers to concentrate on their research and other academic interests.
Regardless, we don’t get the 8-9 weeks of holidays that our children do. Thankfully my daughter, being a gregarious child, loved summer camps. Over the years she has attended a wide variety of day camps and away camps, making many camp friends and having some fantastic experiences.
While we did attend a single parent camp one weekend in Alberta (Fantastic experience and one that I’d recommend to any single parent) camps have always seemed to be aimed at children.
When looking for something similar for adults, I found that they tend to be more specialised. There is the ASL Adult Summer Immersion Camp in Ontario each year. Then there are groups like the ‘Sister’s on the Fly‘ which are more loosely organised.
In these groups, you tend to make your own camping arrangements at a common venue with several organised activities throughout the ‘camp’. These can be pot-luck meals, shared adventures, group outings etc. They tend to have something in common such as a type of camper, common activity interests or even just an interest in the same geographical area.
Meetup is a great website for starting to find groups with common interests if you’re interested.
However, until now I’d not come across a summer camp style event for adults.
Camp Kitigin makes up for that!
It runs from the 16-18th September this year in West Branch, MI, USA. Looking at the details it looks just like summer camp for kids, but grown-up! A wide variety of activities are provided along with appropriate instruction. You sleep in cabins, though unlike camps for kids late night shenanigans are encouraged rather than discouraged! Each camper receives an official Camp Kitigin participant pack: a drawstring bag, journal and pen, disposable camera, and more surprises!
The best part – they ban all electronics (except for emergencies or after dinner family check-ins if needed). Instead, they provide a journal and disposable camera!
I love the idea.
While I’d struggle with sharing a cabin, the camp is only for 2 nights so I’m sure that I could cope for that long, and from the sound of it, sleep is pretty optional anyway!
While I’m nowhere near well enough to attend this year. This camp is definitely going on my bucket list for the future!
Does anybody want to join me?